Last Sunday I drove a couple of friends down and back to New Jersey for the All Points West festival. In case you don’t live on the East Coast, it’s been wet here. I want to make a prom night joke here but I just can’t. Anyway, it rained Sunday afternoon, and the entire park was converted by God into one big mud pit. You can see the end result of that above. I got off easy, too.
Other than nearly losing my shoes in the mud several times, the show was great. We got there just in time to catch Silversun Pickups, who are great live, with a really energetic drummer. From there we checked out La Roux, where I felt like I was watching Duckie from Pretty in Pink cover early Depeche Mode, and Mogwai who had an impressive wall of sound going on thanks to five guitars on the stage. After that Lykke Li made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, and she did a Kings of Leon cover.
We then switched stages and saw the Black Keys before MGMT came on. Black Keys were hands down the performance of the night, Not only was there so much sound from just two guys, but the sound is the same as on their albums. It’s comforting to know that the music on CD that I like is not an overly processed bit of studio trickery. Seriously, the guitarist is just amazing, it was a treat to watch, and they seemed so happy to be there. Which makes for a good segue, because MGMT didn’t. Seem happy to be there that is. Or alive, for that matter. MGMT was the reason we went, and honestly they were disappointing. They had practically no stage presence and just seemed a bit contemptuous of the audience. Obviously people were there to hear tracks from Oracular Spectacular and they just didn’t seem to want to play those songs. It wasn’t a bad performance but it wasn’t a good one either.
The final act we caught was Etienne de Cercy which was actually amazingly awesome. The stage show was amazing, and the music was so danceable nobody could resist. What a great DJ and what a great stage setup. We left exhausted, in a good way, and covered with mud, laughing about how we would get back into the car without covering it in wet dirt (and festival stink; turns out New Jersey stinks worse), and loving the night we had. The drive back was an adventure, too, but that’s another story.
It’s rare to have days like that. I owe a huge thanks to my friends and hope they feel the same. Speaking of, check out S’s snapshots from the day.