Sunday, June 10, 2012

KRTU 91.7 presents Free Press Summer Fest 2012

Day 1 in the land of Hakeem Olajuwan Jerseys

Estimates of Snoop's on-stage entourage: 10-25.
Most likely celebrities to see: Win Butler, Tupac (hologram), Erykah Badu's hair.
Most likely festival trends: body paint, nudity, Tupac hologram

Starfucker opened up our Free Press experience real nice. If it wasn't too hot to dance, we would have danced.

Who wouldn't want to try a Slip N' Slide with leftover Nickelodeon slime and Wayne Coyne's rainbow-blood down a giant Fruit by the Foot?

Best Coast
Lazy, hazy, crazy, other words that rhyme with those words.

Photocred: xdmg, photography on
One of the most rewarding aspects of a music festival is seeing a favorite band in its full glory: the larger-than-life stage, blinding lights, deafening bass. Another is seeing a band you've never heard of plug in and  kill it.  I had never listened to Phantogram before Free Press, but the duo from Saratoga hit it hard from start to finish. Electric-pop bands have a tendency to underwhelm, absorbing themselves in their keys and loops without engaging the crowd.  But in fish nets and over-the-knee boots, frontlady Sarah Barthel brought energy to their hooks, so much that she had to take a break not to pass out in the heat. From the hill of Eleanor Tinsley park, we dug their psychic set.

Photocred: Houston Press
Although she came on late and only ended up playing 7 songs, Erykah Badu and her Cannabinoids got down, even if the crowd was a little zoned out from weed/heat stroke  Little did we know that a few days later, Badu would erupt (for good reason) at stagemate Wayne Coyne.  Unfortunately, we had to split a little early for Snoop.


With his current foray into Top 40, I sometimes forget how nasty Snoop used to be. Until you listen to him live and remember that he was an LBC Crip, was in and out of prison before graduating high school and up for murder in 1996 (acquitted by Johnnie Cochran). With a diamond-bedazzeled microphone with his name on it, Snoop rolled through his vulgar G-Funk jams, through his stoner and lust songs and into his (almost) radio friendly Young, Wild and Free with Wiz Khalifa and Bruno Mars. I just wish he played Deep Cover so I could recite the video's intro, which I memorized for the occasion.

So close.

The Flaming Lips
Expectations were high for the Flaming Lips' imagining of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon.  Around 2pm, the prism-and-rainbow laden flag showed up in the crowd at the Budweiser stage, staying at the front until Wayne Coyne took the camera-embedded microphone under a near full moon.  After a run-through of their own set, the Lips dove into "Speak to Me" with the help of Phantogram and several dozen on-stage dancers. While they set the template in 2009 with their recording of Dark Side with Stardeath and White Dwarfs, Henry Rollins and Peaches, the Flaming Lips gave a multisensory, solo and confetti heavy performance that didn't disappoint.

Day 2
Percentage of crowd sunburned: +30%
Percentage of crowd that came exclusively for Willie Nelson: 18%

A very special thanks to Daniel Day-Lewis for donating his moustache from There Will be Blood.

Portugal. The Man

Portugal. the Man brought their psych-pop sound and unnecessary; punctuation to Sunday's show. Like The Flaming Lips, the band paid homage to their pop forefathers, playing a visceral interpretation of The Beatles' Helter Skelter.

Shabazz Palaces

 Even after dropping the jazz samples that defined Digable Planets' sound, Ishmael Butler still bops hard. With Shabazz Palaces, Butler and Tendai Maraire produce some of the most creative, engaging hip-hop around today.  On 2011's Black Up, Shabazz Palaces engineer a multi-layered sound, with anthems of attitude like "Free Press and Curl" and haunting explorations like "An Echo From The Hosts That Profess Infinitum." On stage, their process comes alive as Maraire works a half-kit and Butler constructs beats, rapping over it all with undeniable belief in his own language.

Best Dressed


Worst Dancing: White people.

Photos: Rebecca Reinhardt
Words: Matt Stieb

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.