I couldn't find a hot Indian chick to go with me, so I took Rick (ellric). I also took a lot of pictures.
Middle Class Rut: We didn't hear enough of these guys to form an opinion, but they were all right. N/A
Violent Soho: I liked "Jesus Stole My Girlfriend," so I was interested in hearing more. They had a lot of hair. It was like being in the nineties! If I'd gone to rock concerts in the nineties. The sound mix wasn't great. I could distinguish some catchy melodies here and there, and I might like the songs better on the album. B/B+
The Soft Pack: Generic white-boy indie rock. They seemed kind of bored. I wouldn't turn them off, but I wouldn't turn them on either. B
The Dirty Heads: Neither Rick nor I would have guessed we'd enjoy a reggae/hip-hop band so much, but hey! I liked "Lay Me Down," but I figured everything else would be too reggae-y for me. Only a couple songs went too far in that direction, though, and one song, "Check the Level," was really good, although I think I preferred it live. One of the singers wore a nice shirt, and one of the singers looked like a Muppet. Very fun, good energy. B+
The Temper Trap: Thanks to jeeperstseepers's Music Monday post, I was mildly familiar with Temper Trap. I liked them a little before, but they were amazing live! The whole band was so clearly musically and technically proficient, many of them playing multiple instruments, sometimes during the same song. The guitarist definitely played keyboard, tambourine, and shaker in the same song, and we watched him switch between guitars and keyboards in one song. The bassist was a hoot to watch, as he moved his body in strange ways while still playing complicated basslines. "Sweet Disposition" was lovely as expected, but the standout was "Drum Song," which was HOLY CRAP FANTASTIC. The lead singer banged on his drum, and there was just so much energy onstage, they kept us mesmerized without any vocals. And then as it built toward the end, he poured water on his drum so that every drumbeat created splashes of water and it was the coolest thing I'd ever seen. I'm still warming up to the actual songs, but Jesus Christ, these guys are awesome. A
Flyleaf: This was the band I was most excited for on the Festival Stage even though I only knew a few songs. I dug their style, however. They opened with "Again," and they did my favorite song, "Cassie," as well as my first song, "I'm So Sick." I have to respect a woman who sings metal in a frilly dress on a hot June afternoon, although I presume that's a Thing with metal bands with female vocalists. She wasn't turned up enough so I couldn't hear her very well, and what I could hear wasn't as good I was hoping. I had no idea they had an Indian guitarist!! I COULD BE IN A ROCK BAND. He was so spastic and angry, like he was trying to kill his guitar. My favorite thing about Flyleaf, however, is that they brought platforms specifically to jump on. And then jump off. Sometimes with kicks. SO MUCH FUN TO WATCH. I need to actually buy some Flyleaf albums now. A-
Gaslight Anthem: Generic white-boy rock. They had more energy than the Soft Pack, but they were nothing special. As I said to Rick—and by said I mean wrote on my phone to show him because it was too loud to talk—at this point, a bunch of guys just standing and playing music was no longer impressive. B
I Am Empire: We took a break at the local stage and checked out these young metalheads. They were pretty good, actually, but then they had sound issues. The sound mix at the local stage, though, was way better than at the Festival Stage. B/B+
Mexican Wrestling: I don't even know. Huh?
Spoon: So they played all the songs I knew and liked, including both Veronica Mars songs, but I'm just...not really into Spoon. They have an interesting sound, and they were perfectly competent live, but I found myself bored and wanting to leave. Then some dancers appeared because the Stanford Marching Band was there for some reason. So that was nice. B/B+
Cage the Elephant: We were eating dinner through most of their set, but I could still hear, and for some reason they were playing slow and languid versions of everything, as opposed to last year, when the energy was radiating off the stage and totally confusing us because they were so crazy. I knew and liked two more songs by this time, but they weren't as fun on the Main Stage. B/B+
Silversun Pickups: This was my fifth time seeing Silversun Pickups. I have never been to a Silversun Pickups show. I'm not certain they actually have shows. I think they just open for people and play at festivals. Brian still loves feedback and yells too much and says dorky things, Nikki still wears pretty dresses, the drummer is still crazy fun to watch because he plays like Animal, and the keyboardist exists. They're always a solid show. A-/A
Hole: Or, Courtney Love and her new friends. As expected, she was...Courtney Love, and she made bizarre comments throughout the set, frequently berating her bandmates for making the setlist without her and being confused about what song they were playing next. She complained that she was old, so it was hard to sing, but she sounded fine to me. I was glad she did "Violet." The set was pretty entertaining, though marred by the over-the-top, annoying animosity toward her by various members of the lawn. B/B+
The Lawn: The lawn is frequently full of assholes, it's true. But this year, it was also full of PAPER PLANES. It was the greatest thing ever. For twenty minutes, we were throwing paper planes everywhere and laughing/cringing if we hit someone. Someone made a giant plane out of a banner, and, like, the whole lawn watched in awe as it flew from person to person. It was the most fun I've ever had on the lawn. A+++
Deftones: The band I came to see! They played the four songs I figured they'd play—"Rocket Skates," "Diamond Eyes," "My Own Summer (Shove It)," and "Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)"—but nothing else I recognized, although the last song was from their first album, Adrenaline, which I'd just bought. Regardless, they were raucous and awesome. Chino's ability to scream and shriek—and then sing properly, as if he hadn't just ripped his vocal cords—is pretty impressive, and he's a great performer. He owned the stage, twirling his microphone around and never staying in one place for too long. After Flyleaf, I couldn't understand how you could play metal without jumping on platforms, but the guitarist and bassist made a lot of sound without added theatrics. They left the theatrics to Chino. A
Sublime with Rome: They opened with "April 29, 1992 (Miami)," which made me excited...until Rome started singing, and it just sounded SO WRONG. Plus, after Deftones, they sounded so fucking lifeless, and the sound wasn't doing them any favors. I stood through two more songs I didn't know before I decided I couldn't take this much fake Sublime, and I couldn't stand to be around thousands of Sublime fans singing along to fake Sublime. C-
All in all, we definitely got our money's worth. And you better believe I had mozzarella sticks and Coke on the way back.