Polter-Cow (spectralbovine) wrote,

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BFD 2011 Scorecard

Even though it was the least exciting BFD lineup in years, Rick and I were still excited to hear lots of music. AND IT DID NOT EVEN RAIN.

Young the Giant: Our favorite Indian-Persian-British-French-Canadian band! Is it wrong to like a band a little more because they're multicultural? I only knew "My Body," but their radio-friendly single was actually my least favorite song of the set! Not that it's a bad song, but I didn't feel that it was representative of their music, which was mellow and, appropriately, full of influences from around the world. Most of their songs didn't have catchy choruses, but they were interesting to listen to. I hear Morrissey loves 'em. Definitely a band to keep an eye on. B+

Middle Class Rut: Introduced as a band whose motto was "How loud can two guys be?" they sure did try to be loud with one guy on guitar and one guy on drums, sharing vocal duties and by vocal I mean shouting. "New Low" sounds familiar, so I must have heard it on the radio before, and it's not bad. Their songs were not that great, but they were very entertaining, especially because they had to brave some technical difficulties. After getting them sorted out, the drummer joked that the song we were about to hear was edited for the radio; they thought the seven-minute intro was too much. B/B+

Biffy Clyro: The one band of the day I had never heard of at all and had no idea what to expect from. They were from Scotland, and they liked not wearing shirts and melting our faces! And they started to melt our faces, and then, to our surprise, they were singing, not shouting, and then, to our even-greater surprise, they had three-part harmony. Rick looked them up on his phone, and we discovered that the drummer and bassist were twins! Aw. The trio were totally in sync with each other; there was one song with a lot of complicated starts and stops that was a marvel to watch. Their songs were varied, some rockin' and some slow (I preferred the former). A very nice surprise! B+

Foster the People: The best set on the Festival Stage! I had only heard "Pumped Up Kicks," but I liked everything they played. They had a mellow yet dance-y sound, and it was very clean and tight. All the songs were pretty catchy, too. The lead singer was adorable, and his voice was much deeper than I expected, given how he sang. I most enjoyed watching one band member who was running around from instrument to instrument, keyboard on one song and drums on another, now he has maracas, now he has a cowbell, now he's hitting a cowbell with a maraca. Great music, great band, great set. A-

Manchester Orchestra: Ah, my disappointment of the day. "I've Got Friends" is a fucking fantastic song, and I enjoyed hearing the uptempo version they played live, but mostly they just seemed really loud and raucous, and I couldn't really get into any of the other songs. After the great Foster the People set and having such high expectations for them, I was saddened by how much I wanted their set to end. B-

Airborne Toxic Event: This was my third time seeing ATE at BFD. The first time, I didn't think much of them. The second time, I really liked them because I had fallen in love with "Sometime Around Midnight." This time, they ran into some technical difficulties, but they were incredibly good sports about it. The lead singer quipped, "I wish we were an acoustic band." (Or maybe that was Middle Class Rut, I'm not sure.) They played the other two songs I know, "Does This Mean You're Moving On?" and "Wishing Well." These three songs are really good! I really do want to seek out more by these guys, if only because the lead singer is so charming. During the last song, he climbed up the tower to wave goodbye to us. B+

Neon Trees: So I had a love/hate relationship with "Animal," which was supercatchy but sounded so manufactured, like they Frankensteined a song out of other better songs. But...damn, these guys put on a hell of a show, mostly because the lead singer was such a performer. Running around, swinging the microphone around, talking about the day his mother opened her legs to let him out of her womb, introducing their female drummer as the awesome rarity she was, and so on. I had to admit, they were not a bad band. B+/A-

Bad Religion: Come on, you guys know Bad Religion. They're old now! But they're still punk rockers, and the lead singer was kind of cute with his hand gestures (as Rick put it, he was doing a great impression of someone doing Bad Religion at karaoke night) and made several "Thank you, goodnight!" jokes. B+

Cage the Elephant: These guys are BFD mainstays at this point, and they have yet to recapture the frenetic, baffling energy they had the first time I saw them. It's not the same seeing them down there on the main stage. They're still good, and the lead singer is still a hoot to watch, though. B/B+

The Strokes: People love the Strokes! They came on and they played music, and they played it well. They played the three songs I cared about ("Reptilia," "12:51," "Last Nite"), so I was satisfied. B/B+

Breakdancing: Rick and I left the Strokes early to hang out in the Subsonic Tent, where Harvard Bass was spinning or whatever. The real entertainment, however, was this awesome breakdancing circle where two or three talented dudes were just doing crazy awesome things, and I was impressed with how well their moves actually corresponded to the music and the beats. B+

Blaqk Audio: We were there to check out Blaqk Audio, the electronica side project of two AFI members including Davey Havoc. The only song I knew was "Stiff Kittens," which I liked, but most of the songs were pretty indistinct. It was like, here are some dance beats, and here is Davey singing over them. The music wasn't terribly interesting, even though I liked watching Davey perform. B/B+

Snoop Dogg: We missed most of Snoop Dogg's set intentionally, and we returned to him covering "Jump Around" for no apparent reason, which was fun, followed by "Drop It Like It's Hot," which seemed to be about dropping it while it was hot. And then he asked the audience to say his name while doing a surfboard dance move. Repeatedly. Until he was satisfied. And then he led the audience in a rousing rendition of "Sha na na na, sha na na na, hey, hey, Snoop Dogg." We were not sure whether the entire set consisted of asking the audience to say his name. Um, at least he had live drums and dancers? C-

Linkin Park: Man, Linkin Park had, like, a dozen opening bands, but we finally got to them! And they opened with..."Papercut"? Really? Huh. But then they went to "Lying from You," which pleased me because I love the shit out of Meteora, and followed it up with "Given Up," which was fucking awesome live. They played a good variety from their repertoire, and I presume the couple songs I didn't recognize were from the new album. Chester Bennington sure can scream, as well as sing, and it was great to see him and Mike Shinoda do their thing live. I wish the lighting highlighted the musicians a bit more; it did a lot of flashing, but it was hard to see them. And the sound mix was muddy; I had to take my earplugs out because I couldn't hear the vocalists with them in, and it was sometimes difficult to pick out where certain sounds were coming from. Mainly, though, Linkin Park totally owned the stage and rocked out, and I especially loved the added outros where the band just wanted to play the riffs a few more times for fun. I got in touch with my inner emo kid and sang along and it was great. A-/A

Last month, I saw System of a Down and Eisley, and tomorrow night, I'm seeing Deftones. It's been an awesome, exhausting month of live music!
Tags: concerts, making the grade, music, personal, pimpings, real life friends
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