August 02, 2005
Street Scene 2005
The glamour of rock and roll
The first notable experience of Street Scene 2005 was giving up on the
Black Eyed Peas after waiting 45 minutes past their scheduled start
time. We ditched that stage right after we saw, on the big video
screen, a thrown water bottle graze the head of the poor emcee who
came out and tried to calm down a crowd which was growing rapidly more
frustrated and angry.
Now that I think about it, maybe the first Official Street Scene
Experience was hearing the unmistakeable sound of puke hitting the
floor behind me as we rode in a trolley filled with drunk teenagers to
Qualcomm Stadium. I didn't turn around, but a friend sitting opposite
me said there were definitely potatoes.
Actually, the trolley experience has a tight thematic link to the
Black Eyed Peas experience: I heard later that when the Black Eyed
Peas finally arrived and complained about being stuck in traffic it
appeared that they were completely wasted, a theory strongly supported
by the fact that Fergie at some point in the show pissed her pants.
(Disturbingly, google searches on this topic reveal that this is not
her first Performance Piss.)
But hey, get 75,000 people together for rock and roll and obviously
there's going to be some pissing and some puking, if not worse. Luckily things got
a lot better after that.
Lori even has some pictures.
Garbage is a well oiled pop machine at this point, and Shirley Manson
is going to be some kid's supercool aunt some day (assuming she's not already).
The Killers' songs are really catchy and energetic, and it's fun to
see the crowd explode with enthusiasm, but I can't help but agree with
the LA Times that the White Stripes are “an infinitely more important
band,” and I think I should have bailed on the last few Killers songs
to see Jack and Meg. I'm almost surprised to find that I am still a
big, unapologetic White Stripes fan.
The Pixies sounded great. But I feel there's
something creepily undead about them, that they're perfectly
reproducing their old sound but that they lack the life force to
create something new. If they sucked the blood out of Fergie it might
be a win-win.
I saw a little bit of Snoop Dog. Good, but I think my appreciation
was hampered by just having had the Flaming Lips blow the lid off my
fucking mind. I hadn't seen them before, and they were smarter and
more fun than I remembered rock and roll could be. Lead singer in a
hamster ball rolling across the top of the crowd, stage filled with
people in furry outfits, kid with light saber, microphone cam. I just
kept screaming. They did two beautiful covers: Bohemian Rhapsody to
start, and then they closed with War Pigs(!). Best show I've seen in a
while, and it turned me into a big fan.
If you know my pal Cody, he was standing next to me, and it was clear
that the music contained a coded message keyed specifically for his
brain. I think it said “SET INSANITY DIAL TO 11. WAIT--TRY 12.”
Anyway, the show was a blast. And the rest of the weekend, hanging
out with Lori, was awesome to the third power*.
* Lori found a LiveJournal post that perfectly embodies a facet of the Street Scene experience, I think (that Frank Brown sure did rock).
Posted by jjwiseman at August 02, 2005 11:48 AM
FYI - you are the number 1 result when searching Google for Fergie and her soiled knickers.
We saw the Flaming Lips with about 1-200 other people at the NIU student center a few years back. They had no drums set up so I was worried. That ultimately made no difference, nor did the tiny crowd. They were broadcasting added material via a local, low-power FM transmitter and they handed out earphones w/receivers so you could get an "enhanced" experience.
The coolest part, to me, was that I could see Wayne Coyne standing just off-stage watching the opening band (don't remember who they were) and he seemed to genuinely enjoy their set. The music and shows hold up on their own but that's the stuff that makes me love them.
I've seen the lips about a gazillion times. They have pulled off some pretty amazing experimental shnikey in their days and continue to do so. I participated in one Stubb's show in Austin where they had us sit on stage in two sets of rowed seats, about 40 each side, each with an old-school tape player with some recordings of their music on it. Everyone was to press play/stop at coordinated times with Wayne as the composer. The effect on stage was rather like static, but apparently off stage everyone experienced an amazing spacey swirl of rock goodness.
Look to their early recordings for some of the best texahoma space punk you'll ever find. End of space, sitting on a fence, fuck man, every goddamn song on every goddamn album has been amazing. Even leaves me with semi-positive memories of my ex-wife from the show we saw on acid together some years ago. The Flaming Lips and acid are pretty damned entwined in my memories forever. This would explain the insanity setting John noticed for me.
For the record, I drank so many margaritas and the girl I've been knocking boots with had decided I wasn't enough (or, well, committing to any person wasn't in her cards), that I ended up bitching with her on the train ride back to the point that she got on a train back to LA that very night. Oh well. It was a damn good show anyway.
I thought Cody's insanity level was set to 11 by *default*. (Hi, Cody!)
I haven't heard much else of theirs, but I love Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.
Hey, I was the skunk onstage with the Lips!! You're right, they're the most underrated band of this generation, and they're shows will blow you mind, especially if you're right next to them (ha!). I've seen them before and their shows are incredible every time (yes, my friends were on acid and I think enjoying it even more than me). I would definitely recommend listening to their old stuff. It may take awhile to warm up to, but when you do, you'll see why they're so underrated.
I saw like two seconds of Snoop Dogg, and I agree, after coming from the Lips, his vibe was really like, creepy.
if she was that close to a horses penis I'd be more upset about being pissed toward.