Cage the Elephant
First off, it’s not an easy act to have six band members on the stage at the same time. Cage the Elephant does it so that you’re confused if they’re too drunk to be on stage, or if they didn’t really care about the show in the first place. If anything was for sure, the lead singer shouldn’t have still been on stage. That guy needed a cold shower and a cup of coffee before he came on. I don’t want to say that it was all bad, though. This show set a personal record for me in the category of “Most Times I’ve Seen a Lead Singer Crowdsurf in One Set”. That record now stands at four. I’m just not sure why that was so necessary. The nose of Cage the Elephant was surprisingly well balanced out with quiet. If they did one thing right, it was the juxtaposition of these two volumes. Just as you’re getting into the noise that’s going on, they cut it out and bring you back down to just a few instruments and it’s much quieter. If you’re interested in hearing this, I recommend the song “Aberdeen”. With five different instruments on stage at the same time, it’s impressive that Cage the Elephant can make all the sounds come together so well. There is a lot of noise in their set, but it comes together to produce sweet, sweet music for your ears.
I hadn’t planned to watch this set, so I’ll keep it short. This was easily the most eccentric thing that I got to see all weekend. Princess is a 7 piece band featuring 2 female lead singers (one wearing a trench coat and one in a Hot Cop outfit), drums, bass (a dude dressed in only boxers and shoes), keys, guitar, and what appeared to be a drum machine. The music was funky and good to dance to, but not exactly what your mother would approve of.
This was another show that I just happened upon, but boy am I glad that I did. Foy Vance had a tiny crowd, but he was a really nice Irish acoustic/piano performer. His songs were mostly about love, but didn’t get boring or too repetitive. He also had great crowd interactions, and easily the best exit that I’ve ever seen in a show. Before his last song, Foy Vance said thanks to everyone, and then told us that he was going to play one more song. At the end of this song, we would have learned the chorus, which repeats a few times as the song ends. He was going to fade out, and we were to keep singing a few times while turning away from the stage to watch the sun set over the hill opposite the stage. As we did this, there was this neat feeling of community amongst everyone in the crowd. After two repetitions of the chorus without Foy Vance, we stopped and turned around and poof! he was gone. It was a great experience, because we were left with one of his songs instead of an awkward thank you and see you later that so often happens.
Tourist’s set was on in the late afternoon, so I was feeling a bit lethargic at this point. Somehow, I confused Tourist with another band and thought that they sounded like the National. It turns out that I was wrong, but you know – mistakes are learning experiences. Tourist, simply put, is a DJ. There was a ton of dancing going on in that tent, and, again, great people watching. This was the opposite of modest in all forms – arms were flailing, people were running in circles (is that really dancing?), and I’m pretty sure I saw someone doing a little moonwalking. I’m not a huge fan of electronica so I can’t really rate Tourist’s performance, but I can say that I was impressed with how active he was. Even if he was just hitting play on his MacBook, he danced around the stage and even made regular use of the microphone to interact with the audience. In my opinion, I think that Tourist would be excellent music for doing homework, as long as you can resist the urge to get up and dance as hard as you can.
Foster the People
The setup for this stage was incredible. At one point, there were 26 people on stage setting things up! When Foster the People came on, they played a long set with few interruptions. They are probably most commonly known for their song “Pumped Up Kicks.” As it turns out, they have a lot of other songs in their repertoire. Foster the People plays with a funky new-age method, where there are six band members on stage and they all take turns playing various instruments. I think that the only person who didn’t move was the drummer. Beyond that, the band members shift around a lot, and sometimes even bring out new instruments. My favorite was what appeared to be a single turntable that was off on the side of the stage. After seeing this set, I can understand why Foster the People only has a few popular songs. Much of the rest of their music is a bit slow and repetitive. However, they carried good energy throughout the set and the changing instruments kept the show lively.
During this set, all of my dreams came true. First off, if you haven’t seen the music video for Hey Ya!, you need to go do that now. The stage for Outkast was set up a lot like this. On the left side of the stage, there was a drummer, a few trumpet players and a bassist. On the right side, there was a DJ and two long-legged women who were dancing and doing the back up vocals. In the center of the stage, there was a cube that was probably 20 feet on a side. The cube had some sort of mesh on each side, so that projectors could create a 3D image inside the cube. This stage setup was everything that I wanted Outkast to be, and more. The cube was a bit weird at first, but during one of Andre 3000’s songs, a woman walked through it who looked real. Furthermore, the outfits were great. Andre 3000 was dressed in a jumpsuit that said “Everything is Temporary”, and Big Boy had camo shorts and a lot of bling. These guys interacted great with the audience, and weren’t really afraid to make mistakes. At one point, we saw Andre 3000 get tangled up in the cable on stage and trip. He just got up and kept on going. One of the most impressive parts may have been towards the end of the set. After rapping for at least an hour, there was a song that was only Big Boy. Instead of heading off stage, Andre 3000 stayed on stage dancing and did around 60 pushups off the monitor at the front of the stage. I’m not sure I could do 60 pushups from a rested state, much less after rapping for that long. Outkast’s music was very similar to how it sounds on the CD, but it had an extra element of watching Outkast have a great time on stage, and having them interact with us as crowd members. If you get the chance to see Outkast live, I highly recommend it.
-Bill Koch/Dad Jokester/General Manager