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View Full Version : I went to Street Scene yesterday...



Telex
July 31st, 2005, 11:51 PM
Street Scene, for those of you not in San Diego, is an annual festival whose main draw is the music. It used to be held in downtown San Diego, but this year it was moved to the parking lot of a stadium, which gave it a more "music-festival" vibe.

Anyway, it was two days, but I only went Saturday to see Spoon, the Flaming Lips, and the Pixies. Here's my short review of them:

Spoon: I thought Spoon was great, although if you already don't care for their music, the live show won't change your mind. But if you like their stuff, it just gets better when you see them perfom. Highlights were "The Way We get By" (their most well-known song), "Paper Tiger" (An unusual song that featured pounding drums (which is different from the studio version), almost spoken-word vocals, and a sparse arrangement that made it more powerful) and "My Mathematical Mind," the most "rocking" (for lack of a better term) song they played.

They were an opener, so the crowd was small, and full of people who just wanted to hear "I Turn My Camera On" and "The Way We Get By," but I had a great time watching them.

The Flaming Lips: Now, I've liked the Flaming Lips for a while, but never really listened to their music much. But this was far and away the highlight of the show. Probably the best live music experience I've ever been to. It's going to be hard to describe, but I'll try.

It started out with the lead singer getting into his "space ball" or whatever he called it, which is a giant plastic ball that he inflates and then precedes to walk on top of the crowd on. It was pretty cool, but he didn't do it very long because he was scared of getting dropped on the concrete :p. There was an extra sceen put up behind him which played some crazy videos while they were performing, and lot's of people on stage dressed up as animals or other random things dancing around. But the best thing was the feeling of the entire show...everyone, including the band, was jextremely happy to be there, and they entire thing just had this attitude of "fun" about it that I've never seen matched.

The songs really take on new meanings when you hear them infused with the emotions you get from hearing them live...lots of people describe the Flaming Lips as mellow, but there's no way you could call their live show that. They covered "Bohemian Rhapsody," with the entire crowd singing along, which was crazy...you'd think that would be a song that nobody but Queen could do, but they did it perfectly. "Do You Realize" was awesome, and very powerful/emotional/whatever. They did one song where the lead singer strapped strobe lights to his chest, had strobe lights flashing all around him, and sang through a megaphone that was billowing green and yellow smoke. They did a song with no vocals, just the band and the lead singer (Wayne Coyne, btw) playing some kind of distored children's toy, which sounded extremely good. There was even a guy in the audience freestyling to it, which was nice. Basically, everything they did was gold.

The Flaming Lips are still against the Iraq war, and they brought it up during their show, but it was well done as it segued into their anti-war songs: One which I can't remember, and later a cover of a Black Sabbath (I think) song.

Reading over this, I realized that I couldn't describe what made it so great...if you have the chance to see them live, you should.

Pixies: It was late, and I was tired, and we were standing fairly far back, so obviously the excitement wasn't at the same level as when we saw Spoon or the Flaming Lips. I'm glad I saw the Pixies live, but I have already seen a DVD of it, and I felt like it was kind of the same thing. I've heard from people who have seen them before that it was better when they were at a venue, not a festival, and some of the versions of the songs weren't as good ("Where Is My Mind" being a prime example of this). "Wave of Mutilation" was slowed down, but it sounded good. "Carribou" was good too. But honestly, they were the least-enjoyable of the three bands I came to see (I sat through a Dashboard Confessional set, but that was so bad I'm not even going to list it).

FruitandNut
August 1st, 2005, 12:51 AM
Sounds like The 'Glastonbury Festival' over here. Established acts, new acts, some standards, some new stuff and quite a lot of 'experimentation. It is also an opportunity to engage in all things 'alternative' and the smell of 'weed' is all pervading.

The festival started back in the old days of flower power and Viet Nam protest. In the days of MAD and LSD - hey man, it was good; but tended in the early years to get a bit out of hand, women had become 'liberated' from pregnancy, as the 'pill' was newly generally available. It kind of went to their head, along with the LSD!!!!

Withnail
August 1st, 2005, 08:42 AM
Sounds like a cool show. I saw Spoon and Pixies at Lollapalooza last weekend.
Pixies- I've been a big fan for awhile. No one thought that they'd get back together for a tour like this. Basically they are just doing the "Lets make some $" reunion, but they put out a good product.
Flaming Lips - Also dig them. Saw them open up for Beck and be his backing band for the Sea Changes tour. The problem with the Lips, is that all of their shows are like that. It's the kind of thing that is mind blowing the first time, but if you see them again a few years later and they do the same thing you are disappointed. Wayne is a true freak though. I haven't seen it but I hear there is a good documentary about them going around. If you haven't heard "Funeral" by The Arcade Fire I recommend them as they sound kind of like The Flaming Lips. I guess 3 different relatives of the band died while they were making the album, so it's a bit of a theme. Powerful stuff, like "Do you Realize".

highlights of Lollapalooza.... The Arcade Fire, Blond Redhead. I really thought Blond Redhead was great, but I left their set early to see Billy Idol. Still kicking myself.

KevinBrowning
August 1st, 2005, 09:22 AM
I really thought Blond Redhead was great, but I left their set early to see Billy Idol. Still kicking myself.

Billy Idol pwns everyone you just mentioned.

Telex
August 1st, 2005, 10:37 AM
I've been a fan of the Arcade Fire for a while...I agree, they're great. I could imagine that if I saw the Flaming Lips again, there'd be no way it could be as good as the first time. But I also can imagine that I would still love it

I also saw a few songs (raps? beats? I dunno what to call them) from Snoop Dogg, and a few from Death Cab for Cutie, and a few from the Von Bondies. Snoop was good, but I was not impressed by Death Cab and was annoyed with the Von Bondies.