Thursday, September 26, 2013

{RECAP} virgin mobile freefest

This past weekend TIOJ trekked up to Merriweather Post Pavilion for Virgin Mobile Freefest. As in years past, we were treated to free tickets, a wonderful lineup, and quality tailgating. Sadly, Mother Nature was not in a good mood later on in the day, forcing 2/3 of us home early, but we’ll recap everything we experienced and turn to Jurg for a report of how the night ended.

Once we completed our requisite tailgating, including party hats and homemade pop-tarts, we ventured in and caught TIOJ favorites The Knocks. While we were surprised that the band was at the main pavilion rather than the dance forest, we made the entire lawn area our own dance forest and had such a great time. The Knocks are seriously perfect party music and were a great way to start the day dancing. We especially enjoyed “Modern Hearts” and, as always, their cover of M83’s “Midnight City.”



Click ahead for the rest of our recap featuring Icona Pop, The Avett Brothers, and meatball subs.
Afterwards, we ran to check out Sky Ferreira (losing half of our group to Ferris Wheel rides). Sky appeared much older than her 21 years of age, looking like Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain’s teenage love child. Honestly, we were too distracted by the hickey on her neck and noting that Miley Cyrus wishes she could be Sky Ferriera to really comment and appreciate her music. Her recent arrest seems to have had an effect on her.

After a quick peak of Washed Out and getting scared to death by the creepy insect golf carts (seriously -- what WERE those?), we were in for our favorite performance of the day -- CHVRCHES.

"i'll be the thorn in your side // for always"
The Scottish band were even better than when we had seen them at Firefly. They played everything off their just released album, The Bones Of What You Believe, to an enormous and energetic crowd. As their set progressed, the skies darkened and began to open, creating a dramatic and cool (figuratively and literally) vibe for their music. We most enjoyed new favorite “Lungs” as well as watching Martin perform "Under The Tide" to an incredibly enthusiastic crowd.



Next we were able to catch Icona Pop, which was hands down the most fun set of the festival. In spite of the impending monsoon, the ladies of Icona Pop were energetic, sexy, and supremely fun as they ran around from their synths back to the crowd singing their gloriously poppy hits. Besides “I Love It” (obviously), we most enjoyed the easy going “Then We Kiss” featuring the most underutilized instrument in the music industry, the kazoo.



Then, things got real. The rain started pouring and NEVER.STOPPED. Luckily Concert Correspondent Jurg made it into the Pavilion before it reached capacity. Here's what she had to say...

Being the wimpy Jurg I am, at the end of CHVRCHES I promptly dragged my group to the Pavilion to set up camp for the rest of the rainy day. And there we sat. The first show we caught there was City and Colour. Which... I fell asleep during. It was actually pretty perfect, as the Canadian Dallas Green (City... and Colour, get it?), just sings that kind of music.



We actually managed to snag some food this year -- meatball subs ftw -- and chowed down as MGMT started their set. To be blunt: they were a big let down. Their set felt incredibly flat, and they left out “Kids,” which is a fun and popular song and the omission left a bad taste in my mouth. I should note that they did appear to have some technical issues, but I am not sure if that would have made it better.

The highlight of the evening was definitely the Avett Brothers. Having never seen them live, I was expecting a sweet folksy singalong. What we got was more of a rock show, but with banjos, stand up basses, and harmonicas. Personally, I would have appreciated a few more of their slower tunes (because I lurve them), but I understand the decision to keep things peppy. And obviously they ended their set with the perfect “I and Love and You.”



Next Up: Now that festival season is over, the fall concert schedule is heating up, starting with Blitzen Trapper at Black Cat on Friday!

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