Somehow, day 2 of this year’s Virgin Mobile Festival was even better than the first. While I was still on a high (all natural!) from the Foo Fighter‘s set the previous night, each of the sets I was honored to see on Sunday blew me away, especially that of the closing act performed by the one and only Kanye West (the other major reason along with Lupe Fiasco, I needed to hit VFest). Again, I was a bit of a late arrival, but only missed Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and The Go! Team this time, making it to catch half of Shudder To Think‘s set.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – 12:00-12:45 // North Stage
The Go! Team – 12:20-1:05 // South Stage
Shudder To Think – 1:05-1:55 // North Stage
I kind of missed the Shudder To Think train when it first came around (to be fair, they did form when I was just a year old and disbanded while I was still in my middle school girl power pop phase), but after a ten year hiatus, a quasi-reunion occurred last year and the band pulled off a solid set at Virgin Mobile Festival.
Andrew Bird – 1:25-2:10 // South Stage
Andrew Bird, whose 2007 Armchair Apocrypha I (and many others) adore, played a phenomenal set last Sunday to a packed South Stage. He’s recently sold out 2 New York City shows in just 2 hrs for his upcoming tour! Not surprising in the least. Get in on some Andrew Bird tour action, if only to see him rock out with a violin — it’s magnificent.
Paramore - 2:15-3:05 // North Stage
One of the most touted national acts, I was disappointed with how boring Paramore’s set was. Haley and the guys had fierce energy, but every song blended together making the set feel like one long song. Then again, that’s what pop punk usually is.
She & Him – 2:35-3:25 // South Stage
Having seen this magnificent duo before, I ditched Paramore and made my way over to the South Stage to be as close as possible to Ms. Zooey Deschanel and her counterpart Mr. M. Ward. The set list was almost exactly the same as when I’d see the band headline at the Trocadero in Philadelphia, but it was just as good the second time. The one noticeable change was a cover of “I Put A Spell On You” which wonderfully displayed Deschanel’s vocal range, and the addition of an original song by back-up singer Becky Stark, who’s also got a great set of pipes.
Why only these two pictures of Deschanel are available, I can’t say, but you can check out some pictures from their Philadelphia performance here.
Taking Back Sunday – 3:30-4:20 // North Stage
Taking Back Sunday was totally my jawn in high school. For nostalgia’s sake, and I still really dig Tell All Your Friends and Lazzara’s mic swinging action, I caught out part of the band’s high energy set. An oldie but still a goodie.
Lil Wayne – 3:50-4:30* // South Stage
The asterisk on Lil Wayne’s set time denotes that this time line was not accurate since Lil Wayne showed up on stage 40 minutes late, making fans wait almost two hours, as many staked out their spots during She & Him’s set. I don’t like to be kept waiting, so I opted to catch a good spot for Iggy & the Stooges over at the North Stage instead. I’d seen Iggy at Download: Philadelphia so I knew I was in for a great set. I’m bummed to have missed Lil Wayne’s performance, but if I ever get the chance to see him again, I hope he’s prompt.
Iggy & the Stooges - 4:50-5:50 // North Stage
If you want some punk rock and roll, no need to look further than Iggy and the Stooges, or just Iggy. The man, in his sixties, has more energy than an entire kindergarten class. He ran around the stage, jumped on amps, and yelled at the crowd to ‘get the hell up on stage!’ and went so far as to demand that security allow the crowd to jump the barricade and thrash about on stage. Sadly, these demands were not met, so rather than accept defeat, Iggy jumped down and engaged himself with the crowd running around through the open space that was barricaded off from the stage, since security also refused to let him actually jump into the crowd.
The Black Keys – 5:15-6:15 // South Stage
I also skipped over The Black Keys in favor of staking out a spot for Stone Temple Pilots as I figured my future opportunities to see STP was far less great than the future potential of catching a Black Keys set.
Stone Temple Pilots – 6:20*-7:35// North Stage
No pictures have been made available for Stone Temple Pilots.
The band arrived on stage 20 minutes late, but rather than have their set extended like Lil Wayne’s on the other stage, they were forced to finish up at 7:35, keeping at least one stage on schedule. They powered through their hits and Weiland — who was layered to the max with clothing (t-shirts, vests, 3 or 4 ties) — removed a piece of clothing with each new song played. The crowd eagerly sang and moshed along for the entire set.
In addition to making their fans wait 20 minutes to begin their peformance, with maybe 15 or 20 minutes to go, STP left the stage for 5 minutes — maybe they needed a hit? — in which Weiland removed his t-shirt and put on a black leather vest before coming back out to perform their last two songs. Perhaps it was supposed to be an encore, but making the audience wait 20 minutes initially should’ve sent a red flag to Weiland and co. that we wanted more songs, not a lame attempt and a pseudo-encore.
Despite time issues, all and all a decent set.
Moby - 6:30-8:00 // DJ/Rave Tent
Never actually went into the DJ Tent (though everyone referred to it as the “Rave Tent”) for fear of club kids and getting molested by those on X, but walked by slowly during Moby’s spinning session. It was fab and had I not been rushing to catch the legendary Bob Dylan, I probably would’ve stopped and raved it up for a bit.
Bob Dylan – 6:45-8:00* // South Stage
No pictures have been made available for Bob Dylan.
I’ve never seen Bob Dylan perform before. I think that perhaps since I’d been building him up in my mind for the 23 years I’ve been alive, I expected too much. He was great, no doubt, but it wasn’t the magic I’d expected. And he didn’t even let the cameras (neither photo nor video) get close enough to even show his face. So for all I know, it wasn’t even Dylan. Just saying.
Nine Inch Nails – 8:05-10:00// North Stage
I’m not big into Nine Inch Nails. What?! Yeah. It’s true. I can only take at face value what Ajay told me in regards to this: I’m “a happy person.” I stuck around for a good portion of their set and I was impressed by the ridiculous light show they put on, but I was definitely eager to get over to the South Stage for Kanye West.
Kanye West – 8:30-10:00* // South Stage
No pictures have been made available for Kanye West, which is unfortunate because his stage show was a visual assault of lights, colors and fog. If I owned a point and shoot digital, I’d have pictures of my own to show you, but I always manage to drop them. A lot. They don’t last long in good working order in my possession.
Lots of VFest attendees shared my enthusiasm for Kanye’s performance and packed out the lawn in and around the South Stage to dance and sing/rap along with the oft-controversial rapper. His set list was long and inclusive featuring “Good Morning”, “Champion”, “I Wonder”, “Get Em High”, “Through the Wire”, “Heard Em Say”, “Diamonds from Sierra Lione”, “Touch the Sky”, “Good Life”, “Flashing Lights”, “Homecoming”, “All Falls Down”, “American Boy”, “Put On”, “Jesus Walks”, “Gold Digger”, “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”, and “Stronger”. He also spit some original lines on the spot — or so it seemed, anyway.
I was definitely impressed with West’s set and cannot wait to see him again. He mentioned that he was bummed out to have to be put up against Nine Inch Nails again (the first being at this year’s Lollapalooza) because he wanted to be in the crowd for their set. He did, however, praise VFest for their choice of venue since those who couldn’t afford tickets to the event (think in the hundreds) were still able to see and hear many acts through the fence. He was very honest in his sentiments about loving his fans and never wanting to do anything more than perform for them because it’s what he loves and lives for. I absolutely walked away from VFest with a greater admiration for Kanye West.
Here’s looking forward to Virgin Mobile 2009 — I can’t wait to see how they try to top this year.
Filed under: concerts | Tagged: andrew bird, black rebel motorcycle club, bob dylan, iggy and the stooges, kanye, kanye west, lil wayne, m. ward, nin, nine in nails, paramore, scott weiland, she & him, shudder to think, stone temple pilots, Taking Back Sunday, the black keys, The Go! Team, trent reznor, virgin mobile festival, zooey deschanel | 5 Comments »