by Beatz Reporter Mark Korosi and Resident Jerk Ian Clemente
What's Hott: Big Gigantic
Saturday began with copious Cold Duck flowing and contraband ginger ale (not quite a moscow mule... maybe a london lamb?) as we made our way to Zed's Dead on the thing, what's it called? oh yeah, stage... Anyway, they ripped as uzhe, but the next act to set up was more than equipped to follow. Big G threw down hot beats with live dums straight outta Isle o Wight 1970 and a programmer/dj/saxophonist that would make sexy sax man bow in presumed worthlessness. The set was bangin and the hooks were heavy. It set a great tone for the rest of the day and stood as the most memorable surprise. Now I won't front for a seXond and say I knew one song or one sample, although the set was peppered with easily recognizeable cuts like a Kanye song tossed in and stuff that people around me knew. Anyway, the grooves were deep, the timing was tight and if you aren't stupid, you will check em out when they blow up/through your town or your speakers.
|Big Gigantic in multifunktioned splendour.|
What's Not: Van Ghost
It even pains me to write the name above. There was only one act the entire festival that we could agree was just an absolute chore to sit through, or a bore, or tore-ture... I'll try to keep the criticisms short and classy and grammatically correct. We saw button downs, ties, department store-fedoras and thought, "Oh boy! Ska!" Say what you will, but ska is fun and unpretentious and can get a crowd going, even the post-third-wave stuff. What we got however was some horrendous Frankenstein of Incubus, Dave Matthews and Nickelback. No exaggeration. I don't want to encourage anyone to watch this so no links will be included, but if you think this is an unwarranted, unnecessarily harsh opinion, then go 2 youtube and type in van ghost north coast. From the bassist's pompous gesturing to the trumpteer's overblown jazz vocals, the entire band smacked of the kind of late night jam you see at a local Ribfest. I was very surprised when the set ended without any extended jam sessions or a cover of Smokin In The Boy's room. OK, maybe too much, but I feel I have the right to be at least slightly insulted by the expectation that I'm supposed to be impressed by the generic songwriting, lack of showmanship and false humility (we are truly truly blessed to be writing about Van Ghost) that failed to justify their somewhat arrogant stage presence. Being surrounded by the spectacle and energy of every other act, it really underscored the lack of sincere showmanship.
|Ian disapproving of/disappointed in the noodly antics of V* Gh*st.|
CommbaX: Of Montreal; Gogol Bordello
On the same stage immediately following VG was the contraversial Of montreal; not so because of their inflammatory and irreverent lyrical content, nor because of the provocative wardrobes that included tights and epaulets, but because they are quite the de facto hipster darlings. But for as cloyingly coy as Kevin Barne's voice and subject matter can be (based on the est. dozen songs we've heard), they put on a fantastic show that was not dull for one second. Kevin entered on a dragon (composed of backup dancers) and left on a raft (succeeded by a quick hodown coda of Turkey in the Straw). So sometimes, they can get a little pretentious but the set's music was funkily punctuated, a perfect live band compliment to the phat beats that dominated the wkd, included the best verion of ...Promethean Curse ever thrown down (w/in earshot that is) and on top of that done with endless smiles and well coordinated stunts without a trace of that knowing wink of someone who thinks they're so dam clevr. It was really a great great show and plennyfunn (and Kevin Barnes has a nice booty).
|Kevin Barnes of of mont mont, makes hiz ezcape a reality|
As for me, I had to part with Mark as the people swooped swapped and swept in for Bassnectar, knowing the gypsy punks themselves would be in the flesh mere yards away. I did my best to hold my ground, but the first HEY! beckoned like a belalaika and I made the Rudeboy dash abandoning Mark to the circling swarm of bassfaces. Everything was a gutdam blurr. Several willing participants started to dance and slam, but the five or six of us shrank in comparison to the circle pit (plz ref the Deek Incident) started at Hutz's command (not suggestion, not request, but "Hey ChiCAAAGO, lessee how ya do IN A CIRCLE PIT!" and I made my way immediately into the swirling swarm of not-bassfaces. 40s flowed and flew, Pink Floyd made a breif appearance, and everyone was incredibly friendly, some a good bit friendlier than others. I suppose I should have kept track of how many HEYs we chanted in unison, but my abacus had been confiskated at the gate (everyone loves a good abacus joke, or even a bad one). I was completely limp by the end. It was nonstop energy and compleatly, neatly worth losing the love of my life. And that was Gogol. [Ed. Note- No piX, sry, 2 bzy gtn dn]
After waiting in the front row for 4 hours, Lorin Ashton (better known as Bassnectar) took the stage. After stating that this was the last summer festival he plays in 2011, the crowd started to go wild. Now I have seen Bassnectar three times before, but this show went harder than any show I'd seen before. It might've been because of absorbing the brunt of the huge subwoofers lining the stage, or because of the way he started his set. Using a horn sample from a Nine inch Nails song, he created a mashup between that and possibly his biggest new song from his new Divergent Spectrum EP, "The Matrix". The show continued to be a wild ride for all 90 minutes, me being a skinny 155 pound young adult, I wasn't in too much control of where I was moving due to the push of people trying to get as close to the stage as they possibly could. However, a great thing about Bassnectar shows is the fact that he has a crew of volunteers that tour with him and give out free water to the crowd to prevent people from passing out (Although several people still had to be carried out). The planners of North Coast '11 couldn't have picked a better act to close out the weekend, as the swells of people leaving Union Park were still rowdy as ever as they climbed the stairs headed to the Green Line.
|FO git yr puddn face, lessee that BASSFACE!!!|
Now back to our boring lonely lives....