adrian is rad


music festival roundup

Filed under: — adrian @ 1:36 pm

These roundup posts are pretty lame.

Two weekends in a row, I went to music festivals for no cost to me. I’m a big winner!

Last weekend I went to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 5 last weekend in Golden Gate Park and this Saturday (the 8th) I went to the Download Festival at Shoreline Ampitheater in Mountain View. The first is an annual free festival. The latter I got a staff ticket to from KZSU. This is the first year of the American version of the Download fetsival; it’s been over in the UK for a few years and it’s yet to be seen whether it’ll be annual here.

I went up last Saturday for the first day of HSB. I ran a bit late and it took me a while to find parking, so I got there just before Earl Scruggs went on. He was pretty fantastic. Classic bluegrass and some hot playing on all the instruments. Gillian Welch played a great set after that. She and Dave (Rawlings?) both played mostly guitar, but Gillian (Welch, not Amrhein, which I have to specificy because Amrhein seems to be confused about these things lately) also played some banjo (girl banjo players? so hot!) and harmonica. The crowd went nuts for her excellent cover of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.”

(I tried to go to HSB last Sunday too for Ralph Stanley, Ricky Skaggs and JD Crowe, but drove around for an hour and some not finding parking before I headed back. I lose!)

Saturday (the 8th), I went to the Download festival. There were a bunch of bands playing, but I showed up just before the Arcade Fire and stayed for Modest Mouse. Shoreline is sort of like a lot of those outdoor ampitheater places, with regular seating and lawn seating behind that. It’s not nearly as big as Starlake, for those of you who are familiar with it, but it can handle a good number of people (25,000, says the webpage). The Arcade Fire came on and did a thoroughly entertaining set. The people in the band seemed really energized, but, in a place that big, it’s hard to project the energy, I think. I’d like to see them again—this time in a small club, like the Great American Music Hall. (If you haven’t heard the Arcade Fire or need proof that their performances can just about bust open with energy, listen to this show from KEXP. These five songs are the first I heard from Arcade Fire and I’ve listened to this recording enough that I still think of these versions over the album versions in my head.) Modest Mouse came on and did a pretty good set. They didn’t seem to be really into it and I was feeling a bit tired so I left about 45 minutes into their set. They do a decent set, but I’ve seen them twice now, both times fairly similar, so I’ll probably won’t see them again.

3 Responses to “music festival roundup”

  1. Josh Says:

    Its not related to your post but I was just wondering if you have any of those wurlitzers left…let me know

  2. dolphio Says:

    I’m a big winner!

    You misspelled ‘wiener.’

  3. The Music Blog Says:


    Jokingly referred to as the White Stripes’ British album, Elephant is scattered with cultural references that give away the fact it was recorded far from home. Just listen to the lyrics on “Seven Nation Army” (“From the Queen of England to the houn…

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