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By Lee Ranaldo, 1995.
3 July 1995
Out to the Gorge at George today for first day of Lolla r'sals. Beck onstage as we pulled in, new band, playing that great Blackhole song. We had to hang around a few hours as our crew got it slowly together, did some interviews, some RollingStone, some MTV, some E!. Ho hum - but the Gorge is spectacular, like playing a gig with the Grand Canyon as yr backdrop, and the day was beautiful hot and sunny after we cruised over the Cascades from rainy Seattle, leaving the wet behind. We played here almost exactly a month ago with REM, and this place is amazing. Driving east over the mtns leaves the green forests behind and suddenly yr in desert country, like Montana or Wyoming, rolling scrub mesas which must stretch all the way to the Badlands of Dakota.
The sun set most excellently behind us as we ran through songs for our show. This was the most absurdly long r'sal we've ever had, maybe. We need some practice with some of the older material we hope to play. Ran through all the new songs from just completed Washing Machine album. Most of these we were playing with REM last month but still in the interim they got a little rusty. Once through and they were all prtty much back in shape. Then we worked backwards from there, through Experimental songs,Dirty (100%, Sugar Kane), Goo (Mote), and beyond to Daydream, et al.Pretty much songs from every record we've done. We ended up being thrown off stage by the local crew at 11 p.m. after being up there for almost six hours. I guess after our last two numbers - World Looks Red and a hilarious Confusion is Next - they couldn't take it anymore. That may have been the only time we play Confusion on this tour, but it was way cool and funny as hell to do. What a blast from another time, punk rock past.
The lights, what we saw of them, looked totally amazing. All kinds of swirling shapes and colors wheeling around us. They built for us these large strobe spheres which will hang over the stage, but strong winds today prevented the crew from hanging the things. They look cool though.
It was kind of very Tap-like, us on stage all evening working our way through all these songs to an empty field. A fitting opening evening. Long drive back to Seattle, millions of starrs overhead, Cody crashed in the back seat. Time to sleep.
4 July 1995
Hello fr Seattle:
Perched on the opening eve here, all set to blow across America. last night we had the sickest r'sal out at the gorge - sorta like a miniature grande canyon; we must have been onstage for five or six hours as this amazing sunset unfolded behind us, until we were all punch-drunk from the noble endeavor of trying to learn some of the old material (and remember all of the new!) for the kids. Ended up playing a crazy nostalgic (and possible one time only) version of CONFUSION IS NEXT in full-on 1982 hardkore assault mode, under a canopy of more stars than I've seen in ages.
Anyway, yes, this is the 520c talkin at ya; I love it and computers in general more than a person should. See ya soon, will hold you a copy of our new BOOKSTORE till then - I did get you a ROAD MOVIES, I hope...
PS I'm doing a bi-weekly diary of this lollapalooza tour for Rolling Stone Online, which is Compuserve, I believe, but I'll probably post it in other SY forums as well.
5 July 1995
First show/finally here. Pulled in to the strains of Bosstones and Jesus Lizard but didn't get to the stage until Beck was on. First we were way up top, returning from the 'Mindfield', and it sounded and looked kinda weird and far away, but as we drew closer the whole thing came into focus.Sound was pretty good; Gorge backdrop cannot be beat, so it didn't matter that it was too windy for anyone to use their backdrops today.
Beck's new band is pretty happening. Rocking bass playr named Abby - she was all over the stage. He's also got a keyboard playr now, with old-style synths and stuff which is cool. Sinead was next and although I wasn't too close to the stage her voice was soaring out over the whole place and it sounded good - crowd was into it. I heard she has her young son out with her, but he and Cody did not meet today.
It was so good to see Pavement again (we shared dressing rooms as well) -they were great! Wot a bunch of guys - I have officially challenged their tennis squad vs. Sonix as soon as the opportunity arises. I especially enjoyed a new song that Scott sings called 'Kennel District'.
Cypress rocked the house with a 20' inflatable Buddha on stage amongst other inflatables, smokables, etc. They're proselytizing for the cause...B Real and Sen all over the front of the stage. During Hole's set Courtney kept pulling (mostly) girls out of the pit to the stage until about 15-20 kids were sitting up onstage in front of their amps for the duration of the show. Later, during ours, she socked Kathleen Hanna in the mouth, an incredibly unfortunate move which I truly hope is not the first of many across a long summer.
We came on just as the sun went down and the lights came up. A couple of songs into the set we were doing some really noisy stuff like 'Starfield Road' and I found myself thinking that this whole thing was not going to fly - these audiences were not going to stay with this music - but they did and we had a totally rocking set. After playing 40 minute warmup sets for REM it felt good to get a full length one in, to stretch out and have time to move from one place to the next. Ended (encore) with Teenage Riot, sparklers alight in the crowd, a most appropriate song to close Independence Day, first show. Here we come Amerika. Grab hold and hang on.
9 July 1995
Back in Denver, were here only one month ago with REM. Left Seattle this morning, Cody flew on from here to NYC. I'm gonna miss him terribly. He hadn't had the chance to come out on tour in awhile, and now I think he understands it more than before. He was totally into Beck and Cypress (for a bit, but did not get all the pot references, and thought they used the F word too much...), he likes that heavy beat stuff, and confessed that we often seemed like "a lot of noises and stuff".
Show tonight was weird. I spoke a bit with Courtney, as did T-stone, I think. It would be cool if she would cool it and be cool with all the cool cats and kittens so everything would be kool. Real talk helps cut gossip. Beck's birthday today. Good cake! His tour mgr was having trouble with his laptop and Courtney, only minutes offstage, walks up and fixes it in a minute after he'd been struggling for half and hour.
We got here as Pavement were on so saw the end of their set - last song, belted out by Bob Nast., was totally great. Finally had a minute today to talk to the Jesus Lizard guys. It is way cool that they are on the tour. I heard Yow was sitting singing in the front row seats, and pinching the nipples of the bouncers while he sang with pants undone! Met my first Bosstone, too. Still no Sinead, though.
The sound here tonight wasn't the greatest. All this behind the scenes stuff - what kind of PA gets hired, etc. - has so much effect on the shows, and it's now all a given. I hope it's okay. People keep saying we sound pretty good, and I know Terry (our soundman) is always doing a good job out front. Sometimes it's hard to tell from the stage, though. Tonight the stage was dead and somehow it was a weird show for us all, I think. 'Half a bubble off plumb', I think the phrase goes. I couldn't
concentrate on the set, found my mind wandering to all sorts of things - authenticity on stage, headlining this big fest thing, does anybody get it, are we getting across. Wished my mind woulda just stuffed up so I could lay back and play the songs. The Gorge set first day still holds as best so far.
Some of the Fluid guys were around today. Good to see them. I still haven't seen Doo Rag yet as they go on so early in the day, and we so late. Tomorrow we hang in Denver then fly at night to KC. Maybe see Burroughs again? Probably not this time.
At some point I assume we'll forget all the trappings of this tour (I hope so) and just play it for kicks. Maybe in KC...
9 July 1995
the cultivated nonchalance
of person against person
silence personal hate
turn that anger off first and
save clear mind for forward-gaze
Spent the day cruising Sunday Denver, not much open. Had super-good mexi-meal at El Taco.
10 July 1995
Kansas City, MO
Late now, we just got here. Today as we cruised Denver we were checking out the local radio to be had. We heard Bush, Filter and Weezer each at least three times - in a few hours time, all on the same station! I just can't figure it out, I know these are not the adventurous stations,they're not trying for FMU-like status underground, but listening to that AOR stuff adds just another layer to this whole summer tour -that big time commercial station music - MTV music, Sam Goody Music, (Rolling Stone music?) - I don't wanna here about the products they're offering, don't wanna know nuthin' about it. It almost seems like a world that can accept all this mediocre stuff and not just accept it but seek it out - we don't exist in that world, we're other, outside, exempt, excluded, all of us- most of us - on this tour. Give me something uniquely f***ed up anyday over status quo/ cookie cutter/ endorsement rock.
Been reading about Pink Floyd and Tim Buckley in Mojo. Already filtered out by history/hindsight. People magazine says Eva Gabor and Wolfman Jack both dead. Listening to Can demos, Fahey, Laughner, and Sabbath in the van today. Hit El Taco again before leaving town.
11 July 1995
Kansas City, Kansas
Not a cloud in the sky today / KC / I looked skyward thru scorching heat above the stage and felt some great milky-bleu canopy hanging over us,while Pavement dripped, S.M. straying into the shadows whenever a solo came, and punched out all the hits. Heat! Grave Arch.! Cut Yr Hair! Rattled, Range! But cut Box Elder (the first hit)!
I marvel at Bob N.'s clutch role - claves, Moog, good 2nd (or third) vox (not backup!), cowbell, tamb., harmonica - you name it / kitchen sink - all incidental, all crucial to the total mix; in a band where each role adds so much to the whole, as a band always should. Never has a band managed willful obscurantism alongside pure pop power since Beefheart,p'raps. These guys know the score. S.M., Spiral, Bob, Mark, Steve; their names writ large in cloudless Kansas sky, 98x.
Hole sounded really good tonight, in between pauses. What would a tour like this be without a real rockband? Eric has six cabinets! Courtney seems fascinated by what makes girls climb on their boyfriend's shoulders and show their 'tits' to the crowd. They closed with 'Olympia', which was
great w noisy end, C handing gtr & mic stands into crowd, chaos fr Eric's Police Siren thing,
We had a pretty good show tonight, really shook up the set order as I hope we do often just so nothing gets too rehearsed, too pro. Lots of good moments onstage - best show since Seattle.
it's gonna be fun from here on out.
13 July 1995
enroute Indy to Columbus
I'd forgotten the bus rides. Steve and Pete and I are on the bus now with the crew rolling to Columbus, middle of the night, flat brown landscape around. On plane today fr St. Louis I could see the big brown river snake back and forth on itself winding all thru these flats. This was all a vast
sea once, and from the air the fields still looked wet from spring floods, as though river water lurked just below the surface of the soil.
Hung out in the Mindfield a bunch today. Checked out Coolio, Yo La, some folks on the "lab" stage making a racket like Buttholes circa '87. Hung in the film tent awhile. They were playing all sorts of stuff, from biker movie trailers to Kurasowa bits, animated stuff, something that looked like a Bruce Conner film (but wasn't, I don't think).
Pavement got a ping pong table today. Backstage life evolves. All these people travelling together, running to and fro, it takes a couple weeks just to note most of the faces. At one point today our dressing room was jumping with Beck and crew fresh offstage, hot, a few Pavmnts and some others, some jumping music was blastin on the box, suddenly everyone was talking at once and making carrot juices and asking for sake. coffee table ping pong Malkmus is wearing indoor soccer shoes bathing suits Beck's backdrop is a country boy playing his pipes amongst the sheep, with birds flying in sky blue sky, blown up from a tee shirt, he said. As quickly it evporated and everyone went somewhere else...
Steve said Sen Dog was asking if we were going to join Cypress for 'I Love You Mary Jane'... Doo Rag set up late in the day, after their real set, in front of the men's bathroom or something, and did an impromptu set, which I also missed! (See Thurston's diary / SpinOnline, for the report, I think)This was their last day along, but Thermos told me he thought they might play in AZ near the end of the tour. Hope so. Watt coming on board later as well...
13 July 1995
What does one do in sm town on day off fr big rok toor? Walk streets w shops deserted by fair weather students off home fer the summa; no-one in the coffee shops but strung out street people bummin money fer beer; concrete so hot my Purcells melt and I hafta climb outa them/hop barefoot like a swami on coals back to the rental car. Record stores, paperbacks, stray bluehair punks on bicycles, Thai food; late night: movie w Yo La Tengo, or tennis under lights maybe? Sleepalot.
14 July 1995
You don't know how much those Dylan albums mean to me. It's wonderful that a record like Blonde still holds up so well. I was tempted to chide you for not already knowing it, but then thought how nice it is that such music is there when a person is ready for it. I've come to so many records long after they were released, and been astonished by them.
Another of my early faves is the fourth one: Another side of... It's very simple but has some amazing stuff on it, and was I believe a very risky album at that pt in his career: instead of making a carefully tuned album to capitalize on his success he threw a curve ball and recorded a very casual album with lots of gorgeous hidden poetics: the first hint of his awesome wordplay. Check out "Chimes of Freedom, To Ramona, and My Back Pages".
Blood on the Tracks is the first of the great later records, simple great. I suspect you've already found this out. Desire, the followup, is also so very good, to me.
Joni for me is about the first four or five LP's: JM, Song to a Seagull,Ladies of the Canyon, Blue (prob my most favorite - few albums more perfect have ever been made), and For the Roses. Court and Spark was next and after that it all got farther from my tastes (and most of her audience's as well).
I myself am boning up on vintage Pink Floyd (!), and reading their bio "Saucerful of Secrets", to justify all the references to them I'm making in interviews about our new album! Also listening to such obscura as the latest Silver Jews CD (a Pavement literary offshoot), Lou Barlow's collection called "Losing Losers", which is real good, and stuff like Perez Prado, which Steve is turning us all onto, Esquivel, and Kendra Smith's new record.
More later about our project, etc... Have the tulips all come and gone? Are you into full on Dutch summer?
PS We play Barcelona Sept 9 (a festival). The Spanish promoter is throwing into the deal week-long holidays for us all, and Leah, etc. She and I plan to travel to south Spain and Morocco, I hope. We have a Joujouka connection we'd like to explore...
15 July 1995
Finally saw a full Jesus Lizard Set today; they were combusting onstage at two in the afternoon, and all of twenty kids were up against the barricades watching them. Sure, maybe there were 1000 people sitting out in the seats but it felt so empty. Streams of people milling by as if on their way to the beach, ice pops in hand, oblivious to Yow and co. playing furiously not fifty feet away.
These seated venues are a drag. All these shows should be general admission,at least. The people with the seats are off in the fields somewhere, and kids who would be up against the stage can't get in because they bought the cheaper 'lawn tickets'. This is stupid. Why ask all these reputable bands to play and then set it up so kids who want to see them can't get down front to do so? Same thing happened with Pavement. I sat 8th row centre for their whole show today - they certainly win my vote for the band that most holds my interest day after day. A set like today, once a day, and I'll die happy.They are stellar starlight walkers, playing true music, not just songs but interactive sound sculptures too. Reminded me of the chills I used to get watching Television, although quite different. Again, empty seats and a highly distracting milling about quotient going on while they played.
Luckily, I was close enough to ignore it.
We have been in the middle of an intense heat wave. This whole town stinks like something died, and the thick heavy air won't move around. Onstage it seemed the sound was slow leaving the amps, it couldn't go anywhere in the dense heat. It sounded shitty onstage and we broke the string of the last few very good shows with a difficult one tonight. It was one of those shows that had some very good moments, real high points aurally, and other abysmal out-of-time / can't-hear-each-other / who's-leading-who mood-disrupters. The crowd was into it anyway, seemed to dig it.
16 July 1995
I dunno, it must be the heat - it was record breaking 108x in Chicago two days ago - but it's easy to find things to fault at the moment. We were cruising Chicago's near north side yesterday looking for Mexican food and listening to the radio. Earlier in the day we had heard some really cool toons from the local college station, but now we were listening to the big "commercial alternative" station, which all yr major labels suck up to these days. Two rabid DJs -Steve and 'Zoltar' - our at the Lollapalooza site were broadcasting throughout the day. They were out in the Mindfield talking to kids and interviewing band members. For many of the young kids here these gigs are their first concert experiences - weird way to start a concert-going career.
Anyway, in between the segments with these two guys we're back to the station proper which is playing Bush, Filter, Weezer, Asphalt - in brief, all this music that has absolutely nothing to do with what's going on out at the site.Are they playing the latest Jesus Lizard, who are elder statesmen/kings of this city's scene? Not on yr fucking life. They don't have any relationship to most of the bands out there - maybe they'll play Doll Parts or the new Bosstones single, and maybe they played Insane in the Membrane last year, but you'll never catch them spinning the Lizard or a Pavement tune or Yo Lo or Stereolab or anything but the 'single' by any of the bands they do play.Maybe they played Loser but you'll never hear Beck's great Blackhole or One Foot in the Grave, or much good music of any sort at all. Dead C? Brise Glace? Forget it.
Okay, so maybe they play us once in a great while, but basically their playlist as we heard it was so divorced from any notion of what we consider the "scene" as to be from another planet. They commodified 'grunge' last year and are now in the process of doing the same with this year's model,spoon feeding impressionalbe kids, selling Coke and Burger King under the guise of 'modern rock'. We were cringing song after song, yet listening on in the sad stunned knowledge that this is the music that Amerika is listening to. The bastard spawn of music television. I don't listen to this kind of radio at home, so it's only on tour, in rentacars, that I experience the horror which it is.
Same goes for the crowds at the shows. Maybe last year the kids were drawn by the Beastie's and Pumpkin's bona fide commercial success, but this year there are certainly lots of people ('all those jocks" according to this morning's indie journalist) who are just there for the event. They don't know what half this music is about at all. All I can say is the lines are more clearly drawn than ever (I know, as if they weren't already crystal clear). In two months this will just have been another tour; but who the audience is, and who it isn't, and the fackt that those big zombie commercial stations have nothing whatsoever to do with what we (as a scene) are interested in, will hit home harder than ever before. And don't get me started about the wet tee-shirt / hickey contests and such going on out at the second stage. What's up with this shit? Why do the crowds lap it up instead of burning down the fucking canopy? So whuddaya do with a revolution?
It's not the size of the shows that are the problem - it's cool to rock a big venue now and again - but just the way it's set up. The whole ticketed seats thing is such a bad idea, so stupid, and the fact that they've kept it up year after year instead of finding general admission venues, is pathetic.
Great bands (esp. this year) are invited to play, and paid well (which they should be), but they don't tell ya that you're really just sideshow entertainment during the afternoon browze of jewelry stands and food tents;or that the kids who really want to see you all bought the cheap 'lawn' tix,so that's them way out there, trying to squint thru the glare for a glimpse as you kick out yr set.
Meanwhile, as I've said, I've seen all these bands play real good (can I mention Pavement again, who after all the shows I've seen them do, still hold my rapt attention?) sets and try to overlook the faults of the situation. As we took the stage last night the weather broke with a brief lightning storm - raindrops flicking down on us, our strobes going off onstage being echoed by lighting flashing over the hills behind the crowd. It looked pretty cool,glancing out during Starfield Road. Chicago gave us a warm response, and stuck with all the twists and turns of the set, which was a pretty good one.
Afterwards I bailed to the DoubleDoor club to take part in this "Five with Six" evening, performing solo alongside Rick Rizzo (11th Dream Day), Bruce Anderson (MX-80 Sound), Steve Wynn (Dream Syndicate), and Elliott Sharp, set up by Kurt Kellison at Atavistic. It was a bit disorienting stepping from the one world to the next, and I felt my set merely serviceable,unfortunately, but the club had the good vibe, and interested folks with open ears. Tonight we shall see Yo Lo Tengo there with Laika opening.
20 July 1995
Whew! The last days have been so tiring and hectic, running around Chicago,the Cincinnati show and all the goings on there, and Detroit tonight, it's going to take a minute to recap it all and get back on track here.
Chicago was a nice break, a couple of days off. Just relaxed the first day,basically. This tour, with all the flights and such, takes a lot out of me,so I'm trying to run around to record stores, etc., less, and just spend some more time sleeping, reading, (and going online!).
Sinead Off the Tour
During our second day off in Chicago Peter (our tour mgr) told me that he had heard that Sinead was leaving the tour. Big news! It seems the word is that she is pregnant, which was known going into the tour, but she didn't know how strenuous it would be. Only Sinead will know what the true reasons are. I had just spoken to her for the first time the day before, backstage, briefly.She seemed very low energy and despondent. Kind of worn out from the ordeal.And it is an ordeal, this tour, all the traveling and schedules. You end up spending lots of time at the site, much moreso than a normal gig - this tour eats up yr life for six weeks. There's no escape from all the goings on.
Word backstage is that she didn't really tell anyone, officially, that she was leaving. Just said she wasn't feeling well, and that she was going to miss Cincinnati, see us in Detroit. The next day it's in USA Today, and the following day the promoters are still saying they hadn't heard officially,although Courtney - who had recently been bonding with her about various things domestic - said she left the hotel barefoot, with just a credit card in her jeans, and headed for the airport, taking a circuitous route through Texas, back to Ireland, home. The following day a cargo crew comes to pick up her gear, and that was it.
The odd thing is that, after Hole, she was garnering the most press attention, which can't have been bad for her career at this point. There's not much for the press to really write about most of the bands. The rest of us are not media celebs, and we let the music do the talking most of the
time. There are no flashy shows or really noteworthy debacles going on - we're here for the music and that's where our energy goes. Most of the rock critics would rather focus on personality than talk about music, which they are only sometimes equipped to do. So yr Newsweek's, etc., focus on Courtney as their one bona fide celebrity. Sinead was next, I guess. The rest of us are mostly just current/former indie rockers tryna make some beautiful noise.
Newsweek turned their Lolla piece into a Courtney personality piece. Steve(Shelley) was quoted as saying that it's "like a soap opera every day", and the writer implied that he said she was equivalent to Axl Rose. Well this is funny for two reasons, the first being that there is no love btw Miss Love and Axl, stemming from some awards show Nirvana was on a few years back, and two, because Steve, who likes to stay away from trouble, was told of his quotes (basically the only thing he said to the writer, who was mainly talking to Kim) and became horrified that he would be in the sights of Courtney's next tirade! This was amusing for a day or so backstage ("Here she comes, Steve!"), and C. later said she took way more offense at the writer that at any attributed quotes. Smart.
David Yow Arrested
The other big news with which we were hit when we arrived at the next day's gig in Cincinnati was that David Yow had been arrested for exposing himself during the Jesus Lizard's set, in broad daylight at like, three o'clock in the afternoon. The cops waited till he came offstage, and then took him away. Bond was posted and it's now a court dispute to be dealt with in the future. He was back by the time we came off stage. Pavement's drummer Steve West claimed it was 'pretty graphic'. The local paper claimed he did things with the mic stand that "could not be described in a family newspaper"!!!
Well Awright David!
Now I thought this was great, for a few reasons. Firstly, because it meant that the Lizard was finally getting comfortable on the tour! And secondly,because here was an example of someone else than Courtney in the jester's position, fueling the media's hot breath. But did Yow's arrest make the
papers? Barely, as far as I can see. A little box on page 12 of the Cinncy Enquirer, that's all (under a review of the days events which stopped with Beck's performance because obviously the interviewer had a deadline and it wasn't important to stay and see the bands. Typical bullshit. Well, what am I expecting, Option? Rollerderby?)
Needless to day, the festival organizers were none too pleased with the happenings of the last few days. A little excitement. For the last couple of shows we've all gotten longer sets, whilst they figure out what to do. I am happy to report that they seem committed to replacing Sinead as soon as possible. Many acts have been under discussion, from Elastica to Alanis Morissette, Tami and the Amps (Kim Deal's new one), GBV, Pennywise (the kids will have their say!), even Prince! Wouldn't that be wild? Prince? Between Beck and Pavement? Wow. I hope they get somebody soon who will add to the rock quotient of the bill, and the fun factor for us all backstage. It should be public knowledge in the next few days.
Everyone seems to be rocking pretty good at the moment. Cypress have been having some really good shows (pot to the people, right on!). They definitely have the biggest bong on tour, that's for sure. Today was Yo Lo Tengo's last one. Braniac, Moby, Pharcide, and the Geraldine Fibbers (Carla who sings on Watt's record's band) have all just come aboard.
Late late sleep sleep More later, peeps...
24 July 1995
enroute Toronto- Boston
We're high above New England now, skimming across the top of a seamless layer of dense cloud cover. Again the hectic schedule of the last few days has prevented me from keeping track here of the goings on. As a tour like this one goes on, things tend to settle in. I had heard through my contact at Rolling Stone that Jann wants more "juicy" bits. Well, on the one hand, such dirt exists. Yeah, backstage intrigue, all sorts of things going on! Tour enemies, tour romance, drug buddies, fist fights, badminton... But basically we're all in this together and some stuff will have to remain behind the scenes, kiddies. As I was trying to say to a journalist the other day, it's easy for their kind to come swooping in for a day or two, grab all the info they can and 'report' it with no regard to anyone's feelings, as they don't have to return the next day to look anyone in the eye. But we, all of us who are doing online journals, and that includes Thurston, Beck, Courtney, Yow,Malkmus, etc.; we have to return each day and say hello and we are, well,part of a *community* of sorts, yes we are, so minor infractions will remain unreported here.
What the fuck has been going on here?? For a minute the other day I though there was nothing left to write about except Courtney coming out of the crowd topless and not getting arrested for it in Cleaveland, but then Toronto:Bosstones come out dancing, Dickie calming the mud flingers by inciting them to pogo, "just like we did in 1977!", and it worked, whole crowd jumping up and down!; Yow leaping the barrier headfirst into the crowd during first song, sang the rest surfing the manic crowd. Fourth song Bosstone horn section - Kevin, Dennis and Johnny - join tha Lizard to pump out a jazz-inflected (infected) shard; followed by Beck with a great new slow song "Plague", before he shined the nickel (that's 'Loser' to you).
This was the largest crowd to date, like 36,000 rabid fans. And a field show, at last! No goddamn seats! So the crowd crushed up to the stage, no stupid security checking tickets (too many Lolla shed shows this year - frustrating everyone) and out comes... ELASTICA! First show!! We had all gathered 'round in back earlier to welcome them aboard and somehow it got everyone talking together today backstage, and hanging out, w good vibes all around. They totally rocked! It was so cool to see them come out and 'one-two-three-four' bust into one power/pop/rock numba after another. All these great bursts of song, just what this tour needed in the middle of the day. Wow, pretty rockin' fer Brits! Pavement up next doing what only Pavement can do; Laika, Geraldine Fibbers (cow-punk?), Moby driving a huge crowd to crazy dancing, and Beck in another stellar second stage solo set;Cypress pumpin tha bass and handin out Hits To The Bong, Hole with great version of the most perfect cover song, Paul Westerberg's 'Unsatisfied',which I love so much.
We, us, oursonicselves, were kinda fried from so much rock all day and skrewed up a bit the first few numbers but then it came together (sort of).We ended with extra long 'Diamond Sea' with truly wigged end sections that just went on and on fr one planet to tha next. Felt good and stretchy by the time it was done.
There's some issues I wanna address, maybe in the next few posts: One is rock critics and particularly one in Chicago who is brought to my attention as a particular non-supporter of our band, who wrote some unfavorable (and untrue) stuff about our Chi gig, and about crowds leaving during our set: well, we're last and of course some folks are burnt and reaching for their car keys and don't need sonic architecture after Cypress funk,Hole pop, and a long day of rock; that's cool, we know we're a taste not for all, not radio friendly, not video beautiful. Most people stay and seem to dig it; we've figured out the stage sound, etc., and playing is pretty comfortable at this point. Each slot in the day has it's up and down side - early on everyone's wandering the fields instead of paying attention, lastly people are gettin itchy to go... Pay yr money, take yr choice: the music exists in the minds of those who observe - the rest are back inside car radios and teevee blare.Some critics equate audience size with musical value, and that's a short step off a tall ledge.
I also want to get into a singular indulgent post centered around our show (and maybe new alb) just for information's sake and an insider's view (for those who care, and I know that's not all y'all, s'okaye).
Lastly, I wanna tell who I heard may be appearing on the second stage for surprise sets in NYC, but it's too grand to be true, so let's wait and see, shall we?
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