Bunker Sunday
APW Friday Pics

All Points West - Day 2

DSC08001After the rains hit again this morning, I decided to bail on day 3 of APW, which gave me some time (not enough!) to edit pics and reflect on yesterday's proceedings. Two standouts: Gogol Bordello played their unique blend of gypsy punk with an insane amount of energy, frontman Eugene Hutz clutching a liter of wine and bouncing around the stage like a man possessed. The audience responded by ululating and splashing around in the mud like happy pigs. An immense improvement over my first experience hearing them in Austin last year, where I was far further back in the audience.

For me, though, the great highlight of the festival was the appearance of the recently-reunited My Bloody Valentine, making their only stateside appearance this year. (Apparently, they also played Richmond, VA on Thursday.) It was, without exception, one of the loudest, most overpowering shows I've ever experienced. (Everyone near where I was standing wore earplugs.) At times, it sounded like a machine gun going off in your ear; at others, like ambient techno. They concluded their set with a low guttural drone that went on for what seemed like ten minutes, until a staffer signaled to Kevin Shields it was time to get a move-on. At which point it just got louder, erupting across the field like the roar of a 777. The only comparisons I can make come from far outside the rock realm: Ligeti's Volumina; Stockhausen's Gruppen; The Great Noise of Tenebrae. All of which would likely be lost on the Tool fans, who offered up the single-finger salute throughout.

Speaking of Tool, whatever musical merit their two-hour alterna-metal set held was lost on me, as I was focused on not getting knocked into the mud by the fans who preferred to show their appreciation by wailing forearms and fists into everyone around them, regardless of size or gender. I'd say I'm getting too old for this crap, except that it's always been crap to me.