I just spent the last 4 hours uploading all my photos from the Southern Comfort Music Festival. Normally I take a ton of pics and only put a few on my photobucket site, but I had such amazing access that I wanted to take as many pics as I could and thought I would make them all available for viewing.
I was a little bummed out that I hadn't heard back about my media request, but at 10:30 on Friday night, I got an e-mail letting me know I would have a media pass for the SCMX. Golden ticket. I've mentioned before that my friend was drumming for Z-Trip, too, so it was cool to hang out with him for the first time since December when he was in town with Mike Doughty. He called me around noon from Long Beach but he hit a ton of traffic, so I scrapped my plan to drive downtown, and instead took the bus to meet Pete at his favorite spot here, El Zarape. We drove to the venue and he had band parking right in front of Petco. He took off with the tour manager and I headed to the media table and grabbed my pass, bumping into Andrea as I walked through the gates.
Delta Spirit had already started and I missed the first three song photo op, so I just hung back bumping into plenty of friends. Delta Spirit translated well on the large stage and the sound was perfect. There weren't a lot of people there that early in the day, but it was good to see a lot of the people who are fans of DS there to show their love.
We were told by various people that there might be some VIP passes floating around, so after Delta Spirit and while Stranger played on the other stage, we tried to track some down. I thought I would point out that the program guide for the show listed the band as The Stranger's Six, though the pic and bio was for Stranger, the band that played. The Stranger's Six is a very different band than Stranger. just a note. We hung out at the CityBeat booth for a while, and M-Theory, too, then Galactic came on the big stage so I was off to take some pics.
Boots Riley of the Coup performed a few songs with Galactic and got the crowd riled up.
Mr. Lif also sang a couple tracks with the band and it was pretty great to see the New Orleans sounds of Galactic in the SoCo vibe of the event. (yes, beads everywhere.)
That was probably the hottest point of the day, so it was nice to get reprieve from the heat in shaded areas.
Natalie and I tracked down Marco Collins who was acting as MC for the event to thank him for getting us the media passes.
The Knee Highs played on the local stage and we were behind the stage as the theme from Growing Pains came on and the guys danced around to it in their backstage warmup.
The are hip hop act and they had great flow and onstage.
But we were on a mission, so we wandered around a bit more. I noticed that both gates seemed to have a lot more people pouring in and I heard the process was long and time consuming, but that was really the only complaint I heard about the event.
At that point in the day, the VIP area opened up. I was told that my media pass gave me access, but not the wristband that got three free drinks, so I finally got my hands on a VIP pass and got a wristband. It was a day full of text messaging and hunting people down, taking pictures and actually trying to enjoy the event.
I was running all over the place, but managed to get set up in time to take some pics of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
Pete messaged me that he was going to his car, so I met him out there and we listened to BRMC with the A/C on and just took some time to slow things down a bit. It was nice to sit still for a moment and be able to absorb the day for a minute.
We went back in through the VIP gate and I met up with Nat and Andrea and he took off to the backstage area. The VIP had catered food- some grilled veggies and chicken skewers, but those went quick, but I was happy with the mashed potato bar. Smart thinking there. Nothing better to soak up the liquor than some potatoes.
Z-Trip came on as the sun was finally setting. We were a little bummed because of the 3 song photo rule because Pete told me he wouldn't be on until the second half of the set. We tried to get special permission for photos when he came on but it "wouldn't be fair", so instead we had to find our way into the crowd, but people were surprisingly cool about letting us merge in with them. Z-Trip's set was amazing, mixing up classic tracks with modern stuff and getting the crowd nuts, particularly when he gave a big middle finger while slamming George Bush and a mosh pit broke out behind us while Z played Rage Against the Machine. Yes, a pit. During a DJ set. Who knew?
We were kinda anxious, wanting a drink in such a bad way but the set was long.
The crowd went nuts when various guests came out with Z-Trip and then finally Pete made his way onto the stage.
He has always been an amazing drummer and in this outlet could really shine with long solos while Z was offstage.
After catching him for a bit, we went back to the VIP, actually exiting through the main gate and reentering through the VIP area to avoid the crowds. Some friends were near the front of the booze line, so I got a couple drinks and chilled out for a bit. We ran into Marco who got us the VVIP wristbands that allowed people on the side platform during the band, but we were just happy to have more drink tickets since the bartenders were demanding them. We ladies love our free bevvies.
That's me and Marco. It was my first time meeting him in person, but definitely not the last. He was so cool and appreciative of our blogging thing and just a happy guy despite how much work he had to do to coordinate his portion of the event.
After having our drinks, Natalie and I made our way back to the photo pit where the Flaming Lips were already onstage getting all their equipment set up, so we missed Scarlet Symphony on the local stage. There was just no way to be everywhere.
I got all giddy getting to be so close to the action for the Lips.
Halloran and Boomer from FM 94/9 finally made their way out to introduce the Flaming Lips. I noticed the deflated plastic bubble on the side of the stage, so I called Natalie over to post up for the grand bubble entrance.
The bubble passed right over my head as Wayne made his way back onstage.
The show was amazing, though typical Flaming lips fare... dancing santas and aliens, the go-go academy girls onstage, confetti and fog machines...
Wayne is such a sexy man, I couldn't stop taking pics. Eventually, though, our three songs were up, so we went out the front gate where another couple hundred people were still trying to get into the event.
We finished up the night in the VIP area, where I felt bad for the bartender who was still busting his ass. They ran out of everything except Jack and SoCo, so I ordered to double Jack n cokes, though actually had to get two singles and two shots and then dump the shots in.
There were a lot of people behind the scenes who made the event possible, so credit to CityBeat, SoCo, the promoters, FM 94/9 and all the other people who made the day happen without a glitch.
I had the pass for the platform, but it was at capacity, so I just hung out as the night wrapped up. Pete had left, but called to find out if I knew of any vegetarian places where he could grab food, so I left before the show ended to meet him and we headed to La Posta for some quesadillas then he drove me home. He got a really cool poster from the show and gave me a smaller version of it that I will proudly hang in my home when I can get it properly framed.
Pete had a flight today out of LA, so after we ate, he took off and I couldn't believe it was still not even 11 o'clock. I met some friends over the Ken Club and closed out the night at the bar, then my neighbors came over again and again stayed up till the sun was coming up. Needless to say I was beat today and have been on this computer for the last 8 hours getting all my pics posted up. Now I'm beat once again and have to spend tomorrow getting serious about my job hunt, so if anyone has any leads, send them my way. My Things to Do list will be posted tomorrow afternoon. Hope everyone had as great a weekend as I did.