Monday, September 22, 2008

Street Scene 2008 Photos: Day 1

So I loved Street Scene this year. Yes, there were the positives...back downtown has that urban feel people in San Diego long for...and the I drank a goddamn energy drink that made me feel like shit for the entirety of Saturday, but I endured. Not one band's set disappointed, the sound was great on every stage (and during The National I didn't experience the bleed people spoke of because I hung on the left side of the stage) and the ins and outs plus a photo pass plus hanging with friends who were OK to let me run off on my own but still hang out when it was time to call it a night made it an amazing weekend. I will attempt to write a little about everything I saw and experienced, but mostly, since I uploaded, I wanna post the pics, so after the jump, you can see my version of Street Scene 2008.

On Friday I was rearing to go but my friends took a little bit longer to motivate, so I did my thing at my place, then hopped on the bus to Petro and Kris' house while we waited for others to meet up. We had some beers, then some shots at Rosie O'Grady's before finally catching the bus downtown. It's a long ride, but it was fun being with a group of friends.

The busride to downtown

I was told my photo pass fell through, but while I was waiting to hand off tickets to a friend who was coming from LA, I thought I might as well try and see if the list went through, and sure enough, while not granted a full media pass, I was handed a photo pass. The lines at that point were chaos, but there was a media line and I cruised right in. MGMT were about to start, and that stage was crowded, but some way, some how, I squished my body through hoardes of people to make it up to the photo pit in time for their set. The band looked happy and healthy which was great, since the last time I saw them they looked a bit shellshocked and worn down.


After the first three songs, as photographers were kicked out of the pit, I wanted nothing to do with the Zarabunda Stage, and wormed my way right back out, listening to a few songs from the very back of the stage area. I think of all the bands on the weekend, they were most inappropriately placed as far as stage and time go because they were incredibly popular.

I wandered to The Casbah stage and caught Foals within the 3 song allotment. This band is so incredible and I feel like they'll endure while other flash in the pan bands come and go. They're so entertaining and energetic on stage.


After Foals, I wandered to a beer garden to wait for TVOTR, but the lines were insane. It was about 7 and we had about 45 minutes, and I convinced Jake and Dagart to leave with me. We hopped on a cab and had drinks at Chee Chee, and made it back in time for TV On The Radio. I took pics of them at shows prior, despite them making kind of a big deal about no photos, which always makes me nervous that there will be a big Band of Horses or QOTSA outburst from the band, but with that in mind, I was among probably 40 photographers in the pit, and Kip made eye contact with me as they played and gave me a head nod and a smile, shirking my fear of bearded guys that hate photographs. Their set was incredible and they definitely delivered, though I could say that about pretty much every band I saw throughout the weekend.

TV On The Radio

After TVOTR, I made my way to Spoon's stage and posted up in a spot. There were so many photographers that I decided to only shoot 2 songs per band then move along so I wouldn't get bullied for using a point and shoot cybershot amongst all the crazy media peeps with gigantic lenses. I've seen Spoon so many times now but it never gets old. Britt blows me away. And with a full horn section, their set really rocked.


After Spoon, I was done with the big stages and wanted to catch the Casbah stage again, since I think it had been nearly two years since I'd seen Devotchka. I guess their Eastern European sound kinda takes me back to my Polish roots and listening to polkas with my dad as a kid, and there is something about their sound that, while still indie rock, brings an element of tradition to it. They sounded amazing, but the lighting didn't work out so much for my P&S or PoS camera, depending on how you look at it.


Last, I made my way back to the nightmare chaos stage to worm my way through the crowd for Vampire Weekend. I still love this band, despite their unfortunate overhype and subsequent backlash. They make me happy, and when I met them all in the past, they were all sweet and humble guys just enjoying the ride while they can. Can't knock them for that.

Vampire Weekend

After Vampire Weekend, I attempted Beck but was rejected for not having a secondary special photo pass, which pretty much made me give a big middle finger and skip his performance. I guess with Beck I'm a fairweather fan. I only own/like Sea Change, and the last time I saw him at RIMAC I was bored to bits, so I wandered.

I did make one more stop at The Casbah stage for Antibalas who played furiously and had a great political message to their music, not to mention being the only band I danced to all night.


And that was the end of our Street Scene adventure. I caught a ride with Dagart and Jake and we hit the Chee Chee for a while after the show, then went to the Ken. It was a punk night there and it was packed and I ran into a bunch of friends there, so afterward a couple of them came over thinking we'd have a full on after party, but everyone else bailed I guess. Still we had a good time catching up and I finally crashed out around 4 am. Entirely not enough sleep for Saturday's festivities, but such is my life sometimes. I'll post a Day Two recap soon.

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