Monday, September 07, 2009

Street Scene 2009, Day 2

What a week/weekend. I never got around to posting about day two of Street Scene for a couple reasons. One, the week just kinda got away from me with shows, some small projects, and family in town, sometimes that just happens. The greater reason was that perhaps I was a little bitter. I went back to Street Scene on Saturday ready for another action packed day, and instead found out that because of complaints, point and shoot cameras were not allowed in the photo pits. I honestly don't know how the situation could've been handled better because it is true that WAY too many people had photo passes, but I was irritated nonetheless. Then I realized I was kinda off the hook. Where Friday I was running around from stage to stage to stage and not really spending any real time watching any one band or hanging out with friends, on Saturday I was free to do whatever I wanted. That meant seeing fewer bands but for longer portions of their sets, bumping into and hanging out with a bunch of friends, and enjoying the way the beer garden was split right down the middle of the parking lot for the two main stages, Felana and Felano. So all in all, that worked out to be a pretty fun day.

Sidenote- since I was only allowed to take photos from the crowd for the most part (despite a media wristband and photo pass), Natalie sent over some of her leftover photos. I realize by juxtaposing her photos with mine, the harshness of my pictures is even more apparent, but you get the idea. If you want to see more of Natalie's photos, check them out on or on her blog when she posts them. As for the other 100 photographers? No idea where you can find their photos so they can all bite me.

As I said, I had a fun day regardless. Read about it if you 'keep on reading'.

The day kicked off on the main stage with Black Joe Louis. Call me politically correct, but this name bothers me. In spite of that, I checked them out and they got the party started. Unfortunately this was also when an Elite security came and let me know my point and shoot wasn't good enough and I'd have to get out of the pit. Boo. It was particularly annoying because unlike the majority of the media, there were only about 10 of us there who actually got to Street Scene on time for ALL the bands, not just headliners. Whatever. It was an excuse to go find a beer.

Black Joe Louis

It wasn't long before Crocodiles were gonna start of the Casbah stage. Despite a couple WTF moments on this blog, I really like Chuck and Brandon and I think they're talented musicians, and on top of that, to me they have to be just about the savviest guys around, always just that much ahead of the curve as far as being on the cusp of what's next. They had a good amount of people at there show, dancing and singing along to the familiar songs, and I'm sure there were people just there to see them fail, too, but fail they did not. In fact, of all the shows I've seen these guys play, the sound was probably the cleanest.

After Crocodiles, I mostly stayed in the beer garden between the two main stages. For one, the sun had begun to drop behind Petco Park, so this was the shadiest area, and honestly, I was stoked about the bands coming up between the stages. Ra Ra Riot is one of those bands that I always forget how much I love. I've seen them a couple times in small venues as well as opening for Death Cab at Rimac and there's such a distinct vocal softness that I love about this the violin and cello and the intrumental flourishes yank on my soul. This band just makes me happy, and I was surprised how many people were there watching and singing along to the music. Where are these people at small venue shows??

Ra Ra Riot

After Ra Ra Riot, I was waiting for Josh to text and let me know he was there so I could give him his ticket, but I was hoping I wouldn't miss Public Enemy when I had to go deliver. He called about 2 minutes before PE was supposed to start, so I raced to the gates, found him, and kinda rushed him back over with me to the stage. And then we waited. And waited. I saw PE at House of Blues a while back...maybe last year sometimes...and the same shit happened. I go to enough shows to know that most bands stick to set times, whether by choice or the venue is just on top of it, and I think it's really disrespectful to other bands because now you've gone and changed the entire lineup for the night. There was some behind the scenes drama going on too, and rumors about bands not playing, but I don't need to go into what I heard other than I was just hoping everyone would play as scheduled.

20 minutes after they were supposed to start, PE's hype man came out on the decks for 10-15 minutes before they finally performed. OPP? Really? I guess the better thing for me was I ran into a friend I hadn't seen in a really long time so we had plenty of time to catch up. As for Public Enemy? Flava Flav? Fun set playing everything you'd want them to play to feel like 1996 all over again.

Public Enemy

Back to the drama, Of Montreal was tweeting about nearly getting kicked out of their trailer, about consuming mass amounts of alcohol while waiting for their 30 minute late set to begin, but they finally performed. It was my first time seeing them since I'd missed their Soma Sidestage show when they played, and it was every bit as ridiculous and over the top and theatrical as I expected and I couldn't be more pleased. As we wandered back to the beer line, they played Heimdelsgate Like A Promethean Curse and I was a happy camper.

Of Montreal

After Of Montreal's set, I was convinced things would get back on track time-wise and perhaps they did, perhaps they didn't. I didn't really care. I stopped looking at the clock and just let the night play out and enjoyed myself with good friends. It's no secret I love Silversun Pickups and they delivered a set that made a superfan like me happy, even if my photos were reduced to just taking pictures of the LED screens.


We had amassed a group of friends somewhere between Of Montreal and SSPU. Incidentally, this is when I bumped into Seth Combs and he told me that while backstage, he mentioned me to Brian Aubert of SSPU and Brian asked if Seth worked for sd:dialedin. That made me laugh a little. Seth wasn't going to stay much longer and gave me his working badge, but it was a bit late in the night to really test access to anyone. Plus, I was with friends and didn't wanna leave them.

More beers were purchased as we watched Dead Weather but I wasn't really that into their set so much. It got much more crowded in the beer garden and Josh left, so I decided it was time to wander to other stages for a bit.
Dead Weather

And with that, I ended up over at Zarabunda waiting for Sharon Jones to play. I did go backstage over there, but it was mostly just crew and stagehands setting stuff up, so I found a chair and rested my achy tootsies while they set up. I have the Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings record and I've read blogs and articles about the band being amazing, and it's true, they certainly are, but I kinda feel like San Diego has our own Sharon Jones in Lady Dottie and The Diamonds, so where Sharon is perhaps an anomaly in the greater world of contemporary music, San Diegans know what to expect. I'm not saying this woman and her band don't totally bring it, it's just not all that unique a sound for us here.

Sharon Jones

To close out the night I wandered back over to catch MIA for a bit. Every time I see her I'm a bit visually overstimulated, mostly just by her outfits alone. There were mixed reviews on the performance, but I was pretty content with this being the end of my Street Scene 2009 experience. I'm just gonna throw this out there to Rob Hagey, but I've got plenty of input if they need help next year. I don't want to see Street Scene end, ever, and while overall they've had their successes and failures, I think it can once again be the climax of San Diego's summers.


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