Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Oxegen Part I

I know I promised I would keep this blog thriving while I am overseas, but it's become a bit more difficult that anticipated. First off, I actually have work to do outside of class that unfortunately is barging in on my time exploring, sight seeing, and show hopping. But yesterday I had the opportunity to go to the BBC studios and help produce a news segment. Very cool. That place is amazing, it's like its own little world inside.

I am finally in London for a weekend, so I'm going to see the sights and finally hit up the Apple store so that my computer will be fixed. Then, fingers crossed, I will be able to upload alllll the pictures (including a ton from Oxegen this weekend) and some of the new tunes I've been listening to here. We hope.

But without further adieu, my weekend at Oxegen...

Day 1
So after two days chillin with Liz and Josh at Trinity and then heading out to the suburbs to see my cousins, we were off for some musical madness. Hopped on the bus (20 euro, bleh) and while Liz and I gabbed and excitement rose, Josh slept. Typical. It would be two hours until we finally made it inside the gates.

A brief period ensued of sitting on gates, waiting, smoking cigarettes, and digesting hamburgers while the thought crossed my mind that we may not actually get in. But no, I was the optimistic one. My uncle had gotten us tickets from the insurance company he works for, that turns out covers the whole event. Finally, we had tickets in our hands and we were good to go.

First stop? Kaiser Chiefs.

I could hear them playing as I ran across the mud filled lawns. "Every day I Love You Less and Less" was blaring out from the main stage. I tried to sing along as I ran, trying to catch a look. We made our way to the left of the stage and I danced along while Liz and Josh got the beer. "Oh My God" seemed to be the big hit and I literally got chills watching thousands of fans pumping their hands in the air, singing along. Ricky Wilson, never one to stand in one spot for too long, ran from side the side of the stage, then into the crowd, all the while scissor kicking his way. It was the perfect start of the day.

Throughout the weekend I was mocked for my imperialist like manner, dragging my friends from stage to stage to make sure that we made the most out of the weekend. I didn't even let myself drink that much. We had a mission.

We headed into the green tent that had a nice shade for a singer/songwriter from Ireland Stephen Fretwell. Very pleasant and somewhat haunting vocally, this guy resembled Chris Martin, but much less subdued. Unfortunately this was one of the only artists we had time to see that I didn't already know of. But luckily, he was nothing of a disappointment.

We headed back up to the main stage to catch the tail end of Razorlight's set. As I walked along I danced to "Golden Touch." Didn't sound that great live, to be honest. But we had to stay there because I promised Liz and Josh we would watch Snoop Dog. Yes I said it, Snoop Dogitty Dog.

This probably was not the crowd that Snoop is used to playing for, and probably not the festival he exactly fit into, but nonetheless, he put on a great show for a packed crowd. I guess the Irish really love this guy. I had to leave half way through to meet my cousin outside, but as I left I saw him puff on a big ass joint on stage. So pimp.

As soon as Snoop was done we ran over to the Ticket Stage where Echo and the Bunnymen had started their set five minutes prior. We found ourselves walking into a cover of "Hey Babe Take A Walk on the Wildside" and I was floored. It was awesome. Liz and I danced away, as they went from that great cover into "Killing Moon." Ian McCulloch deemed it the best song he's ever written and he's absolutely right. Finishing the set with tunes like "The Cutter" and "The Game" their set was surprisingly one of my favorites of the day.

We trekked back to the Green Room for what was supposed to be a highly anticipated set from Mr. Conor Oberst himself. When a very non-Bright Eyes looking group came on stage, I was pissed. A girl started clicking away with her camera and I informed her that it was not, in fact, the indie hero himself. We left and asked the security guard what had happened. He didn't even have Bright Eyes on his list. Not cool, Oberst, not cool.

So instead we found it fit to go back to the Ticket Stage and cheer (or sneer) at NYC's own The Bravery. I had only seen a couple songs performed when Five O'Clock Heroes opened up for them back at Northsix, so I thought it was about time I gave these guys a fair shot. To be honest, the set was not horrific, and they are not a terrible band. They just try way too hard. "Honest Mistake" and "Fearless" are perfectly likeable songs. I really wanted to believe in them. But the crashing of the drums at the end, and the big swigs of their beer, I just couldn't help but laugh.

The laughs quickly changed over, as we were in the middle of a packed crowd counting down the seconds until Bloc Party. From the first beat of "Little Thoughts" I knew this would be the best set of the day. And it was. My first time seeing this band was nothing short of my high expectations. I danced, I sang, I cheered. From "Helicopter" to "She's Hearing Voices" to "Banquet" I was in pure glee. The crowd was not as enthusiastic as anticipated but that didn't stop me. Despite some tech problems, and a huge mistake by calling Ireland the UK, this was definitely the highlight of the entire weekend.

The Irish must have been saving all the energy for Interpol, who headlined a show in the Green Room. The tent was packed, people were sweaty and full of mud, but the lights shined and the bass started and my god, and it was madness. I had never seen a crowd respond like that, even seeing them play in New York. It was amazing. They started off the set with "Evil" into "Slow Hands" and it didn't stop. When the last song was played and the band had left, thousands were left standing, clearly ready for some more. Liz didn't think anyone knew them over here, but I knew differently. To think these NYUers have now taken over the world. Incredible.

Our feet were killing, we smelled like dirty Irishmen and cigarettes, and our wallets were now practically empty. We sat on the outskirts of the main stage for a bit of Green Day before calling it a day. Looked like a ball and one lucky Irish gal got to the take the stage and keep the guitar she played. We walked out to the sound of "Minority" and as the bus pulled away we saw some fire on stage. But my eyes were slowly closing, and knew I needed some much needed rest for Day Two.

More tomorrow...


guile said...

you've got good taste in music :)..

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