Carl Sandburg Visits Me In A Dream
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Carl Sandburg Visits Me In A Dream

Carl Sandburg Visits Me In A Dream will serve as a blog for me to share my thoughts and musings, with a special emphasis on music. The music that will appear in this blog is for evaluation/sampling purposes only, and is designed to promote up and coming bands. Remember, if you like the artist(s), buy the CD! If you are the owner of a sound file and would like it removed, please contact us and we will kindly take it down.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

2007 Virgin Festival Recap: Day 2


I was only able to catch a couple minutes of CSS – to my dismay. They were colorful and energetic playing to a crowd that featured dancing trees. I suppose I should be grateful that I at least was able to see some of CSS since all those at Lolla expecting to see them were disappointed – as a result of a canceled flight to Chicago.

As soon as Greg Gillis, aka Girl Talk, began to play in the dance tent, it seemed like every onlooker erupted out in dance. Mixing both rap and rock into his set, it was hard not to find something to like about his performance. Among highlights were snippets of fellow Virgin Festival artists such as The Police and Peter Bjorn and John. Word from Girl Talk concert veterans was that this show was PG compared to other ones – since by the end of the performance only his shirt was unbuttoned.


Entering the gates of Virgin Fest on Saturday morning, I was relatively unfamiliar with Regina Spektor. After checking out her highly polished set I definitely plan on picking up a few albums. Her lyrics are both funny and smart and she was impressive on piano and guitar. Among a personal highlight was her cover of John Lennon's "Real Love".


Another band I was very much looking forward to seeing was Spoon. Unfortunately, they experience some sound problems early into their set, which Brit Daniels complained openly about. In fact, Daniel noted that he couldn't play "You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb" because he couldn't get his guitar in tune. The band still impressed the crowd with "The Beast and the Dragon, Adored" and their recent single "Don't Make Me a Target". Still, I was expecting better, but it seemed like the performance was out of Daniel's control. Anyway, they are about to launch a US tour, which I'm sure will feature more polished performances free of frustrating technical problems.


I caught the very end of Explosions in the Sky. It looked like a fine performance based on the crowd's reaction, but I only saw an extended finale guitar solo.

I rested up a bit by sitting down to watch Bad Brains. I fully realize this band is indeed legendary. After all, they are banned from D.C. They shaped the way for early 80's hardcore punk and bands like the Beastie Boys and Minor Threat. However, I wasn't expecting all that much since it has been a long time since their prime. However, Bad Brains was impressive – as seen in the enthusiasm expressed by the crowd. Moshing erupted in the pit as the band played hits like "Banned in D.C." and "Regulator". Lead singer H.R.'s vocals weren't as they used to be, but he put on an above average performance and actually seemed happy.


More than once I heard someone around me ask "What the hell is that woman on?" in reference to Karen Orzolek's on stage antics. Orzolek and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs galvanized the crowd with their energy and stage presence. Orzolek often let out a fury of high-pitched screams, while guitarist Nick Sinner accompanied her with stunning guitar riffs. I don't consider myself as much of a fan, but I was even a bit disappointed when their set was over. Among highlights was a beautiful performance of the band's single "Cheated Hearts".


Interpol's Virgin Festival set was truly magnificent. Once the rain started falling at Pimlico the band only increased their concentrated energy and the crowd's interest grew exponentially. "Evil", "The Heinrich Maneuver", "All Fired Up", and "NARC" are just a few songs the band powered through with finesse and charisma. Paul Banks and Daniel Kessler had smiles on their faces for most of the set and commented multiple times on the crowd's enthusiasm.


So I began making my way toward the South Stage in hopes of getting in prime position for 311. I arrived in time to catch Velvet Revolver. Though they were scheduled to end at 8:15, the band went 15 minutes longer. Good thing, too, because they were kicking ass. The crowd was the most energetic I had seen all weekend. 40-year-old men were crowd surfing to Slash's masterful work on guitar. The end of the set was mostly composed of new material from their most recent album – "She Built Quick Machines" and "The Last Fight".

Because of Velvet's extended set, 311 came on twenty minutes late – limiting their performance time to an hour. Nevertheless, the band came out blazing with "Beautiful Disaster" and the energy did not cease until the end. Even 311's version of "Love Song" was full of excitement as Matisyahu made a special guest appearance to sing the third verse. And just as you would expect from the Omaha natives, they played almost 20 minutes beyond their scheduled set – complete with an encore featuring "Who's Got the Herb". I heard mixed reviews regarding the Pumpkins set, but I heard not one complain about 311. They were truly a fun way to close out a fantastic weekend.

Thanks again, Alex, for your 2007 Virgin Festival writeups.

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