Wednesday, June 11, 2008

BFD 2008: Shoreline Amphitheatre. Mountain View, California.

On Saturday we headed down to Live 105’s BFD, across the street from Google in Mountain View. Normally, going to a show or festival at Shoreline would mean lounging in the lawn and kicking it in the middle of an ocean of blankets. This was not the case this past weekend, however, when we parked in a field covered in hay and then hiked what felt like several miles to stand around in a parking lot. The hot pavement was easily the worst part of the experience; at its peak, the sun was handing out skin cancer and sunburns like candy on Halloween. Fortunately that was pretty much the only negative, unless you count some of the ridiculous things people were wearing. If Bay to Breakers is the Bay Area festival with the most exposed genitalia, BFD is its tacky tattoo showcase. The people-watching was pretty prime, to say the least. And the music was definitely well worth the price of admission ($10.53, which after being bent over by Ticketmaster was still only $18).

I was particularly excited to see The Kooks and MGMT do their thing. But tragically, while preparing for the festival, checking out the Belmont Stakes on TV and attempting to find the concert on the radio for about ten minutes (props Caitlin) we heard Menace from Live 105 say that MGMT had just started and that they were going insane. So we bolted for the car, somehow tricked the parking girl into letting us park without paying the $15 fee, and made it just in time to see the Anti-Flag fans pummel each other for a little while before The Kooks got on stage. I thought they did a great job and proved themselves to be the Brit-Rock tour de force that they are. The festival and the crowd weren’t exactly their scene, so I’m planning on seeing them again at a smaller venue. The best part about their performance was they played tracks from “Inside/Out” as well as their latest album, “Konk,” and the performance convinced me that their new stuff is better than I had originally thought. I’m definitely going to give it a few more tries – I wrote it off pretty quickly after my first listen because their debut album was just so insanely good.

Other notable groups at BFD included: Santogold, Flogging Molly, Pennywise, Cypress Hill, MSTRKRFT, Moby, Everlast and Lyrics Born. The best performance that I was fortunate enough to see was Lyrics Born. His energy was contagious and that funky sound that he pumps out filled the Sub Sonic tent with nothing but good vibes. I can’t wait to see him again at Outside Lands in Golden Gate Park in August. Action Design, a local band on a smaller stage, also put down a pretty nice show. It was fun to watch Flogging Molly, but I’ve had enough of listening to Everlast after he rocks a song or two from his days with House of Pain. Plus, he got his ass torn up after he dissed Eminem a few years back. If you haven’t heard some of their back and forth you should check out Eminen’s “I Remember” or “Quitter.” (Everlast’s responses were “Whitey’s Revenge” and “Ear Drums Pop.”)

All things considered it was a pretty great time. Sets were on the short side, but there were a ton of quality performances and I got a few shades darker, continuing to fill out my farmer’s tan.

Finally, the funniest thing I heard about BFD was part of an interview with MGMT that went something like this:

Random Fan/Radio Guy: “Are you the kind of guy that cries over a breakup?”

MGMT: “What do you think? I’m wearing a dress.”

If you’d like to hear some tracks from a few BFD artists, I’d recommend checking out the following:

1. Lyrics Born – I Like It, I Love it

2. MGMT – Electric Feel
MSTRKRFT – (Usher) Love in This Club remix


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