Sunday, July 20, 2008

Siren Festival

Yesterday I spent a rather long, hot day at Coney Island for The Village Voice's annual Siren Music Festival. And while the day was long, I'm afraid this review is going to have to be relatively short. It's a busy busy couple of weeks for me right now. And I have to say, I was not as impressed by the line up this year as I was last year. But it was still a good day nonetheless.

Due to some subway trouble (ggrrr to the MTA), the first band I saw was Annuals and I liked them, but I didn't see enough of their set to feel like I can really write anything specific about them. Then I headed to get some food and to cool off in the ocean winds on the beach while I ate. On a side note, don't take your shoes off and walk in the sand at Coney Island. I saw glass sticking up on several occasions.

I headed back to the festival to catch Ra Ra Riot, who I saw last year at After the Jump Festival and really liked. They put on a great show again this year, dancing around and just having a really good time, although I have to say I missed the more intimate, less crowded (and let's not forget air conditioned) setting of Studio B. They seem to get along really well as a band, and their fondness of each other in contagious. They also seem really passionate about their music. I'm excited for their first official full-length album to come out on August 19th.

After Ra Ra Riot I jumped back and forth between Beach House and Islands. Beach House didn't really stick in my memory or catch my attention, but I liked Islands. They were another slightly dancey band with strings... A very good follower for Ra Ra Riot. While I was very far away (trying to stay cool out of the crowd for a while) so I couldn't see all that well, I think one of the members had a garbage can or something metal on their head. It probably was an interesting performance but I mainly stuck to listening and hanging out in the shade. Next I headed over to the Stillwell Stage so I could get a good spot for Broken Social Scene. I managed to catch most of The Helio Sequence while slowly making my way toward the front. They were ok. A little too ambient for my taste.

Last, but certainly not least in my day was Toronto band Broken Social Scene. They were spectacular, though they were lacking in the estrogen department (all of the women that often perform with them - ie Feist - were missing). They pulled one random girl on stage to sing one song with them, which was cool. I was a little jealous, not that I'd have the guts to sing in front of all those people. Anyway, Broken Social Scene had a great energy, despite the fact that the drummer was apparently suffering from heat stroke and frontman Kevin Drew was just getting over a cold/flu type illness. They're a huge band, and people came and went from the stage. It's cool how communal they are, with people rotating from lead rolls a lot and stuff. They had a ton of energy and they are very good at working the crowd. The audience was having a blast. I was very glad to be able to say that I saw them, even if they were missing the female component. They've really got a great collaboration going on.

It was a good day overall, though I would not say it was my favorite Siren Festival (which is too bad because it may be the last one at Coney Island).

Dry Clothes [mp3] - Annuals - "Be He Me" (iTunes)

Each Year [mp3] - Ra Ra Riot - "Ra Ra Riot EP" (iTunes)

Kids Don't Know Shit [mp3] - Islands - "Arm's Way" (iTunes)

Fire Eye'd Boy [mp3] - Broken Social Scene - "Broken Social Scene" (iTunes)

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1 comment:

Diana S. said...

ahhh the helio sequence!! too ambient?? that's what makes them so great....all that racket with just 2 people, oh mannnn. love them.

i promise i'll start writing reviews soon, i have to go over those instructions again