my only complaints with the festival, were that you couldn't bring water inside, and they sold it for four dollars inside the gates. there was only one water fountain in the whole park, and the line was soo long it was never worth the wait. besides that it was organized perfectly, and i only had one scheduling conflict (i would have loved to see off!).
there were three stages. the sequoia stage featured the majority of the punk/hardcore bands. the redwood stage which i only caught a few acts on, and the oak stage which included most of the bands i wanted to see.
we got there in time to catch the last two songs of abe vigoda's set. both of the songs were new, and they were both excellent. the first song i saw, dane ditched the drumset for a drum machine, which was different, but it worked well for them.
we then scoped out the venders booths, and headed over to the sequoia stage to watch the blow. i didn't know anything about the blow and officially don't care to. it was just a girl singing into a microphone with pre-recorded tracks from a laptop. not for me.
after that i sat on this knowl and listened to vetiver's set which sounded really great. i wish i listened to them more.
back at the sequoia stage i watched a few songs of screaming females. they are awesome. definitely a band i will be seeing again. i can only imagine how their sound will translate to a small rock club where i'm sure it is much preferred.
ceremony was on next, and i was curious to see how they would translate to a festival environment. they absolutely killed it. ross was climbing up the rafters jumping off amps, and literally going nuts. they have easily become my favorite live band of the year.
best coast was next on the oak stage. this was the first time i saw her. she sounded great. i really like what she does, and would definitely see her again.
i left best coast's set a little early to go sit in the shade and listen to a.a. bondy who played on redwood stage. i really wish i knew his songs well enough to sing along because he was pretty perfect and i would have loved to have been able to enjoy it that much more. he's definitely one of those dudes on my list of bands to see, so it was nice to be able to check him off. his songs are really pretty i loved his set.
after a.a. bondy, we headed back to the oak stage to see titus andronicus. they were definitely one of the bands that i was most excited to see. they exceeded all of my expectations and were absolutely incredible. with three guitar players, bass, and drums their sound was huge. two of the guitar players also played keyboards and violins too which was awesome. screaming, "you will always be a loser," with all my friends was definitely one of the days highlights for me.
7 seconds played on the sequoia stage. kevin mentioned the fact that he is still rocking at 49 years old (30 years with the band). he said he hoped to still be doing it for 15 to 20 more years and i really hope he does because he is one of the most positive people in music. i love and respect this band so much. they still have so much energy and are always a guaranteed good time.
unbroken played next. they were really solid. i was really into their set, and am super appreciate of the fact that they played the festival and i got to see them. they were a real treat.
after their set i was walking to the oak stage to go see ted leo, but was mesmerized by dead man's bones on the redwood stage. i couldn't help but stop and watch. they had a full children's choir. these were some really pretty songs. i would definitely like to see a proper show, and listen to some recorded material, because they were quite frankly the nicest surprise at the festival for me.
after a few songs we did trek over to ted leo who rocked. real straight forward rock 'n' roll. one of those bands that i've never really gotten into their recorded material, but have always wanted to. they sounded great live, and would be way into seeing them again.
after ted leo played, the mountain goats took the stage. i was definitely the most excited to see them. they played all the hits (probably five songs off of the sunset tree). it was cool to hear him talk up sleep, and appropriately after doing so they played "the best ever death metal band out of denton," which was a highlight for me. they ended the set with "this year" and "california song." a pretty perfect set.
sleep played next. they played for an hour. and it was epic. enough said.
i told my friends that there was nothing that could really top sleep, but there was one thing that could follow it, and it was big freedia. the queen diva from new orleans was easily the best way to end the festival. i don't know if i've ever had so much fun in a fifteen minute set of music before.
on the walk out to our car the mormons were playing outside the festival gates, and we walked with them for a few blocks. i have wanted to see them for a long time, and i can't think of a nicer cherry on top of a perfect day.
if i had to pick favorite performances
1. titus andronicus
3. big freedia
4. the mountain goats