Day 2 was fun, but it was Sunday the day that had me excited the most every time I looked at the list of bands that were going to perform. With a good live show I decide whether a band deserves my time and money or some kind of ignorance, and yesterday, for at least three of them, I became a new full fan.
The day started with some guys I have been pretty reluctant to get into, Dirty Projectors:
I didn't plan on seeing them again, and precisely not this time that they were going to play at the same time as one my new finds this year, the bubbly High Places, but fortunately, by the time I got to Union Park, High Places was delayed at stage B, and the Projectors were sounding interesting enough one more time, so I listened to some four songs. Wicked guitars, two girls singing in a particular unique (high) way, and a really good new song post Rise Above set a decent start for the day. The first band I wanted to see the most was next, High Places:
Expectations are not always good. I had been rocking High Places's single compilation 03/07 - 09/07 so much home, and especially on my headphones, that it got my hopes way too high for a mind blowing live show. Fuck, they were just good. Why weren't you amazing? High Places sometimes were amazing, with old and new songs, but sometimes just alright. Something was missing. Boris was playing one of the main stages at the same time and their loud sound was not helping at all. Maybe was it just experience? I want to think that's what it is, so see you next time. I really want to have a better show from you... like the one I got from HEALTH:
The second band I wanted to check out their live show the most was HEALTH, and they did deliver. Their self-titled debut album is so energetic that it was easy to guess their live show was going to be one of the best ones of the day. HEALTH are four guys making a lot of noise in a very simple way: Two guys on guitars and distortion, one very shaky Asian guy on the microphone and several percussion instruments, and one drummer. That's all it took for the best show of the day by 4:00 pm.
It was time for a lunch break and Apples in Stereo were next, the perfect band to pay no attention at all. After eating, I went back to stage B, were King Khan and the Shrines were rushing to start hoping to catch up with the schedule. Everything was good, except King Khan:
This was my second time seeing this hilarious man. He was hilarious again, but the problem was that I could have sang better than he did. I knew the night before he was going to play at a local bar around the corner were the festival was going on, but I didn't know he was going to lose his voice there. I bet it was rad and I'm half jealous, because that's the King Khan I would have loved to hear, not only to see.
El Guincho is one of my new favorite artists this year, and it is all thanks to his great debut album Alegranza!. Unfortunately he canceled not only his appearance at Pitchfork but all of his American tour opening for Atlas Sound. But not all it consequences were bad. Thanks to this there was an slight change in the festival's schedule and now I had no conflict to see a band I liked their debut album, but wasn't completely sold for them: The Dodos. They were good. In fact, they made me forget for a while how great HEALTH had been and became my favorite act of the day:
So, what was it? the sun? the time of the day they were playing? the killer and simple combination of their guitars and drums? or was it the trash can and the trumpet that made it so special? Of course it was all of it. Their blending of songs was very effective too. I am listening to Visiter, their debut album right now, and I am not getting the same level of energy they gave me at 6pm in the afternoon of a very hot day, which in this case is good. I am going to see them again next time they come around the city, because I want to feel that excited again.
Time to relax, and what better than M. Ward's country/folk? I have been a fan since Post-War and have no plans of changing that, particularly after this show...
What made this M. Ward special for me was that it was the first time I was seeing him with a full band. I had seen him solo before, and it was beautiful, but this show was not only beautiful... it didn't have the intimacy you feel when listening to nothing but M. Ward's rough voice and his acoustic guitar, but it had that ingredient one usually miss from that kind of shows, the rocking. Fortunately M. Ward played only solo material and didn't invite the girl he has been hanging out with... that wouldn't have been cool for me, because I made all my friends to miss Ghostface Killah and Raekwon for some serious goodness.
The heat and sun caught me up. I had to lie down before going to see Bon Iver and sort of fall sleep on the grass in the back of the park. Beautiful spacial music woke me up after a short while. The band I had decided to miss in favor of Bon Iver has already started on the main stage and it was making me feel I had made a wrong decision earlier. Spiritualized rocked my way to the stage B and even kept rocking it out while I was there. They were loud, and unbelievably so, they were even louder than Boris. Don't get me wrong, I like Bon Iver's music, but half the way into his show I knew I wanted to be half a mile from there.
The last show I saw was Spoon. Man, what is wrong with that band? I keep enjoying their albums, but I just cannot get into any of their shows. I made it through a whole one once and had to go another show right after to be sure nothing was wrong with me. This time I didn't even hear half of it. Maybe I missed the good half? I heard Bradford Cox came out to play with them after I left. That would have been interesting, at least for me, but such a combination it makes me only wonder whether Cox was joking with them or not.
P4K Music Festival 2008 was a success. Great music for three days, great city to hang out around, and cool people to meet, all for $65 plus cheap hostel (and great friends who let me stay at their place) plus airplane tickets? See you next year! [more photos]