On to the show-
Rushing from work on Friday at 4pm during a not-so-metaphorical storm, I arrived at Liberty State Park soaking wet at the half-set point of The National - my favorite band playing that weekend. I had seem them once before when they opened for Arcade Fire two years ago. When I saw them before, I wasn't into them at all. But several months later when I was accidentally listening to their album, I decided The National would be a "good band to get into while I'm in my 20's". So like a son's first shared beer with his dad, I picked up the beer can that was their first album, Boxer, and chugged it. And the rest is history.
As far as their performance at All Points West, they sounded brilliant - a rare auditory experience that gave me goosebumps and warmed my heart at the same time. Next was Vampire Weekend, who I'd like to thank for teaching me that 'sincerity is the new irony'. In a world (upper west side) where sarcasm is as rare as sunglasses that aren't raybans, Vampire Weekend showed us that having 'good clean fun' is cool again. Thanks guys!
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Jay-Z were pretty sweet. To be honest, I missed probably half of each of their sets because my friend got us artist passes and getting free booze with Ice-T, Matt Pinfield and John Norris are things you don't pass up in life. We rolled through MSTRKRFT and jammed out for a second before calling day one a wrap. If anyone reading this has any pull, my dream is for my death to be reported by John Norris during an MTV News Update. Just pass that along to the right people.
After Day 10 of 20 consecutive days of work, I hurried over to New Jersey (ew) and saw Tokyo Police Club who are so dead-on with their sound. They could be really big if they keep on rocking out. My Bloody Valentine pulled some weird shit and under-volumed the chick singer. I know the hardcore MBVers defend this... "that's their sound; you wouldn't understand'.. blah. It was kind of underwhelming, but I expected it from a band that had that much track layering to create that sound in the first place.
Then came Tool, which was a very loud cornicopia of people/emotions. Tool has two types of fans, both equally crazy about them - one is the fifteen year old whose mom refused to take him to Hot Topic one Saturday morning. He hates life and everything in life and Tool 'understands' him. The second Tool fan is of the philosophical mind and sees deeper and more intricate nuances in the music. No show I had ever been to had highlighted the fan difference as much as Tool. Oh well.
The Coldplays. But first, Lykke Li (marry me, pleeeease) put on a good show. She covered Lil Wayne's 'a milli' and played through most of her cute little album. The Black Keys rocked out. And then something extraordinary happened.... Coldplay..... was awesome. As Chris Martin banged his colorful pirate jacketed chest and flopped around on stage presumably confessing his singular and special yet entirely universal love for Gwyenth, I let go and forgave Coldplay for all their sins against humanity. They are just dudes that love music and love money. While there are so many things a band can use their celebrity to acheive (e.g. Radiohead), the Coldplays do their own thing and walk to the beat of their own Viva La Vida drums. But letting go of all that for that night, I realized it was a perfect ending to a perfect storm.