Cincinnati, Music

Bunbury Day #2

Saturday this year was my least favorite day of programmed music. I’d only heard of a few of the bands, The headliners (Bass Nectar, Pretty Little Lights, and Tech N9ne) play electronic music, which I like, but more as a passing interest.

Which is why I’m glad my friends have Unbury, a cookout/tailgate in the parking lot across the street from Bunbury. There we were able to drink cheap beer, chat with friends, and nosh. For me, Unbury is one of the few times a year I eat Doritos

 

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I don’t even want to know how much science went into how good these chips feel in my mouth. A handful or so of these, and a Miller Lite will be a distant lovely memory when I go back to healthy eating on Monday. Oh salad, how I miss thee!

Back inside the festival, we got to see a bit of San Fermin, Brooklyn based Indie-Rock. They are in the vein of Of Montreal composing more complex songs that tend to be upbeat. Their set started with some slower songs though, and they didn’t get to the upbeat stuff until we were headed to another stage and could only hear them in our rear view mirror, so to speak.

We were walking toward VHS Collection, a New York City-based rock band and it was the last show of the day where I got right up close to the stage. I didn’t find anything interesting about their music. It was good, but not memorable. The sound mix didn’t allow me to hear what the singer was saying. Pluswise, I was just interested in watching him try to be Bono 2.0. From the aviator glasses to the stage moves, I’m calling VHS Collection a near U-2 sighting.

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Next up was the surprisingly great, high-energy set by Pretty Lights. Absolutely the best show of the festival…so far. Derek Vincent Smith is the artist known as Pretty Lights. (Someday I’m going to write about how stage names have changed over the years.) He uses some eclectic samples (Brothers Johnson’s Strawberry Letter 23, anyone?) and his electronic music is grounded in old soul, or soulful pop tunes. The stage light show was pretty cool, but the 9 pm-ish sunset meant it was still light outside…tough competition for a light show.

Here’s one of my fabulous iphone shots:

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You’ll have to imagine the light show, and while you’re at it, take a virtual whiff of the weed all around. It was the weediest concert I’ve ever been to, and that’s saying a lot since I’ve seen Snoop Dogg, and the night before I saw Wiz Kalifa (whose entire set was about smoking pot). The haze was thick and pungent…my clothes smelled weedy when I got home.

Perhaps, that was part of the vibe of the Pretty Lights crowd. It was filled with people with one-day wrist bands (suggesting they came for Saturday’s electronic performances), and those folks skewed young. The outfits were the 21st century take on Woodstock-meets-Coachella. Tye-dyes, bra-tops, face painting/stickers, and Rasta hair. It’s a thing to dress up for shows in the electronic genre. I actually didn’t know that, but I learned it via The Google.

The last performer was Bassnectar (That’s the stage name of Lorin Ashton) a free style electronic artist. As I walked toward the stage from across the park, all I could hear was bass. I had to walk all the way up toward the stage for the music to start resembling music and not something coming from the car next to you at a stop light. What I could hear was all right, especially the dancier tunes.

During the set I got a quick beer in the Miller Lite traveling beer bar. This one of those trucks that unfolds into a full-service bar, albeit one that only serves Miller products. This particular model has a roof top seating area. I climbed up. Here’s the view of the steps from above:

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The steps are metal, a little slippery with summer sandals, and spaced weirdly. And they aren’t the steadiest steps you want to be on. Just add beer.

In other Bunbury news, for some reason a couple of the sponsors are handing out bandannas. I have three and I’m not even trying to collect them. This is fine, but a few years ago one of the sponsors was Pure Romance, a local company that sells sex toys and relationship enhancement products. They gave out free vibrators. So, I think you can see why the bandanna collection leaves me unimpressed.

Looking forward to day three with Jon Bellion, Flogging Molly, the Reverend Horton Heat, Thirty Seconds to Mars, and Muse. We’ll see how many I get to.

 

 

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