Monday, November 12, 2007

Talleyrand Music and Arts Festival!!!

We went to Talleyrand yesterday. We had a booth set up near the main stage. We didn’t pay attention to too many of the bands, but here is our rundown of the day:

The first highlight of our day came early, as we left to take our son to our parents’ house for the day after we set up our merch booth. We were standing in the parking lot, making a call on our cell phone, waiting for our father to answer, as we also waited to speak to the parking attendant to make sure we could get back in. A car drove up and also waited to speak to the parking attendant, who was talking on his walkie-talkie. As we waited for our father to answer, and the guy in the car waited for the attendant, we looked at the guy in the car and said, “Hey, you’re Sage Francis, right?”
To which the guy replied, “Yeah.”
He was in his Honda hybrid, which I realized was his tour bus. I found that to be so refreshing as I saw other, much less talented, much-more hyped bands— ahemBraverycoughcough— in huge tour buses with large trailers. Here was one of America’s best indie/underground rappers, touring across the country from his car.

From there, we had to drive across town to drop off our son and also stop at a friend’s house to pick up a radio so we could all get score updates from the Gator game later that day. Fortunately, we made it back in time to see Sage Francis perform on the main stage, and that is when we realized how he really can tour around in that Honda: he is his whole show, all by himself. No backing band, no DJ, just him and box where he kept his beats, where he’d hit a button, the track would start and he would rap. While that sounds formulaic and boring, somehow he made it work and it was actually one of the better rap shows we have seen. He performed with lots of energy, interacted with the crowd- jumping off the 6 foot high stage to get closer to everyone-, and had good between the song banter, which is a must for live shows. He even did a really cool, un-released (we think) rap over a remix of Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Closer’ beat (and if we can master the tubes of the interwebs, we’ll post a video of this) Our only complaints were that he played no songs from his new record, ‘Human the Death Dance’ (we think— the day was already getting a little blurry at that point), and that he was cut off right in the middle of ‘Makeshift Patriot’, an awesome song, and one he was performing with much energy. But, time ran out on his set and the sound guy pulled his sound right in the middle. LAME.

After that, we pretty much hung out at the merch booth with our friends, walked around a bit, and took in, from far away and without much interest, Pepper and the Bravery. The Polyphonic Spree actually played the main stage before those two, but we didn’t pay too much attention, except for their kick-ass, more Guns n’ Roses than the Beatles, cover of Live and Let Die. But, it seemed like most people agreed Polyphonic Spree was the one of the best live shows of the day. All I noticed from Pepper is that the one dude was wearing just a pair of baggies and no t-shirt, which in our book pretty much speaks for itself as being an indicator of not-very-goodedness, and that they played a not too bad cover of ‘Bro Hymn’.

A few hours later, we ventured out of the merch booth to see Arrested Development, a band with whom we were once obsessed, circa 1992. We saw a few songs from them, and I will say that they performed with a passion and gusto that had everyone near their stage dancing and having a great time. We could feel the energy of the crowd as we approached, and it was fun to watch them and have a good time. Plus, we ran into the drummer from Against Me!, and spoke briefly to him, which was very cool. He was really nice, and even addressed us as ‘sir’.

We were so happy to see our friends at Burrito Gallery there! Their vegetarian bean burrito was exactly what we needed to refuel and keep us going till 11 that night! It was nice to see a healthy option like BG there to offer something other than fried foods galore.

After Arrested Development, we made our way back to the merch booth tent for a beer before we really used our backstage passes for the first time that day, to go see Against Me! Right before they played, we were able to speak with Against Me!’s singer, Tom, an incredibly nice guy, which was another of the highlights of the day for us, because we like this band a lot. As they started to play, we were able to hoist ourselves up to a discreet spot onstage behind the drummer to take in this great performance. They played all the songs we love, mostly from ‘Searching for a Former Clarity’ and their new record, ‘New Wave’. All the pictures of this band are from behind them, where we stood behind the drummer. We were really excited to see these guys, and they didn’t disappoint, ripping through songs without much of a pause, and generally playing a great set.

After Against Me!, we headed back to the merch tent to mix up a strong Crown and water (advantage of being a vendor: you can bring your own booze and not pay $6 for a drink), before we again headed to a sweet spot backstage to see the band we were most excited to see, Spoon. Unfortunately, at that point, we had been at the park since like 10:30 and had been drinking since about 11:00. That isn’t some ‘Ooooh, look how tough we are and how long we drink’ comment, but just to say that by the time Spoon played, we were pretty much exhausted…and extremely drunk. So, while we don’t remember every song Spoon played, we do remember them starting with a face-melting ‘My Mathematical Mind’, a song we love to hear drunk in the first place, let alone live, with extra trippy guitar effects, with the band standing 10 feet away. We also remember them playing ‘The Way We Get By’, ‘The Ghost of You Lingers’, ‘The Underdog’, but the rest were songs we had never heard before and ones we don’t remember. We were just so happy to be watching Spoon, so close, SO LIVE!, in such good weather, in front of such a big crowd, that it was a great way to end a long day, and we were so happy to have been there for the first one, and to have helped our friend Jason Lewis out with some festival details. And the night did pretty much end there for us, as we were not too interested in Keller Williams and the WMD’s, and it appeared none of the rest of the crowd was either, as Spoon’s crowd pretty much dwindled to less than half as KW&WMD’s took the stage.

All in all, it was a great event! While ticket sales were reported to be lagging last week, the turnout looked much better than previously expected (Thank you Jacksonville!) and we hope it was successful for the organizers and promoters as this has the potential to be a huge yearly festival. And, we never remembered how nice Metro Park is, it really is a GREAT outdoor venue that does not get utilized enough.


CHUCK said...

That was a great time. Thanks for the photos. Anyone know if it will be back next year?

Nita said...

Good for people to know.

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