August 3, 2009

Chucks is happy to be reporting back to you on its first ever visit to All Points West. Weather and an unfavorable Saturday lineup caused us to miss the first two days, but we were there for the third day. The early-afternoon rain let up just in time for the gates to open at about 4 but great weather didn’t make climbing in and out of the mud swamps any easier. We did our fair share of running from stage to stage, treading through the ubiquitous quicksand and altogether becoming so dirty that I am still washing the dirt from my skin. I’m completely serious; my feet are the shade of mud and I’ve taken two showers since Sunday.


The delay at the gates caused the first few bands to cancel and by the time we made it inside, it was nothing but sunshine, mud, and a bee-line straight to Silversun Pickups. They played a fun set for such a tough slot when the park was relatively empty. It was pretty endearing when the bassist, Nikki Monninger, was too shy on multiple occasions to say anything more than a “hi” to the crowd. The highlight of their set was during “Lazy Eye,” when all the dirty kids rushed into the giant mud pond at the right of the stage. Splashing and MTV spring break teaser footage followed.

We ran over to We Are Scientists and caught the end of their set at the Bullet Stage. Which I was not impressed with. They’re a band I’ve tried to like a few times but it’s never really worked out. So then it was back to Blue Comet for the end of Elbow. A stretch more memorable for the sinking mud than the music really.

We Are Scientists

Next was the last few songs from La Roux all the way over at the Queen of the Valley stage. She closed with “Bulletproof.”

Of all the bands playing Sunday, we were most excited to see Lykke Li. She was up after La Roux, so for the first (and only) time all day, we waited in the sweaty, pushing crowd. I think it was the Woodstock footage that I had seen that made me think people would be cool. In the beginning there was a dude in front of us wearing his girlfriend’s purse, and filming what felt like every song with his phone. Hey bro, you know that’s going to turn out worse than Leighton Meester’s sex tape? For most of the set people fought past us to get closer to the stage, and then seemed surprised that the people they stopped in front of wanted to fight. It’s stupid how many cameras are up in the air at any given moment of a show, and It’s stupid that we all want to take our own crappy photos and earthquake-shaky videos. If you’re going to ruin my photos by leaving your camera in the air for half the show, at least give me your email and your YouTube address.

Lykke Li

The sun set and we traveled back to the main stages to catch a good amount of the Black Keys, and the first few from Coldplay. My photos from these sets really didn’t yield any worth displaying; it had gotten darker, and the crowds had gotten bigger. I’ve never pretended to get along with Coldplay, and I won’t do so now, but they put on a real show. It’s a spectacle, and Chris Martin has a choreographed series of arm swings and leg kicks that fit nicely into his songs. The only other band that I know puts on such highly produced shows is U2. Who would deny that Chris Martin is really trying to be Bono? I won’t lie, I felt ten years older standing around watching Coldplay, however; I’m glad to say I saw their show and both of the only two songs of theirs that don’t make me want to inject myself with estrogen.

The last set was MGMT’s, and they got love like it was summer 2008. I was excited to see how they would transpose to a stage and a live set. I actually doubted their ability to competently play their instruments, and I half expected them to rely on keyboard samples that they would sing over. They were pretty great though. They added some sweet fills and riffs into their old songs and played a couple of new ones. The crowd went apeshit when the first chord of “Electric Feel” was played, but for me the highlight was their extended cut of “The Handshake.” They stretched it into a 7- or 8-minute jam, with a hair-metal solo over the heavy downbeat of the outro. At the end they left the stage, just to return a few minutes later to play “Kids;” which made everyone forget all the assholes, the filith, the mud, and just go hysteric.

APW Sunday, a set on Flickr by yours truly.

One Response to “ALL POINTS WEST SUNDAY 2009”

  1. Ke Says:

    Oh, I hate you. So much.

    It is sort of surprising to see you not that into We Are Scientists but it also sort of makes sense. It’s just hard to explain.

    “If you’re going to ruin my photos by leaving your camera in the air for half the show, at least give me your email and your YouTube address.” Amen. So agree there.

    “Chris Martin has a choreographed series of arm swings and leg kicks that fit nicely into his songs.” I need to find a video of that, because that sounds ridiculous.

    Oh yeah, I’m going back to hating you now.

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