At 3:00 I checked out Taking Back Sunday's set. For those not familiar with the band, they play a screaming brand of pop punk that was a particular favorite of mine in high school. So it would make sense that a majority of the audience was made up of swooning teenage girls. Not much else has changed either. Lead singer Adam Lazzara still did a lot of fancy tricks with his microphone, while the rest of band head-banged their way through the show.
I especially appreciated songs off of their 2002 album Tell All Your Friends. The band even managed to work in part of Beyone's "Irreplaceable" into one of their bridges. Lazzara acknowledged the unique nature of the festival by saying, "This takes a lot of pressure off of us. If we mess up, it's okay, because you guys didn't pay."
Then I headed over to the secondary stage (or the West Stage) for The Hold Steady. The rock band sailed through their set, barely pausing between songs. They played favorites "Constructive Summer," "Sequestered in Memphis," "Stay Positive," "Chips Ahoy," and "Hoodrat Friend." Frontman Craig Finn had his usual giddy energy and the rest of the band mixed it up with double-neck guitars and accordions.
Though I think most of The Hold Steady's fans would prefer to see the band in an intimate club or bar setting, the band's contagious energy carried through in a festival scene. (I also got a chance to talk to the band's guitarist Tad Kubler, which I'll post tomorrow).
Then at 5:15 the dynamic duo of Chuck D and Flavor Flav, aka Public Enemy, took the West Stage. I saw Public Enemy, pictured, back in June at Bonnaroo and that show was very intense. Today it seemed like the two emcees were in a much more positive mood. Flavor Flav declared that he "found love" and that he has a new album coming out (where he sings!) to celebrate it.
Chuck D voiced his usual political messages while the group performed some of their most popular tracks, including "Don't Believe The Hype," "Can't Truss It," and "Fight The Power." Flavor Flav was all over the place, stage diving, climbing the scaffolding, and even getting behind the drums and the end of the set.
Now I'm going to fight my way through the masses (it got so crowded!) to dance to some Girl Talk and rock out middle-school style to Blink-182. More to come.
[Image: courtesy of boston.com]