Coverage by Waylon O’Day and Raj Radia
The second day of Sound on Sound Fest was just as good as the previous day, albeit a little more chilly. However, acts such as Beach House, METZ, and the Dillinger Escape Plan made the chilly weather all the more bearable. Here is Coog Radio’s review of day two of the first ever Sound on Sound Music Festival.
The Dead Milkmen
The punk rockers from the eighties did not show their age at all when they showed up to the Dragon’s Lair stage midday. The group opened with “Beige Sunshine,” before playing arguably their most popular song, “Punk Rock Girl.” I’m glad these guys made music like this before the whole PC culture caught on. Not because I’m anti-PC, but because the Dead Milkmen are a punk band, and so naturally their music is very political, and although that may not be immediately apparent with songs like “Beach Party Vietnam” and “Stuart,” but these guys are constantly making a statement against all forms of government. These guys are anarchists, and not in the “let’s burn this place to the ground” sense of the word, but in the college Co-Op, “I’ll give you some lettuce for some tomatoes,” kind of way. I know the Dead Milkmen were before my time, but the music they made is just as important as ever. In a time when political dissatisfaction is at an all time high, these guys give their listeners a release valve to vent all of that stress and animosity. I couldn’t help but yell along to the chorus of closer “Right Wing Pigeons,” which the lead singer made clear was addressed to both of the presidential candidates. The group also had an unexpected cover of Prince’s “Little Red Corvette,” as the band was vamping the audience hinting they were going to play fan favorite “B****in’ Camaro.” The audience was at first perplexed at the sudden bait-and-switch tactic, but eventually got into the Dead Milkmen’s rendition of the classic tune from the late legend Prince. Of course they followed it up with the aforementioned track, and it was forty five seconds of pure bliss for everyone in sight. I might have been twenty plus years late, but I’m glad I finally got to see these guys in person.
If there is a music festival in America, there is a 75% chance that Health is going to play it, or they have played that festival. The last festival I saw them at was Day for Night, which had a crowd that was not into them as much. If there was a festival that was made fort the, it would be Sound on Sound. They started their set of with “Victim” and “Men Today.” They had a mixed reaction. There was a good part of the crowd that knew them and was dancing to the music. The other part of the crowd had no clue what was going on. Things started to kick up mid-set when they played more of their accessible songs like “Die Slow” “Stonefist” and “We are Water.” Their stage presence is what won over the crowd. They didn’t do much talking, but let their stage presence control the crowd.
The soundcheck at this set was longer than the actual set. If it wasn’t for the inordinate amounts of feedback that I had heard the previous day, I might have not noticed. However, it’s hard not to notice when the whole band is onstage and they’re on and off jamming and constantly asking for the same changes to their mics, or guitars or whatever equipment they had. When the band finally opened with “Cover Me (Slowly)”, it was amazing, up until “Breaker,” when lead singer, Bradford Cox told a story about getting hit by a car, and then this song coming to him. Halfway through the song the audio cut out, the second time I had seen the acts on the Dragon’s Lair stage have to improvise to cover up sound issues. Other songs played include fan favorites “Revival,””Agoraphobia,” and “Helicopter.” These songs definitely got the most reaction out of the crowd as you could see large groups of people swaying simultaneously. The long instrumental interludes provided ample time for all of the audience to immerse themselves fully into the lush psychedelic productions provided by the Atlanta based band. I wish I knew more of their music prior to seeing them because this was a very intimate performance, Cox would talk to the audience between almost every song, and it created this friendly atmosphere that made it feel as though he was just talking to you. I had ample opportunity to see Deerhunter in the past, but I never took those opportunities, I now see what I missed out on.
Big Boi’s performance was purely nostalgic. From the moment he hit the stage to the moment he left, his goal was to take the crowd back in time. Majority of his set consisted of classic Outkast songs. He started the set off with “GhettoMusik” and “B.O.B.” He would change things up every now and again and play some of his own stuff, and even played Big Grams song. He really got the crowd moving when he started doing a cover of “ Kryptonite (I’m on it).” He ended the performance with “International Players Anthem,” which was the best way he could’ve done it/ So far, his performance has been the best on the Dragon’s Lair stage. The only way this performance could be better was if Andre 3000 was there and we had an Outkast reunion.
You could tell who knew what METZ was about, and who had no idea about five minutes into the Canadian trio’s set. Swarms of people with their hands over their ears passed by me throughout the fifty minute set which was opened with “Headache.” An apt title for a band that loves to make their audience listen to squelching feedback and almost too tight high-hats. It was just loud, to make it simple for you. The crowd was surprisingly malaise when compared the rest of the band who looked as those they were having some sort half-seizure-half-religious-experience onstage, throwing themselves around like rag dolls. Lead singer and guitarist, Alex Edkins had to take his glasses off early in the set because of his glasses fogging up (Thanks Texas humidity) and because of that he wasn’t as crisp on his licks for the remainder of the set. Although, you really had to focus to notice the missed notes, and with a noise-rock band like METZ, it’s kind of hard to figure out what was meant to be there, and what ended up there, so I will give Alex a slide. Other songs played include: “Get Off,” “Spit You Out,” “Acetate,” “Eraser,” and “Wasted.” The band closed with personal favorite “Wet Blanket,” off of their debut release, the titular, METZ. I had been listening to these guys for about four years, I liked the music, but I wasn’t head-over-heels in love with it, by any means. Yeah, I bought one of their records one time, but I wouldn’t have called myself a die hard fan until last night. You have to have a great live show or me to call myself a die hard fan of yours, and these guys earned it.
The Dillinger Escape Plan
Throughout the day, I was coping with the idea that I was never going to see the Dillinger Escape Plan again. Their performance was one of the main reasons why I came to Sound on Sound, so I was ready to go. Along with the other sets throughout the say, this started later than expected. None the less, they came out and absolutely destroyed it. The band needed no introduction. They walked out, got their instruments ready and then paused for a minute. After the minute of silence, they transitioned into “Limerent Death,” the lead single of their final LP Disassociation. The song was accompanied by and endless amount of strobe lights and violence. Throughout the set, guitarist Ben Weinman and vocalist Greg Puciato would find different ways to jump into the crowd. With all the chaos going on, they still managed to perform a flawless set. They played a fair balance of old and new music, playing new songs like “Symptom of Terminal Illness” and “Nothing to Forget,” as well as older songs such as “Panasonic Youth” and “Farewell Mona Lisa.” They ended their set with a mash up of “Sunshine the Werewolf” and “43% Burnt.” The band tried to ensue as much chaos as they could during their last minute. Puciato threw his microphone and stand to the ground and climbed up all the monitors. He then proceeded to flip into the crowd one last time. Unless you entered a seizure amidst all the strobe lights, this is a performance no one will forget.
Thanks for reading guys, check back in tomorrow for our review of the third and final day of the inaugural Sound on Sound Music Festival in the Sherwood Forest.