Backstage : FM 94/9 Independence Jam
I thought I'd write a few rambling thoughts on a show my band (Blackout Party) had the pleasure of being a part of this past Sunday, June 8th 2008. This glorious occasion was none other than FM 94.9's Indie Jam @ Southwestern College in Chula Vista. Let me start by saying that none of these musings are intended to be "unbiased" or "well-written", for that matter. I merely intend to pull the curtain back and shed some light on that which is not seen by the average festival-goer. I will describe the mundane and the debauch. What follows is a loosely-knit play-by-play of one day in the life of a peon local musician. In other words, I'm going to tell you about my day.
Woke up around 9. Gathered my things. Obama t-shirt, black jeans, white chucks, yellow socks, beanie. Brewed some much-needed coffee. Not as hung over as the morning before, but still a bit out of sorts. Daniel, Jake, Lauren, and Jon gather around the backyard table eating shitty McBreakfasts. Good vibes are present, and we mount up at high noon. We're headed halfway to mexico to make the most of an unusually warm Sunday afternoon.
We arrive to find the stage manager sweating tequila, and load in under a white tent next to the local stage. This very tent and its surrounding fenced-in area was the of the sordid events that were to come.
First things first, where's the beer? All I see is 2 coolers filled with bottled water, soda, and fruity tea-like beverages. Something must be done. And damn fast. Mom and Baby come to the rescue with a timely beer run. Frosty cans of Miller Lite and Bud lite in hand, we get our gear onstage and deliver the merch to the merch booth. Just then, as if by some stroke of gastrointestinal genius, pizza arrives. My guts are now primed for a healthy dose of beer, whiskey, doritos (dipped in cheese sauce), Tim Mays' homemade spicy roasted pistaschios, more whiskey, and much more beer.
Blackout Party - Photo by Jon Foster The thing that strikes me most about the entire event, besides MGMT's set (more on that in a second), was the FAMILY VIBE backstage. It was just a damn good time. Good conversation, cold beer, and a steady supply of really excellent music. Standouts in my mind were Transfer and The Muslims. A constant stream of familiar faces and hilarious scenarios made for a helluva good time.
But on to MGMT. Love the album. Was afraid they weren't gunna pull it off live and I would be bummed. But, alas, they melted faces and were by far the highlight of a lot of people's days. Besides sounding phenomenal with a totally unpretentious vibe, I appreciated the human element they brought to the stage. When an amp crapped out, they led the crowd in some spontaneous and hilarious chanting that won everybody over bigtime. By the time they closed with "Kids", everyone was going batshit crazy. To quote the singer, "This is like a mini Woodstock!!"
I am embarassed to admit that I missed Cold War Kids. I also missed The Hold Steady. Flogging Molly as well. The reason, you might ask, for this ridiculous oversight?? I was becoming one with nature on a lovely nature hike above the warning track of the Southwestern College baseball field. My lovely assistant and I spent some quality time watching the sun sink behind the trees and observing the playful jousting of a few native Chula Vista crows. As soon as we returned to the party, however, we were greeted with a fresh batch of pizzas. Veggie. A little heavy on the mushrooms, but good pizza nonetheless.
The rest of the evening is a blur of animated conversations, a thunderous set by Transfer, and a scramble to pillage every last bit of food and drink before we headed north for more beer, burritos and bed.
Backstage for Transfer's set - Pictures by Leah Novakovich
An extreme highlight was watching Jake and Tim stumble onstage to howl their way through Transfer's introduction. Jake imitated Cronos from Venom and yelled, "DO WE HAVE ANY BEER DRINKERS IN THE CROWD SAN DIEGO?!?!". Enough said.
Here's to a beautiful day in the sun, and a gigantic whatsup to all the heads that were gettin groovy during our set!!
After Hours at the loft