Tuesday, May 29, 2007
One of my photos from the Crocodile Cafe show. More photos to come.
My friends and I have said our farewells and parted ways after a fabulous Beastified weekend. Everyone has returned home except for me. I'm back in Seattle, ordered to rest after the injuries I received at the Beastie Boys show Sunday night. My friend's husband here in Seattle (he's a doctor) tells me I have a broken rib and sprained ankle. Yipee. What a wonderful present and memory.
I never expected to be seriously injured at a Beastie Boys show. Get bad bruises and bumps: Yes. Knocked in the head: Yes. Broken bones from being crushed: No.
What a disappointment that final Beastie Boys set at the Sasquatch Music Festival was. My friend Paul and I stood and held primo spots on the barrier for nine hours so we could enjoy the Beastie Boys like we wanted to (i.e., up close). We didn't eat, drink, or do anything else for those nine hours except watch the other bands on the stage and maintain our spots. For two hours, we were forced to leave our precious spots and move back when the festival organizers deemed the main stage area too dangerous to stand in because of strong wind. When they decided to let people back in the area, there was a mad rush to the stage. Paul and I managed to regain our primo spots again, but we were quickly surrounded by many aggressive people who wanted those same spots. I guess I was easy pickings, being perhaps the oldest person attending the festival. (I ain't jokin'. Where were the old rockers?) Over the course of several other bands' sets, I was separated from my friend and edged out of my barrier spot by boys who were at least half my age and a foot taller than I am.
In my 25+ years of concert-going, I've never not been able to maintain a barrier position. I am normally a rock at the barrier. I can take whatever crap is going on down there. The biggest obstacle of maintaining my spot at the Sasquatch main stage was the barrier itself. It was almost 5 feet high. At 5' 3", I could barely see over it. Not being able to hold onto the rail comfortably because it was so high made it easy for those youngsters to crowd me out.
The crush during the Beastie Boys final set was worst than at Rage Against the Machine at Coachella a few weeks ago. (See the Coachella message board for descriptions of how truly horrible that was.) What the hell is wrong with those pushy Sasquatch Fest-going youths? They were crushing before the Beastie Boys were even on stage.
The only other time in my life I was crushed as badly was in 1986 at the Werchter Rock Festival in Belgium. The artist on stage came to my rescue and pulled me out of the crush in the pit. Although I don't expect the Beastie Boys to be as gallant as my Werchter hero and save me from disaster, I do expect them to notice what is going on in the pit and to try to do something about it. They did nothing. They said nothing. They knew what was going on. Bands see everything that is happening in the pit.
After I decided I had to bail the barrier and let security pull me out of the crush (the first time in my life I've ever made that decision!), I crawled to a VIP area and hopped the fence to catch my breath and recover. The mental anguish was almost worse than the physical pain. I couldn't believe after all the work I had put in to see the Beastie Boys up close, I was sitting so far from the stage. I cried for a half an hour -- not because I was in horrible pain (which I was), but because the band had let me down. When a man approached me and asked me if I was okay, I cried harder, thinking a stranger cares more about me than the band I devote so much of my heart and time to.
When I let go of my anguish and regained my composure, I became aware of what was happening on stage. The Beastie Boys were performing an odd set that had no flow. The night before, the band had performed a fantastic set on the Wookie Stage at the festival. Adam Horovitz told the audience to expect a different kind of set on Sunday -- one that was more hip hop-oriented. But for unknown reasons, when Sunday came, the Beastie Boys decided to stage another Gala set on the main stage. The addition of a few more of their hip-hop songs created a set that had a very "start-stop, start-stop" feel to it. (I know they're trying to figure it out for the European tour, so I'm trying not to be too critical. Truthfully, I am happy to see them perform any songs.)
After the show, my friends and I talked to people who had seen both of the Beastie Boys' sets at Sasquatch and everyone said the same thing: the Saturday set was fantastic; the Sunday set was mediocre. Still, a mediocre Beastie Boys set is better than an average or good set by most bands.
My friends and I agreed that we were disappointed with Sunday's set mainly because we expected to see and hear something different. If we hadn't been told by Mr. Horovitz to expect something different, we wouldn't have had any expectations. We thought we were going to hear "Brass Monkey," "Egg Man," and the like because of his comment on Saturday. Sunday's set turned out to be a watered-down version of a Gala set -- one that saw people bored and talking through all the non-vocal, instrumental songs.
For the Sunday set, the band had Mix Master Mike with them. "Hooray!" is what I thought when I saw the DJ booth on stage. But with the setlist the band chose, my favorite DJ had little to do. It seemed a waste to have him there and not doing his thang.
All in all, the Sunday set was plain disappointing. I'm discounting the fact that I got injured. I'm no fool. I knew the risks. I'm not complaining about getting hurt. I'm disappointed because I wanted more hip-hop songs on Sunday. I wanted "No Sleep Til Brooklyn." I wanted to hear Mix Master Mike scratch on "3 MCs and 1 DJ." I wanted to see Mark do a handstand on his keyboard. I wanted what I was promised: a hip-hop set.
I loved the Gala set so much on Saturday. I have a lot of wonderful things to say about it, which I will in a future posting here. I have more than 500 photos from the weekend to upload and a billion thoughts to sort in my head before I try to describe the Gala Event and the Crocodile Cafe show. One thing I will say now: If you were considering going to a Gala Event show, consider it no more -- DO IT INSTEAD! Get your tickets now because the Gala Event is going to be the hottest ticket on the planet.
It hurts to breathe.
Posted by Hot Sauce at 10:18 AM