Monday, February 18, 2008

Feeling The Good Vibrations

A special stationary treat for you kids today, a guest post by good highlighter chum and chief hip hop head Jordy O, the Good Vibrations 2008 review, without further ado....

Good Vibrations 2008 started with a new venue and a fresh outfit. There was a good chance to check out a lot more festival get ups during the long walk from the entry point to the festival grounds. The hip hop heavy lineup was well represented in costume, especially from the lads. Amongst the girls, being hot was popular. I love summer festivals!

The first act that we saw was the really cool group Thievery Corporation who seemed to produce a new MC for every track. There was certainly a lot of energy coming from the stage and that was thrown back with interest by the crowd eager to get their dancing shoes warmed up for a big day ahead. It is always a good thing to see a big band jamming as there are so many things to look at throughout the set, whether it be the hand percussionist relentlessly slapping skin or the brass section adding some nice groove and intermitent stage dancing.

From that set we wandered over to the Roots stage to see underground rap icon Pigeon John. Pigeon was very keen to get the crowd involved in the show and there were "Make some noise" and "If you hear me say ho!" comments being thrown around with almost reckless abandon. With just a DJ and a mic to help him out with his show, Pigeon John ran and bounced around the stage to put on a very memorable show. He is as funny as they come and not at all afraid to joke about his longevity/celebrity ratio. "Lemon to a Lime and a lime to a lemon/ Underground Hip Hop equals no women!" Pigeon was very kind to hand out his self proclaimed 68th and 69th copies of his new album to the Good Vibes crowd. I will definately be joining his quest to go gold in Australia.

We then went back to the Good Vibrations stage (creatively named) to see Scotland's own Calvin Harris. Going from a funk laced reggae sound, to a solo MC, to an electro infused rock band highlights the range of genres at festivals these days. To be honest, it was a bit too much of a contrast for me to properly feel the vibe so to speak. Having said that, trying to leave the crowd was a very hard thing to do as the place was packed all the way back to the bar area. And once out of the sardine tin and with my ears suitably adjusted, I found myself enjoying the band a lot more. It was a good entree for things to come at the very least.

Our next big gig, after a walkabout, was The Rapture. We had a sweet spot, were well stocked with drinks and ready to rock our socks off. To my amazement, Lyrics Born came on stage to introduce the band. I couldnt believe that he was there for a start and almost felt cheated that, having been there, he wasn't performing. How could you have someone like Lyrics Born back stage and not have him grace the crowd with a set? I don't think I will ever understand it. Anyway, The Rapture was absolutely awesome! They were a highly anticipated act and they did not disappoint. "Don Gon Do It" and "Get Myself Into It" were crowd favourites that got a big sing along. The New Yorkers were a big hit.

Following on the same stage was Cypress Hill. I was standing with a big Cypress fan and that made the set very enjoyable to watch. B-Real's voice and lyrical ability and Sen-Dogg's in-your-face attitude made for a great dynamic. They ran hot for their last half of the set where they came out with "Insane in the Membrane", "Hits From The Bong", "Dr. Greenthumb" back to back and "Rock Superstar" shortly after to wrap it up. They also came up with possibly the best stage prop I have ever seen, a massive inflatible gold buddah. While it was inflating, Sen-Dogg lit up a baseball bat and smoked that shit! We saw what we came to see.

We moved on to see Pharoahe Monch. I had not seen or heard him before but he came with a huge recomendation from two of my most respected opinions on all things hip hop so I was hanging out to see him perform all day. He was outstanding, a true highlight. His lyrical powers and versatility were off the heezy fo' sheezy (he has much better material than me). He looked the part too with a bid afro and a couple of guest MCs and backing singers added to a great atmosphere. I danced my little heart out.

The last act of the night was Kanye. He was a great showman and had obviously put a lot of thought into his show. I thought his sound levels were spot on and I did enjoy the set. For some reason though, I thought it fell short of a really good performance, for reasons I find hard to articulate. I think, unlike Cypress Hill, he spaced his fan favourites too far between each other and didnt keep the crowd up for long enough. It was a little bit up and down with the energy levels. However, the lights show was a really good asset to his show, and I thought his costume changes was one of the highlights of the day. What other male artist would wear three costumes on an hour and a half set? Also his neon watch was as unique as it was fantastic. Ending the show with his Daft Punk remix was the perfect finale.

All in all it was a very enjoyable day and I cant wait for next year, I just hope Herisson Island can get a little bit more grass cover to avoid the dustbowl, but then again, it generated nostalgia about our beloved ampitheatre and this festival's former residence.


Anonymous said...

j to the bone loved the review mate feels like i was there although it would have been hard to miss interpol for it. keep that ladsy shit coming

Issy said...

Pun-pun... some very good writing, and I dig the links to all the songs (now I know who the hell Lyrics Born is!) Shame I couldn't be there in the 'dust bowl'.