Sunday, September 24, 2006

Virgin Music Festival

I had the pleasure to attend the Virgin Music Festival in Baltimore, Maryland, on September 23rd. Here is a full list of bands. I personally saw parts of Kasabian, Drive-By Truckers, RJD2, Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Flaming Lips. I saw the entire sets of Wolfmother, The Raconteurs, Gnarls Barkley, The Killers, and The Who.

I never heard of Wolfmother before the day, although I had heard of one of their songs "Woman". I enjoyed their set, and did get Woman off of iTunes later. The band reminds be of a Doors-esque type of group. I had limited knowledge of The Raconteurs, only knowing that Jack White was in the band (and I only remembered that two songs into their set). I had heard their single only once before, but once again, after I returned home, it was off to iTunes for "Steady as She Goes". Gnarls Barkley was everything I expected. They came out in Roman garb and I think were the first group to play who had mass appeal. It was ironic that their set was supposed to last 50 minutes, but I think their debut album is only about 45 minutes long. Cee-Lo (the lead singer) did talk between songs and kept the crowd entertained. They did an acoustic version of their song "Transformers" and closed with their two singles "Crazy" and "Smiley Face".

I enjoyed The Killers, despite only knowing two of their songs. Their other songs were ok, but I am not going to go out and buy their albums quite yet. The drummer looked like Jason Lee in My Name is Earl though, and that's a plus! I only saw part of the Red Hot Chili Peppers (they were the closing act on the Main Stage). Early on the set, they mostly played their stuff off their new album or their little known songs, so while it was fun, I was a little turned off. Flea is a god on the bass guitar though. Leaving RHCP, I wandered over to the last few songs of The Flaming Lips. There is nothing quite like seeing a pack of Santas surround a band. Throughly entertaining indeed. And, of course, a new iTunes purchase.

The highlight of the night has the be The Who's perfomance. With tickets in excess of 100 dollars, The Who is what attracted me to the festival. And they did not disappoint! They played their greatest hits (Who Are You?, Behind Blue Eyes, and my favorite song of all time Pinball Wizard, among others) and did mix in some of their newer stuff fro their album that is due in October. Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend still rock out. They had a big video screen behind them that played a conocopica of images that somewhat realted to their songs, much like Paul McCartney did way back when I saw him in 2002. Unfortunately, Pete did not smash his guitar at the end of the set, but overall I would recommend seeing The Who in person if you are remotely a fan of their music.

All in all, a great way to spend a day!

I give Virgin Fest 4 1/2 Fiery Volcanoes out of 5.


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