It’s not every day that you can walk a few blocks from your loft, meander through Downtown Los Angeles and end up at a concert with several thousand people and a few bands that you actually care about. Last weekend, after making a brief stop at the free, as in beer and open source, Grand Avenue Festival, I moseyed on down to the Detour Festival. I showed up pretty early, just before Blackalicious was going on and I was struck by the lack of people at the event.
As I readied my camera and waited for the music to start, I was informed by the stage security that instead of being allowed to shoot photos for the first 3 songs, we were would only be allowed to shoot 2. Gift of Gab started with the alphabet game song, “Alphabet Aerobics”, which he is probably most famous for, and of course he performed it flawlessly. Every time that I’ve seen Blackalicious perform, they’ve always sounded just like their recordings. There is nothing worse than a band that sounds great in the studios, but sucks ass live. As soon as the second song started, the security guards made all the photogs leave the pit, oh well shit happens.
The crowd wasn’t really feeling Blackalicious, or maybe they just hadn’t quite woken up yet, but I certainly enjoyed their performance. Their man on the ebony and ivory was rockin’ as were the backup vocalists. As far as the bands on the lineup, they were one of the main draws for me. I’m not sure why there was only one hip-hop act, it would have been better to devote a whole stage to the genre.
The next act I caught was Blonde Redhead, I’m not really much of a fan, but they were ok.
After Blonde Redhead, I wandered over to the bar and had some tequila, which didn’t cost as much as one would think at a festival / concert. After putting back a couple of tequila shots which were more like half glasses of tequila, I was ready to link up with my friend Mike Rocchio, founder of Mean Street Magazine. We met up at the 3rd street gate, hit the bar and were on to catch Basement Jaxx.
Basement Jaxx are another band that I don’t really care about / for, but they put on a totally rocking live act, possibly the best techno live act I’ve seen, better than Rabbit In the Moon, Daft Punk and almost as good as Aphex Twin with his giant dancing day-glo bears. They had a kilt-wearing brass section, several buxom soulful vocalists, the requisite knob twiddling dude on the synths and a pack of gorilla suited dancers who climbed up the stage rigging. I admit I was a bit worried the entire stage lighting setup was going to be pulled down by gorilla dancers, but it remained erect.
When I was in High School I acquired the Beck Loser Single, which had Loser, Corvertte Bummer, Alchohol, Soul Suckin Jerk and the rocking NOS influenced song Fume. Beck was totally awesome to me then. He quickly became popular and I mostly stopped listening to music with guitars that was produced after the early 90’s so I for the past 15 years I haven’t really been following him. I was excited that he opened with Loser and then played some of his other older music. The marionettes were fairly interesting, but I really think the Basement Jaxx stole the show. I will always have a place in my heart for Beck’s old music, maybe I just need to give his recent stuff a chance.
After beck I walked over to Queens of the Stone Age. I don’t care for them. The music hurt my ears. It was too loud, I didn’t have ear plugs, I think I am getting old. My CF card was full. I don’t even know why I went into the photo pit. I ended up losing my lens cap.
I think the best part of Detour was that it was located within walking distance of my loft. I wish that they would have had made each stage genre specific. They could have had a stage of indie rock, a stage of hip-hop, a techno music stage and a latin music stage. I am looking forward to the show next year, and hoping they will have more music that interests me.
Best metaphoto ever:
Full photo section here.