All Points West – Liberty Park, NJ – 7/31 – Day One pt.2 All Points West – Liberty Park, NJ – 7/31 – Day One pt.2

All Points West - Liberty Park, NJ - 7/31 pt.2

All Points West - Liberty Park, NJ - 7/31 pt.2

Rock and roll is a torrid affair and though Vampire Weekend are about as starched as kids come they are inspiring the sort of sweaty, earnest revelry that first opened my heart to punk. The raw joy of just throwing it all away. No posture. No scene. Just a few thousand unlikely strangers in an unfamiliar place having their day just fucking MADE!

And I am glad to be one of them.

Elated, I go back to wandering. I check out the rain rave again in the hopes of catching teenage heathens jean jamming for the gods but there are mostly dudes but so what. I try and take pictures with little success and remember a spare flint in my bag.

I slip it in and with a few strikes am with fire again.

I kiss my zippo in secret.

The rain appears to be ceasing. The dusk is looking up. My gut abates as if to say “Everything’s coming up Charly.”

I hear I should check out Pharcyde (death to drugs? My Latin is nonexistent). I do. They talk quite a bit about Q-Tip. They dedicate “My Prerogative” to Michael Jackson and I giggle at their insouciance. They ask me for some “MOTHERFUCKING NOISE” and I give them some but I guess it’s not enough. They want more. I could probably offer them a pound of flesh so long as I can keep my blood but I think Flying Lotus is on as well and I remember reading something somewhere about his innovation.

I traverse the length of the festival to check out his tent and am met with a DJ racket. Eh. If there’s one thing I could give a fuck about, it’s spinning. I bet he doesn’t even have records. Is this even him? What the hell is going on here? There’s a man on a stage and there’s all manner of lights and images that don’t really register anything.

Oh well.

Guess I should check out the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Another band, I could really give two shits about. Nick Zinner is an arrogant prick. Guitar player to the fucking core. My friend and him had some flirty weirdo thing that dated back to Challenge of the Future and Bennington days and I’ve met him, at least, a half dozen times each instance of which he seemed more disinterested than the last. I’d like to think it was on account of me looming like a titan over him but that’s petty.

Still, sometimes it bathes me in awesome.

Fuck Karen O, too.

But, you know, I saw them open for Sonic Youth once at the Pool in Brooklyn and it was “like seeing Missing Persons at the US Festival” (as Danny says) which is actually a pretty good thing when you consider what a fucking disaster they were when they opened for the Blues Explosion at the Knitting Factory (who the FUCK introduces their fashion designer at a rock show? WHO?!?!). So, fuck it. New Wave, it is.

And they’re great. They really are. They’ve learned how to be a band. How to fill a stage. How to play their hearts out in a way that accounts for Nick’s hipshit deadpan paces and Karen O’s self-indulgent costume rages.

They’re drummer is sick, by the way and the fucking play “Human Fly”.

The stage is loomed over by a giant eyeball. Giant eyes bounce over the audience. They have flash. They have glittering lights and everyone is going bananas (yeah, I said it). The mud kids come out to play for the occasion, thrashing about like drunk kittens and singing hard as hell.

And when they play “Maps”…well, it just takes your breath away.

A quick beer. I should really go see Q-Tip but I want to earn my drinking tabs and besides if I’m stationed at the other stage I might miss what’s coming next.

Nothing.

All Points West - Liberty Park, NJ - 7/31 pt.2

All Points West - Liberty Park, NJ - 7/31 pt.2

For a long while, nothing but clear skies and the night coming over New Jersey. It’s beautiful. The city from here. The Statue of Liberty. The excitement building as lights sweep over the dank and battered field. A soft breeze rolling over those brave enough to stand still when we know our homes are so far away. So fucking warm and safe and private places where we can catch some sleep, take a shit, make a haven.

But in this waiting, it’s not about us. It’s about Jay Z.

And so we wait.

A clock opens over the stage. Ten minutes and counting. Every one moves closer. Fuck Q Tip. Fuck the end stage. Fuck the beer. Fuck the food. This is a countdown to something magical and everyone left knows it. Pities the fools who fled with nature.

Ten seconds.

We’re all in now. We’re counting down. Stained white kids. A gigantic Puerto Rican to my left so excited he might cry if it weren’t for the girl standing by him. A cavalry of colors, creeds and persuasions all ankle deep and screaming…

“3…2…1”

“No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn”

Do you remember the first time you heard Licensed to Ill? Do you remember being a kid by the Boom Box blaring sounds you’d never, EVER heard before? Do you remember wondering what in the fuck a beastie even was but wishing to all fuck that you could just be one?

Because somewhere in that sound you knew there was a revolution. Some simple riot that could change the world.

Now imagine that sound with horns. Imagine it rattling your bones and bellowing from the mouth of the
greatest MC still living. Imagine it lasting an hour and a half without pause. Imagine raising your fists to songs you’ve never heard before. Throwing your diamonds in the air. Hearing thousands match verse for
verse rhythms you can’t time because you’re so lost in the moment. Tingling with the electric majesty of one

All Points West - Liberty Park, NJ - 7/31 pt.2

All Points West - Liberty Park, NJ - 7/31 pt.2

man, one mic. One singular voice in a torrent of crude imagination.

I can’t.

And I was there.



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