The second day at a music festival is always the best, right? After the initial burst of Day 1 anticipation, Day 2 is the day to forget about all of your prior obligations and embrace your personal version of hedonism. Day 2 at the music festival is the day to gather your cheapskate friend, your geographical bearings and the extra layer you forgot and ramp things up.
There’s no hangover that bacon, some pancakes and a little hair of the dog won’t cure, and since you don’t have to work, there’s no excuse to not show up with enough time to see a local band finally playing on the big stage or check out that one guy with the hip indie “it” song you’ll definitely want to snap to your boring friends back home. Point is, you have nothing holding you back but you, so the second day at the festival is the day to really let it all out, say yes to bad things and take in as much of the day as possible.
Hot, drunk, stoned and loud, Day 2 in Napa was a lot of things, but boring, sober and lacking for great music was not one of them.
Aside from Imagine Dragons, Brothers Comatose are one of the more noteworthy “local boys make good” stories at Bottle Rock and they were the reason I hit the stage before hitting the beer tent on Saturday. They were just as clean sounding as always, but I couldn’t help thinking that these guys need to add a new wrinkle. Sure, they do a great Marty McFly shredding on his knees at the Enchantment Under the Sea impression, but on the big stage, I need something more.
Portugal. The Man
I ran into a coworker near the stage and after comparing schedules she asked what I knew about Portugal. The Man and the only thing I could think to tell her was that she probably needed to get real real stoned for them. I’ve seen Portugal. The Man twice now and they seem to have a noticeable feel for their audience and venue, as well as their instruments and what they can play. They did their familiar psychedelic jam sesh thing, which for Portugal. The Man is “playing the hits,” but they also threw in some Pink Floyd, Oasis and “Day Man” from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. However, most memorably, was the trumpeting badass they brought out for a five-minute solo. It was fucking awesome.
So remember when I said it was warm in Napa? Well, this was the time of day where the sun really imposed its will, and the fairgrounds reminded everyone that there was not much refuge for shade. Luckily I found some and was able to check out the extremely talented ZZ Ward. The band was phenomenal and I can’t help loving the amount of harmonica usage with the bands here at Bottle Rock. I met a woman at ZZ Ward who commented on my Dead Milkmen shirt (atypical of the usual 30-something beard-o’s who usually comment on my Dead Milkmen shirt) and casually recounted a show in Philly where she saw Dead Milkmen with Dead Kennedy’s. That’s the type of shit that I can’t even with. Well done Philly lady.
The Record Company
Rock and Roll and beer. And shade. And hard core hanging out. I think The Record Company would approve of that review. These guys played the guitars and did the drumming and seemed like genuinely cool guys; exactly the type of band you’d want to drink beer and rock with.
I had a lot of questions about Passion Pit coming in. I’ve always dug their records, but have only heard bad things about their live shows. Granted, time has passed since anyone I know has seen them and had enough of an opinion to say something about it, but I wanted to lose my shit here. So here are my questions: Does this band rock? Is the lead singer a good front man? And ultimately for me, would we still like the songs if they weren’t sung in falsetto?
I think we would like Passion Pit without the falsetto, and I think hearing the regular voice on “Take a Walk” is proof. This realization completely fucks with how well I like Passion Pit and everything I liked about this band began to erode. Lyrics I once thought were happy and positive were just so on the fucking nose that I couldn’t listen without being a hyper-critical music asshole. So I guess aside from the drummer who does definitely rip, this band decidedly does not rock and I’m out on the lead singer dude.