Donnybrook Does Monolith 08: Day One
The Donnybrook Writing Academy’s Intrepid “Reporters” braved the stairs at Red Rocks again this year to bring you breaking news from the Hipster Homecoming Dance that is the Monolith Music Festival.
We present to you, in no particular order, the main players-
Ivyy: We begin the tailgate. Which translates to “we begin being chased by bloodthirsty bees and drinking the first of many many sugary alcoholic drinks.”
Angora: In the wild parking lot environs, the Rabid Bee species chases the Girl with Sugary Drink species. The girl, in a blind fight-or-flight panic, dumps her rum runner down the front of her shirt, only attracting the bees to more sensitive of areas.
I’m laughing at the girly-girls and then one of the fuckers gets a scent of me that he can’t let go. This asshole bee is dive bombing my face and I jump up and down screaming, running into the parking lot and shaking my entire rum runner like a salt shaker all over myself.
Tailgating is great. We discuss how John Moore said Ivyy reminds him of this girl in Degrassi, which is a super rad TV show that is the greatest. I decide from now on instead of saying “Thank You” I will say “Degrassius” (or “De-gracias?”).
Ivyy: This year we’re doing it right- we’ve got the full on grill, we’ve got good tunes, comfortable (yet stylish) shoes, media passes, photo passes, and/or VIP passes, and of course, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The drinks we have, in order of tastiness, are: Rum Runner, Rum Island Iced Tea, Jose Cuervo Premixed Margarita, and Premixed Mojito, as well as the ever present PBR and Fat Tire.
FESTIVAL DO: Do whatever you have to to score a VIP parking pass (aside from actually paying- how gauche). Walking into Red Rocks from the top as opposed to hiking up the mountain from down below is just so, well, so VIP.
3:30-Entrance and Doing the Oxygen.
Angora: The great thing about being press is they don’t search your bags. It’s like being a stewardess in the ’70s! The bad thing about this moment is I’m dying of the worst hangover I’ve felt in years.
FESTIVAL DO: Oxygen for Hangovers. My weak, weak body has the audacity to be “not okay” with seventy five drinks at the Cloud Cult VIP party + altitude + rum runners + very little food + exercise. After we ascend a hill the size of god there It is, gleaming like a beacon: the oxygen bar. I get COMPLETELY BLITZED on oxygen. I’m like, drunk, yelling at people I don’t know and pointing “How about you? Have you tried the oxygen? Have you ever been to a concert…on oxygen? Yeahhh!”
Ivyy: How is it so easy to lose four hours in a parking lot? We start the festival in the Gigbot stage listening to Blitzen Trapper, whose lead singer looks like my dad did in the 1970’s; totally Jew-froed.
Angora: They play one song that sounds like it should be mashed up with “the Cat in the Cradle” and “Sweet Home Alabama.” We decide we should be mashup artists and even have our name be a mashup of mashup artists Girl Talk and Hood Internet: Good Internet. Or better yet, G-Good Internet.
4:30- Cut Copy.
Ivyy: Cut Copy is on the mainstage. When I saw them at the Larimer Lounge a few months ago I was surrounded by sweaty frat boys on ecstasy (NOT as fun as it sounds), so I’m quite looking forward to seeing these guys in an environment where I’m not being randomly hugged by strangers every 4 minutes.
Angora: I am a screaming idiot for Cut Copy. My idiocy and what I call “dancing” might have been captured on video by one John Moore of the Denver Post.
FESTIVAL DON’T: Heavy jewelry. All this jumping and my necklace has already decapitated three people.
5:15-Cut Copy gets cut.
Ivyy: Cut Copy gets cut off mid-song!! What? Yes!! Apparently they went 30 seconds over their allotted time, and the roadie cut them off in the middle of one of their huge hits. Did I mention that these guys are from Australia, and traveled a hugely long distance, uphill, braving the cold and the desert sun and the sleet and the snow in order to play us their pretty pretty music? Dance party buzzkill, although I’m sure the 4 obsessive-compulsive fans in the audience really appreciated the non-deviation from schedule. It’s ok though, because coming up next are….
5:45- The Fratellis!!!
Angora: Right before the lead singer gets on stage, someone is parasailing above Red Rocks as the crowd stares up in awe. Ivyy tells me she hopes it’s the lead singer of the Fratellis.
Ivyy: YES, I first heard The Fratellis on that one ipod commercial, too. The next day I went to Itunes and downloaded that song, fell in love with it, and slowly started enjoying the other Fratellis music that wasn’t featured on television commercials. Don’t judge me- how did you hear about Feist, Ok Go, or The Ting Tings? Hmmmmm?
Oh, and also, the kids, they love this band. The grown-ups are politely nodding their heads in time with the music, but the kids, they’re jumping around crazy, yelling and laughing and generally out-funning the hell out of us. Here’s a pic of JB with some young super-fans who were rocking out one row in front of us. Notice the rock horn hands and the tongue sticking out in a gesture of admiration: these are the telltale signs of the young fun super-fan.
6:30-The Most Repulse-tastic Rapper.
Ivyy: We head upstairs to the New Belgium stage for Mickey Avalon, a Los Angeles “rapper” who makes Father Guido want to gauge his ears out. The music snob in me understands his point- I mean, Mickey Avalon is about as hip hop as yer mom (zing!). Total frat rap, you know? But he’s fucking HILARIOUS. The dude’s a total tool, but I think he knows it. It’s like he says “You think I’m a douche, well, how about if I have strippers onstage during my shows? How’s that for douchey?” Uh, yeah, that’s pretty douchey, Mickey. “Hey, how about this? I’m gonna randomly flip the bird every 30 seconds for no apparent reason.” Yup, douche-tastic. “Oh yeah? Well, at the end of my set I’m gonna walk offstage and have my DJ press ‘play’ on the ipod, so that my encore is just a recording of me singing about how big my dick is. How do you like that?” Uhm, yeah dude, that’s really really very totally douchbaggey. You are the king of all douchebags. Well played, sir.
Angora: During Mickey Avalon we run into none other than the Bartender. He says he didn’t pay for tickets, he simply climbed over the Red Rocks and walked on in. “I’ve also been stealing oxygen all day,” he says. “When the dude’s not looking I just waltz up and SHHLLLP! [sucking motion].”
FESTIVAL DO: I can’t stress the brilliance of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches enough. Seriously, they’re compact, tasty, and protein-packed. And did I mention their deliciousness?
7:30-Get yer hair did.
Ivyy: JB’s brilliant idea of the day: “The Dell Computer tent is giving away free crazy hairstyles, let’s go get our hair done!” We both sit down and, as my hairstylist proceeds to give me a beautiful sparkly beehive prom up-do, JB’s stylist asks what she should do to his hair. He looks to me for an opinion, which is a terrible idea- 15 sugary alcoholic drinks take over my tongue and yell “PINK!!! PURPLE!!! GLITTER!!!” She listens and before JB can say a word, POOF, he’s faux-hawked and sparkle-tastic. He gives me a pretty fahkin’ wicked stink-eye. Whatevs, dude, my hair is pretty.
Angora: We run into none other than Donnybrook writer Robert B. Rutherford. The band he’s in, Everything Absent or Distorted, got asked to play the festival last-minute. He examines his bright yellow “ARTIST” wristband and dreams aloud of all the free kielbasas he’s about to get. For what is being VIP if there are no free tube-shaped meats?
8:00- The Oxygen Bar again.
Ivyy: What a racket, man. The dude giving out the oxygen is pretty cool, but after 10 minutes of breathing in vaguely pepperminty-orangey tasting air, I don’t feel all that much different. Maybe I should have considered not smoking cigarettes during the entire ten minutes, but what am I, a superhero with the self-control of a nun? No. No I am not.
Angora: We run into none other than Donnybrook writer Fritz Godard, and he is HAMMERED. He talks with wild gestures about blowing film budgets on booze and fabulous new movies. He is eying the lights in the Dell Dome. “Those are nice lights,” he says. “I should steal them for my production company.”
8:30- Silversun Pickups.
Ivyy: Dancing to Lazy Eye. Loud rawk music. Windy and cold.
Angora: My brother says it perfectly: the girl in Silversun Pickups is a dream girl because she is a rock star who you could bring home to Mom and Dad. The lead singer is all, “This is so amazing it’s fucked-up.” I love his voice. I love these songs. I’m way past dancing ability but I do so anyway – in fact the four of us in our festival dream team parade around in some stupid doeseydoing kind of dancing (to keep warm, mostly).
Angora: last time I saw Atmosphere it was at Coachella, and it was so hot the DJ’s records were warping, and Slug was wearing a shirt that said “Mysogyny is a bitch.” This time he’s making indie rapper jokes that Father Guido laughs hysterically at, but the rest of us don’t get. Then he invites Abstract Rude onto the stage, who we will later meet and completely freeze out of general starstruckness, having nothing of value to say to him. This is the first of many of those moments.
Slug is chillaxed and doesn’t even try to hype the crowd, and because of that the crowd goes nuts. He’s feelin us. I hear later that several girls get kicked out for showing him their boobies and being incredibly lewd. I always miss the good stuff.
Ivyy: Ok so I’ve stolen the photo pass for Devotchka’s set, and I’m down in the photo pit, front and center, with a fancy shmancy camera and surrounded by super duper rock photographers. And here’s the thing, I’m fucking TERRIBLE at photos. Seriously, I’m such a fraud down here, it’s almost funny. Here is by far the best photo out of the 75 I took:
FESTIVAL DON’T: If you are in any way coherent, I would recommend taking a shower before going to sleep, lest your sheets become sparkly beyond belief and so full of glitter that you would swear there was a stripper convention in your bedroom (zing!)
Here are more photos of Day One, and you can also preview Day Two here. Stay tuned for coverage of Monolith: Day Two!