Monolith Day Two: the Awesome Day
Patience from the Grates by Primero Vicente Pantalones
12:30 PM: Tailgatin’
Ivyy- Ahhh, much better. 75 degrees and sunny, and we arrive early enough to the Red Rocks VIP parking lot to have a decent tailgate party before departing to see Jim McTurnan and The Kids That Killed The Man.
We take the long way down, around the parking lot to enter the venue at the lower mainstage side, just because it’s such a beautiful day, and being as we are Coloradans we are obligated by law to hike on beautiful Sunday mornings. We get down to the bottom of the trail, flash our media badges, and SNAG!! Mr. Security Guard at the door WON’T LET US IN!!! Doesn’t he know who we are?! We attempt to reason with him- “Sir, we have media badges, doesn’t that allow us any entrance? Even the main entrance? Sir, our friends with media badges just entered this way not five minutes ago. Sir, you are a douchey douchey mcdouchebag.” But he hears nothing. Stoney-faced and rude, he ushers us back up the trail and forces us to lose 20 minutes (and Jim’s set) because we have to hike back around to some arbitrary entrance for “check-in.” I hurl some choice unladylike words in his direction and we move on. Here, let’s all bask in the glory of this policy wonk:
Angora- I wear many hats, and on this day it’s a fancy, sober, professional publicist hat, as I’m facilitating interviews for my boys playing the festival, These United States. Exactly like this:
So I show up at the media tent from 12:30-2:30 to make sure everything’s in order while These United States are interviewed by Colorado Music Buzz, Some Love Music, Metromix, and Examiner.
PS- there are no actual hats involved in this scenario.
2:00 PM: The Grates
Father Guido, Patience from the Grates, and Primero Vicente Pantalones
Ivyy- Ok so we finally get into the park, just in time for the start of a set by The Grates. Hearing their music pre-Monolith, I was super un-interested in this band, so it was a pleasant surprise to see how fun they were in person. Also, (and every guy at Monolith will tell you this), their lead singer is SO DAMN CUTE. When she jumped onstage and started smiling and waving her blonde hair all over the place, I definitely did NOT stifle a wave of jealousy. I definitely did not.
Angora- Agreed. She is so cute, I want to put her in my pocket and feed her cupcakes all the time and put bows in her hair. I think other people have other things they would rather do with her….
2:20 PM: The Pirate Signal
PHOTO BY PRIMERO VICENTE PANTALONES
Ivyy- Onward to The Pirate Signal, the second of Donnybrook’s Most Fuckable this week, and one of my favorite shows of the festival. Yonnas Abraham has the perfect combination of badass charisma and dorky ‘i’m-just-happy-to-be-here’ awkwardness. And one of the MCs he raps with is wearing a shirt that says “Why are all these haters surrounding me??”, which is now on Ivyy’s birthday wish list. (Editor’s Note: Ivyy’s birthday is coming up next week, so be sure to buy her lots of presents!!!)
Angora- Later in the day in the artist tent, we find out that Yonnas was born on the EXACT SAME DAY as Donnybrook Snobcaster Father Guido Sarducci IV. Same year and everything. Soul-mate-hood is forged; and double birthday parties are planned!
(metacommentary: Yonnas just came into my office to say hi, what a plate of shrimp!! He’s recording his album at the W.A.R.? studios above which I work)
Ivyy- I almost get into a fight with a four-foot tall security woman who literally puts her hand IN MY FACE to keep me from walking through the doors to see We Were Promised Jetpacks. What is up with the freakin’ security in this place? Now, I’m all for turn the other cheek and whatnot, but I will CUT A BITCH who puts her hand IN MY FACE.
3:00 PM: Monotonix
PHOTO BY PRIMERO VICENTE PANTALONES
Ivyy- Hanging in the back for Monotonix. I’m a little nervous about what’s in store for me, as I realize during the sound check that the drum set is being set up IN THE AUDIENCE? WHAT? That’s CRAZY!!!!! Mrs. Goose and I are hanging out together, and she suggests we keep an exit handy, and idea which I find ingenius….
…until the band starts playing IN THE AUDIENCE. WHAT? That’s CRAZY!! I know!! Suddenly, where I once was 10 rows back with an escape route, I now have a hairy Israeli dripping sweat on me and singing in my FACE, son, and the guitarist/bass drummer is 12 inches from me and my video camera. (OMG did you say VIDEO CAMERA? Yup. Here ya go…)
Angora- What’s up with people putting things in Ivyy’s face all the time? And we haven’t even gotten to the afterparties!
Monotonix, described by some as a Tel Avivian brand of Gogol Bordello-meets-Zeppelin, is so amazing! Imagine bringing a Stooges show into the crowd, without the glass. Sweaty lead singer Ami Shalev, hairier than five Borats, is rolling around the crowd in itty-bitty pinkish terry cloth short shorts. I’m sure more than one person got a niiiice flavorful teabagging.
The entire floor of the Southern Comfort stage is wavering from the crowd bouncing up and down–not exaggerating. Now Shalev is singing on top of the crowd with the illusion that he is walking on water. I think he’s standing on a drum which someone is lifting up over their head. Then he takes advantage of this precarious, god-like position and slowly bends over and….he moons the entire crowd! and his ass is really hairy!–and he’s doing improper things with the microphone–I’ll just say, I hope the next band brought their own mics.
3:30 PM: Dandy Warhols
PHOTO BY ANGORA HOLLY POLO
Ivyy- What consummate professionals. These guys have a great sound for sitting in the sun on a crisp Colorado afternoon. Also, I MET one of them!!! Angora and I totally ambushed the drummer during Glitch Mob and asked him for a photo, even though he pointedly said many times how much he was enjoying the music and how much he would like to continue to enjoy the music without anyone hassling him!! Awww, rockstars are so cute sometimes in their pleas for anonymity!
Angora- I take photos up front for Dandies since they were one of the first bands I loved outside of the mainstream, my love most strong around the days of Come Down. Every one of them is super hot up close; Courtney executes every move with an ecstatic, I’m-so-cool-it’s-orgasmic sneer. And it works, it really works.
After hassling drummer Brent DeBoer for pics with him, I meet Plucky from Spindrift, and he tells me stories about working with Anton when he was in Brian Jonestown Massacre. Man, that Anton hijacks every conversation, and it was even my fault this time–but he’s certainly an enigma. Spindrift, as I later discover, plays dark, psychedelic spaghetti Western music. Which is all stuff I love: psychedelia a la Brian Jonestown (man I love those recordings–live, notsomuch); I love spaghetti (it’s like my favorite thing to eat!!); and in terms of Westerns… I was once known to watch all eight hours of Lonesome Dove in one sitting.
BEER O CLOCK: Media Tent
Ivyy- So today the Red Rocks folks have wised up and stopped giving free drinks to already drunk journalists. I have to ask my friends with artist and all-access badges to scam drinks from the open bar in the artist tent. Which they do with great aplomb- I’m double fisting a red wine and a PBR when JB graciously walks up with a $7 beer that he actually BOUGHT for me. Chug-a-lug, Ivyy.
Angora- Every time I’m in this area, Mike Marchant is here with a smile on his face and a drink in his hand. I like that. He’s like the unofficial backstage host of Monolith.
These United States are playing a MOKB/Laundromatinee session behind the media tent when we hear the news: MSTRKRFT has gotten the swine flu, has canceled their show, and everything is going on later. Which rules, because I want to have a few drinks with my friends–in fact, I’m overheard saying “I need to be drunk by Passion Pit” and therefore giggled at by a stranger.
Then I join an impromptu pot party in the artist tent! I don’t smoke the marijuana, but I like standing in tight circles with intriguing people!
7:45ish: Passion Pit
PHOTO BY ANGORA HOLLY POLO
Ivyy- JB and I discuss the philosophy of live shows, and decide they fall into three categories. The first is the act that sounds almost exactly like their studio work from their albums- which could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on what you want to hear (The Pains of Being Pure At Heart is a good example of this, who were either beloved or be-hated at this year’s Monolith, depending on who you talk to). The second is the act that sounds nothing like their studio work, but in a good way (think Bruce Springsteen singing any live version of Atlantic City). The third is the act that kinda sorta tries to sound like their album, but ends up sounding nothing like their album, but in a bad way. And after hearing “Sleepyhead,” we decide that Passion Pit falls into the third category. That is all.
Angora- The kids in the crowd are so nuts, they’re almost flattening the photographers in the photo pit by knocking down the guard rail. Danger is my middle name, so I risk my life to stand on the guard rail for a sec to capture the crowd from a bird’s eye view–because I’m selfless like that. Or stupid. I don’t think the picture turns out.
Lead singer Michael Angelakos is really sweet and earnest to watch, and I love love Passion Pit, but they’re kind of like when I saw LCD Soundsystem at Red Rocks: some electronic music doesn’t translate to the outdoors as well. I love “the Reeling,” and it’s just not as synthy and neon with clouds and air to absorb it. Or something?
Also, there was a lotta confetti flying around Red Rocks this last weekend–Passion Pit, of all bands, should have followed suit.
Angora- meh. I just don’t get it. Partway through Phoenix, we retire to the parking lot like any decent Americans would…to get hammered with complete strangers. I’ll leave you with an excellent photo of Phoenix, and some other photos taken by Primero Vicent Pantalones with a few by Angora Holly Polo for good measure.
Thanks Monolith, see you next year?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
THE PIRATE SIGNAL
THE DANDY WARHOLS
IVYY GOLDBERG, ESQ.
RED MAN (AND METHOD MAN, NOT PICTURED)