Let’s Talk About Our Weekend

Before we start this, some legit news to report: Thanks to our readers who caught that NHL Network is televising Game 5 of the Red Wings/Ducks series at 5:00 PM ET on Sunday.

Folks, we are no music journalists, but we feel like talking about our weekend spend with about 70,000 others at the Bamboozle Festival in the Giants Stadium parking lot.  Comic Zack Galifianakis put it, maybe naively, best “Is it in a parking lot?  [referring to where he specifically performed] is it in a tent?  Are there a ton of Blink-182 cover bands playing?”

Yes, pop-punk dominated the two days, but with comics like Galifianakis, hardcore punk like Rise Against, the ska-pop reunited No Doubt and, uh… GWAR, The Bamboozle maintains it’s standing as one of the nation’s most underrated festivals, and one that – based on it’s ever-increasing, star-power tinged headliners – is gaining steam.

Our random thoughts from the two days, after the jump:

Saturday:

  • The first thing we saw during the day was Georgian pop-punk band Cartel.  Their melody was on, but there was really little remarkable to them.  A poor man’s New Found Glory, if that’s possible.  Ironically, Cartel performed a set of NFG covers during Friday’s “Hoodwink” festival, which typically gets everyone set for the weekend to come.
  • If punk in general, and pop-punk specifically, is due for a revival in the next couple of years, expect to hear Long Islanders (and certified puckheads) Patent Pending on your iPod.  They sort of have the festival’s official anthem written, the screamo-crunk “MC Hammer is Playing The Bamboozle”, an all-purpose, often performed multiple-times-a-set jam that reference when, in 2007, MC Hammer played The Bamboozle.  Get it now?  The band closed their set with a cover of Cascada’s “Everytime We Touch”.  The site of 30-40 kids circle pitting it to that was too priceless for words.
  • So, we saw Bloodhound Gang.  Yes, it was awesome.  No, we don’t care what you think.  The band started out their set with the laid-back “Fire Water Burn” before working some one-liners that ranged from racist (“I had a skidmark on my shirt, it was darker than Patterson [, New Jersey]”), to anti-Delaware /Meadowlands (“This girl I was with last night in Delaware was more unattractive than the Xanadu Project”), to just plain wrong (“We are old, I mean, really old.  We’re gonna’ die before Patrick Swayze”).  That said, songs like “The Ballad of Chasey Lane” and “Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo” never get old.
  • Gavin Rossdale was the next station of my day, and I wasn’t expecting much.  But apparently, he plays Bush songs.  Everyone’s been referencing the “Everything Zen” mixed with a verse of Talking Heads’ “Once in a Lifetime”, but the rendition of “Machinehead” was just as memorable.  Also, I was not aware that it was he who sang that sappy song from the “Nights in Rodanthe” trailer.  Consider us as having learned something.
  • Tennessee indie rockers Cage the Elephant were playing on a side stage, with a decidedly older crowd than much of the rest of the festival.  The band spared no energy, and turned the 90’s Beck-aping “Ain’t No Rest For the Wicked”, which is burning up the Modern rock charts, into a chilled-out singalong.
  • Most music fans under the age of 20 have a love-hate relationship with Cobra Starship, and Saturday showed off why.  Singer Gabe Sapporta just refuses to shut up in between songs.  How much needs to be said about “Guilty Pleasure”? That said, the band brought on great renditions of old songs like “Bring It” from the “Snakes on a Plane Soundtrack, and new song “Pete Wentz is The Only Reason We’re Famous”.  We’d agree on half of that, but famous?
  • We skipped out on The Get Up Kids and All Time Low to go heckle a racist clown on a dunk tank.  Sorry, mom.
  • The Special Guest that had been bantied about all weekend turned out to be a Journey cover band.  I would have been really annoyed if it weren’t impossible to sing along to a great rendition of “Don’t Stop Believin'”.
  • 90’s alternative rockers Third Eye Blind closed out my portion of the day (Because I will lose credibility for Bloodhound Gang, but not for Fall Out Boy) and it was mostly satisfying, despite the group’s reliance on new material.  However, some of it is very good, and would get played on radio if rock radio still existed.  The band closed out the set with jam-interluded versions of “Jumper” and “Semi-Charmed Life”, which featured a verse of Nelly’s “Country Grammar”.  Because of course it would.

Sunday:                                                                                                                                                                  

  • We began Sunday with The Ataris.  Remember them?  They had two hits and one of them was a cover of Henley’s “Boys of Summer”?  Of course you don’t.  However, they still performed a very workman-like set, and “In this Diary” is as Summer a Summer-song can be, it almost made the rain go away for a minute.
  • Power-pop supergroup Tinted Windows is as bizarre live as it sounds on paper.  Featuring Adam Schlesinger from Fountains of Wayne, James Iha of Smashing Pumpkins, Bun. E. Carlos (!) of Cheap Trick, and… er… Taylor Hanson, they were nothing special, unfortunately.
  • Canadian scream-punks Billy Talent energized the drizzled-upon crowd with their old hit “Try Honesty”.  One of the first larger pits of the day.
  • We checked out a little of The Sounds and The Maine, and quoth Homer Simpson: “We can certainly see why this is so popular.”  It’s not for us, but we trust the kids who enjoy it.
  • Then, it was time to laugh.  Piano/rapping comic Bo Burnham was hilarious, with a combo of great songs, off-kilter one-liners, and heckling back-and-forth to crowd members (To one beef-headed guy in a tank top: “You must have seen ‘Wolverine: Origins’ four times this weekend”).  Burnham’s legend is clearly spreading, as he had the biggest crowd his tent (and most of the side-stages) had seen all day.
  • As great as Burnham was, as I said, Zack Galifianakis stole the show.  His repetoire of Steven Wright-esque stoner observations (“At what age should you tell a highway it’s adopted?”), stories about his home life, and piano-man observations killed me.  None of the material is really worthy of the printed word.  The video he played at the end killed me.  I hate to say it, but you must see him yourself.
  • Canadian punks Sum 41 were the nicest surprise of the day, as they refused to play anything remotely new and concentrated on all the songs I knew by heart at the age of 12.  Thanks, Sum 41.
  • Political punk-rockers Rise Against brought the thunder, though not literally.  Billy Talent’s lead-singer came out for a stunningly hard-rocking version of “Prayer of the Refugee”.  On tour with Billy Talent and Rancid this Summer, Rise Against are likely the hard-rocking answer to Kings of Leon’s upcoming wave of popularity.
  • Taking Back Sunday continue to be unimpressive live.  That is all.
  • No Doubt reuniting had literally everyone dancing.  I don’t think I saw a crowd as responsive all weekend.  There’s not too much to say, as the band looks as if they never took a five-year break.

Finally, I must take a picture of this, but there was t-shirt stand that sold me a name & number shirt of “Averman” from the Mighty Ducks films.  Something for everyone, indeed.

2 Responses to Let’s Talk About Our Weekend

  1. Joel says:

    That sounds absolutely terrible.

  2. stevelepore says:

    It was pretty fun. You have to experience it to appreciate it.

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