The final day of my P4k coverage for RadioK:
I woke up to thunder today, thanking everything holy that it might not be as hot outside. (Not the case! It was hotter than hell) But heat doesn’t matter when a day full of amazing music awaits, and Day 3 was my most anticipated lineup of the entire weekend.
After an awesome late breakfast at The American Depot near Austin, I arrived at the festival just in time to see up-and-coming blog favorite, Best Coast. Led by Bethany Cosentino, Best Coast was a beautiful way to start the day. The crowd was in full-on beach mode, tossing giant beach balls back and forth as Bethany played through most of her upcoming album, including ‘Crazy For You‘ and new single ‘Boyfriend‘. Her voice sounded stunning and angelic, reminiscent of early-50s girl groups. I already loved these songs, but they were even better live.
I left Best Coast’s set early to check out Girls on the A stage. Main Girl Christopher Owens looked ridiculous and amazing in his long-sleeve tropical Hawaiian shirt tucked into tan khakis. They opened with ‘Laura‘—a perfect fit for a sunny Sunday afternoon—and continued with more laid-back beachy jams until playing a sedated version of ‘Lust For Life‘ near the end of the set. Owens seemed legitimately nice (and humbled) too—at one point shooting video of the crowd, telling everybody to “say hi to mom”.
Beach House continued the relaxing summer vibe on the C stage with an absolutely mesmerizing show. They gathered one of the bigger crowds of the afternoon; played ‘Walk In The Park‘ and ‘Norway‘ back to back to hypnotize us all; and finished with a ravishing version of ‘10 Mile Stereo‘ that ended to massive cheers while Victoria Legrand held the final note for 20-some seconds. The stage décor (silver confetti streamers à la Warhol’s Silver Factory) and Legrand’s deadpan, hypnotic vocals reminded me of Nico, which I’d never thought before.
Lightning Bolt hit the A stage next, and it was absolutely: ear-splitting, eye-melting, awesome. If anyone was going to die this weekend, it was going to be during this show, which redefined loud. I still have no idea how these two guys can make that much delicious noise. Drummer Brian Chippendale was the highlight of the show (wearing a mic-outfitted mask and virtually destroying his drumset with ridiculous fills).
Photo by Marty Perez
I had planned to check out the beginning of Major Lazer before heading over to Neon Indian, but Major Lazer’s show was so insane and amazing that there was no way that was happening. Instead of leaving, I moved closer to the stage. Diplo and Switch (Major Lazer’s two main culprits) were outrageous; this was a partyx3. Switch, has to be completely insane at this point; he came out wearing purple suspender-pants and a bleached Mohawk, taking pulls of Hennessy. There were Chinese dragons (later replaced by ballerinas), half-naked dancers, and seXXX-energy everywhere. Rolls of toilet paper thrown into the crowd; goose-stepping ballerinas; oh my god, this is happening. The show was 100% localized, and Switch gave shout-outs to Chicago and Pitchfork in nearly every song. Diplo was killing it on the breakdowns, (a cardboard sign near his DJ decks accurately stated, ‘Diplo Rulz’) and by the end of the show Switch had the crowd waving shirts in the air as he climbed a 10-foot ladder only to take off his pants and jump to the ground.
Pavement finished off the night—and the festival—with a set heavy on classics and heavy on mood. Stephen Malkmus’s slacker hooks were an absolutely perfect comedown from the hi-heat, hi-energy weekend. They started off the set with ‘Cut Your Hair‘, and played just about everything else, including ‘Shady Lane‘, ‘Stereo‘ (which Malkmus dedicated to Pitchfork security), ‘Trigger Pull‘ and ‘Silent Kid‘. Hearing the solo on ‘Stop Breathin’‘ as the Festival came to a close was incomparably awesome.
Top 7 music moments of the weekend:
7. Modest Mouse opening with a 9-minute version of ‘Tiny Cities Made Of Ashes‘
6. Liars covering Bauhaus
5. Pavement playing the solo of ‘Stop Breathin’‘ as the Festival began to shut down.
4. Major Lazer attempting crowd-seizures during ‘Keep It Goin’ Louder‘
3. Beach House playing ‘Walk In The Park‘/’Norway‘ back to back
2. LCD Soundsystem’s four-on-the-floor stomper, ‘All My Friends‘
1. Nine members of Titus Andronicus and Hallelujah The Hills finishing off ‘…And Ever‘
Other loose ends:
-Oldest Festivalgoer: about 60
-Youngest Festivalgoer: about 3 months
-Most ironic band t-shirt: Billy Ray Cyrus
-Best day: Sunday
-Biggest disappointment: Panda Bear
-Overall favorite band/show: Wolf Parade
Top 5 shows:
5. Modest Mouse/Pavement (tie)
4. Major Lazer
3. Beach House
2. Titus Andronicus
1. Wolf Parade