June 9, 2007
Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, CA.
Better Than: Losing your virginity at your friend's house while passed out on tequila.
Download: a link to an Interpol stream.
Skin cancer was, like, totally worth it. ... Totes.
More than 20,000 Bay Area teens and those guilty of associating with them herded into Mountain View's Shoreline Amphitheatre Saturday, June 9 for the West Coast's biggest display of rock force, BFD 2007.
Of course, it was foreigners like London's Bloc Party that closed the twelve-hour marathon -- foreigners like New York's Interpol that delivered a severe smackdown and foreigners like Omaha's disco metal freaks the Faint that just fucking murdered it up inside the parking lot. Three stages, 24 bands, $10 beers and warm, sunny weather whooped the ass of our fair-skinned, regional crowd. Everyone left sunburned and satisfied, but with boozy suggestions for next year's teenage rite of passage.
For one, punk rock museum piece Social Distortion turned out to have a surprisingly rabid fan base; a fan base that wanted to pit right in front of the stage to "Story of my life" -- not any of this prissy, reserved seating bullshit. Furthermore, 25 to forty-minute set times meant less songs but just as many sound problems as could be expected during such an operation. And the requisite bad bands!
The Kaiser Chiefs should be called the Ass Chiefs. "I predict a riot!" Ha! They should've predicted a nap.
Look up 'sucky' in the dictionary and there's a picture of Sum 41 archetypes Blink 182, which makes BFD's Sum 41 a copy of 'sucky.'
And if stupid fashion accessories were talent, local band Immigrant would be Vivaldi. "You suck!" some meatheads shouted at them in an apparent moment of lucidity.
Interpol won the award for Best Dressed and Best Performance as a result of their debut of new material from July 12's release "Our Love to Admire". New singles "Mammoth" and "The Heinrich Maneuver" sounded like Interpol won't be fucking with their formula, which is so good right now it can out-Police the old Police. People went apeshit for "Narc", "Slow Hands", "Evil" and "Obstacle 1". The next biggest response of the day came from hillbilly coke fiends the Faint.
Omaha's legendary dance dance dissolutionaries made playing keyboard and spazzing to disco look not at all emasculating. Bonafied moshpits and crowd surfing and shenanigans erupted in the dusty parking lot song after song. The drummer got hit with a Vans shoe pulled off some crowd surfing girl and chucked at his head. The wind, heat, blazing light, and fine white dust turned the Faint's run on the Festival stage into some Mad Max-themed music video shoot complete with depraved 'Hills Have Eyes' hillbillies. A couple 13 year-old newbies got their first taste of chaos in the Faint's pit and they will want more.
Overall, the 13th annual day functions as a regional watershed for 13-15 year-olds. Anyone older is merely tolerated. It's usually the first event your parents will drop you off at unsupervised because it's got so much security, it's during the day and there's security. "We are so excited to be here at BFD," said Tricia Kanne from SF shoegaze rock band Minipop. "This is the first concert I attended when I was fifteen back in 1994." Minipop played a 25-minute set, then rushed off to sign with the Grey's Anatomy soundtrack. (Evidently, the director's looking for something very "vowelly" -- with a lot of ooohhs and waaaaaays, -- but "edgy", ya know?)
-There was just enough time at BFD to play your hit songs, riff on the innate absurdity of trying to outplay Shiny Toy Guns at 200 meters, and go get drunk.
-ColdWarKids got picked on by sound problems while throngs of girls sang 'SexyBack' and inland fatties slurped Benn and Jerry's.
-Silversun Pickups squashed the Smashing Pumpkins comparisons with their short set, even though they need more good songs. They actually seemed stoked to be there and frontman Bryan Aubert is funnier than most in his crowd.
"This is my rock talk. I've been working it," Aubert said during an ad-lib bit where he thanked the crowd, praised the Bay and the weather and thanked the radio station.
"What's your great radio station's name? One-oh, what? That's right. [Laugh] 109." The he immediately cut into a song.
In other news: the Bravery's choruses are the most banal, and hence catchy, around. They include:
fearless; give me something to believe; stop drop and roll; honest mistake; time won't let me go.
You can see how they pick up a lot of girls and gays. They're bad the way Mika is bad. Sorry, Wyatt.
Other made-up awards.
Most Sucky: 1) Kaiser Chiefs; 2) Immigrant; 3) Sum 41
Most Bananas: The Faint
Most Reliable: Social Distortion
Most Snappy: Interpol loses first place to ... Interpol
Most Metal: QOTSA
Most Original: the token black dude in Bloc Party
Personal Bias: I was not drinking nearly enough for a 12-hour festival.
Random Detail: Some random dude, pointing at me with both index fingers and mouthing 'oh yeah' and flashing 'metal' signs during Interpol's set.
By the way: Era Vulgaris comes on June 12. They were underwhelming while still being most metal. Here's a stream of the entire new album.
Watch their Sick Sick Sick video.
Silversun Pickups vid
The Faint Vid I
SilverSun Pickups Vid
Interpol Vid 1
QOTSA vid 1