Virgin Festival / Noah's Arkweld
12-Sep-2007 05:41 pm
Contributed by: pete
For a photographer, I did Virgin Festival all wrong, but still I had an amazing time. Originally, I was thinking I wouldn't go at all simply because I wasn't overly excited by the headlining acts (sorry, but it's true), and although there were a bunch of other bands I wanted to see, I figured I'd rather see them in a different setting. But then I remembered V-Fest last year and how good a time I had, so I took a closer look at the line-up and decided that I should actually go. Unfortunately, I decided this way too late to get media approval. So I did what anyone would do... I sold my child out to a band so I could get a backstage pass.
Noah's Arkweld is a band led by Noah Mintz, previously of hHead and who is also the mastering engineer behind the music of such bands as Broken Social Scene, The Dears, Death From Above 1979, and Stars. He describes his current band as "two dudes, two girls, some keyboards, guitars, drums, and a bunch of at-risk inner city rich kids that paint their faces, sing dirty words, and throw tantrums and juice boxes at the audience." Which is pretty much exactly what I saw for their set during NXNE.
Here it is just a few days away from V-Fest and I'm trying to figure out what to do. I know Noah's Arkweld is playing early in the day, and I also know Mintz is building an arsenal of rotten kids for his act. So I contact Cherise Burda (guitar) and ask if they need another poorly behaved child. Yup, maybe I'm a bad parent for doing so, but by Saturday I was headed over to the island with the band and fairly large group of parents and children.
Noah and the band opened the Budweiser stage starting around 1:45 PM, and as the early festival attendees made it over to the stage to see what was happening there were sounds of laughter, and grimaces of concern, as the kids jumped wildly, played cowbells, gave the crowd the finger, screamed obscenities, and fought over a microphone. The set was fairly short (about 5 songs), ending with the grand finale You Think You're The Shit where the kids sing the chorus "You think you're the shit, but take 'the' out of it". I know, I know. Bad parent. (But it was hilarious).
Connect: MySpace | Info: Noah's Arkweld
K-OS, The Most Serene Republic, Arctic Monkeys, Interpol, Mute Math, and Bjork
After the Noah's Arkweld set and then some food, I was left without child to see what I could accomplish with my All-Access wristband. I had a list of bands I wanted to photograph, and I brought a point & shoot camera (suspecting that even with the wristband I wouldn't be permitted to photograph from the media pit). I headed over to the main stage area with the members of Noah's Arkweld to watch a bit of K-OS, and he was good. But beer and fun were calling, so after a couple of songs, it was back to the hospitality area for some Molson products. After the set, K-OS returned to the area and could be seen riding a bike around throughout the day.
My plan to make it over to the Future Shop stage for The Most Serene Republic was thwarted by my own inability to properly tell time. And even when MIA passed by on her way to stage, it didn't occur to me that The Most Serene Republic was already supposed to be playing. By the time I worked it all out, it was too late. Too bad too since I own their 2005 CD Underwater Cinematographer as well as their 2006 release Phages and like them both. Hopefully I'll get to see them sometime when I'm being more responsible. A few of us headed over to near the Future Shop stage anyway to meet up with some friends, and unexpectedly ran into Paul Price from Eleven Minutes at the same time. We heard a little of Matt Costa on the Future Shop stage while over there, a band out of Huntington Beach CA, which had a pretty decent indie-alt-folk sound.
Back over to the main stage for the Arctic Monkeys, we found that our wristbands allowed us to watch the set from side-stage. We had hoped to watch Interpol from the same location, but after one song from them, side-stage was cleared of all viewers except those with special Interpol laminates. Fair enough, it was good while it lasted. Back on the outdoor couches in the hospitality area, we met a few of the members of the Matt Costa band, and they graciously offered to share some of their beer with us. By this point, time was flying by and I never did make it over to see Mute Math. I heard Bjork's performance was good, but I only heard her as I stood on the top deck of the ferry home.
I guess I'm not very good at festivals. I had great company, tons of laughs, and overall a really fun time, but I missed too much of the music. I'm good at small venues where you and the music are all in one location. At a festival, there's lots of places to get caught talking with people or drinking beer. And there's always somewhere to go, whether it's for the bands, or for food and drink, or the result of food and drink. And in doing those, I end up talking to more people. See what I mean? Maybe next year I'll get my act together and run around at the festival alone. I won't have nearly as good a time, but I'll have more photos to share. We'll see, we'll see.