Monday, July 27, 2009

Ben Harper plays the Blues at Virgin Fest in Vancouver

Yesterday it was stupid hot here in Vancity. It was step outside your house and you are sweating hot. Someone with a little less class than i may say that it was hotter than a camel's crotch on a sunny day in the desert. Not the kind of weather I enjoy. At all. I normally stay inside where there is AC when the mercury goes that high. But when I was offered free tickets to Virgin Fest at Deer Lake Park in Burnaby, I thought, why the Hell not?

The first day of the Festival was interrupted by the crazy thunderstorm that pummelled the city throughout the evening. It got so bad that The Roots were unable to go onstage. Bummer for all those there on Saturday. Virgin quickly spread the word that all Saturday tix would be honoured for Sunday's performances as well. Not super packed though. Too f*cking hot probably.

Note the largest flip-flops in existence! Hey, they were free and came with Malibu flavoured chap stick! Delicious! And the shrub girls on the top right. Uncomfortable - probably. But they got on stage with De La Soul! Why that is a good thing, I really don't know.......

Okay, moving on......

In my humble opinion, the lineup for Sunday was much better than the Saturday - De La Soul, Jarvis Cocker, Sonic Youth, Metric and Ben Harper and the Relentless 7 all graced the main stage. It was too damn hot to wander between the stages, so we didn't even venture over to the Festival Stage to see any of the acts over there. We parked our asses on the rise and tried not to melt. Jarvis Cocker could be found after his set, wandering the crowd and enjoying the afternoon with the rest of us!

All bands were good. But for me, it was pretty much all about Ben. His new album is the kick! A new band, and a definite new sound. A lot harder and to me, very reminiscent of music from the Vietnam era. I have never commented on a drummer before, but he was fricking awesome. So good. The whole set was wicked. Many were wishing for Ben to play lots of old tunes, but no such luck. New band, new sound, new songs, get over it people! Only a few old songs and the rest was the new album. Fantastic and amazing as always. 4th time I have seen him and he blows me away each time.

Metric, lead by Emily Haines were also fabulous. There was a lot of love for this band in the crowd. Her voice is strong and pure and beautiful and she radiates and energy that is totally infectious. She got the crowd on it's feet from start to finish.

During Ben's set, I became obsessed with capturing this image perfectly. They are behind the stage where the sound guys were set up and I thought it looked pretty cool. These are not super fantastic quality, but I thought they were rad.

Virgin Fest was a fun day. We snagged a cab pretty quick so I was home in an hour which was pretty impressive. It was f*cking hot. Too f*cking hot. But good tunes, good friends made the heat bearable. It was the perfect prelude for Bumbershoot in September where I have 3 days of music and fun! Yay.

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