06 November 2011

Moogfest 2011: The Review

posted by: Arjun Lists & Rankings
Moogfest 2011: The Review

My friend and I ate dinner as soon as we arrived in Asheville. It was nothing special. I’m not going to rip on the restaurant we ate at, but it was nothing special. We ran to the Active Child concert.

Active Child gave a super strange concert that was weirdly epic. The whole thing was just this grown ginger man, sitting down and playing the harp. And it was awesome! Every Active Child song was like finding a new way to cry. Pat Grossi is an emotional wreck, but my god, did he give one hell of a performance, which ended with one final cry behind a bombastic, bass-heavy beat.

M83 at Moogfest in Asheville, NC

The M83 concert also got off to a weird start. A man in a mask walked onstage. Trippy? Yes. But the audience knew what was happening. It was time for M83. The man in the mask (mask seen here) slowly raised both hands, commanding the audience’s attention, and the audience responded obediently, raising its hands along with him. Then, the man dropped his hands and ran offstage. Strange. Anthony Gonzalez and the band walked on a few minutes later behind the “Intro” beat. I was able to see them perform “Intro,” “Midnight City,” and “Reunion” before I had to leave, and each was amazing and epic, and I’m overusing the word “epic,” but really guys, you had to be there. The performance was spectacular and surprisingly pitch-perfect, not to mention that everything that happened in the Asheville Civic Center was only enhanced by the fish swimming in the sky (Lil Wayne reference?), the kaleidoscope visuals on the big screen, and the awkward, drug-induced swaying (dancing?) from the audience. We ran out of there in horror and because it was time for the Childish Gambino concert. Hurry up, we’re dreaming.

MP3: “Heartbeat” – Childish Gambino

We had a front-row view of the Childish Gambino concert, which was awesome. We saw the stage being set up: Ludwig Gorannson tuning his guitar, Thomas Drayton setting up his bass (slappin da bass, man), and Sad Billy Idol polishing his violin (or whatever violinists do). When Donald didn’t come on stage at exactly the scheduled time, the young crowd quickly got impatient, chanting “Gambino! Gambino! Gambino!” Finally, he came out rapping “Hero” from last year’s Culdesac. The next hour and a half consisted of everybody’s favorite Gambino tracks. It’s actually kind of amazing. The guy has so many hits already–before his first commerical release. Some of the highlights from the concert were the never-before-performed-live “L.E.S.” and “Heartbeat” from Camp, his “Rolling in the Deep” remix with John Legend’s vocals, his freestyle over the “I’m A Boss” beat, and the “Lights Turned On” rager to close the show. I don’t think I can tell you how great the it all was. Donald Glover is on a whole ‘nother level. You can see and hear his passion as he performs. Like, actual, real, raw passion. Amazing.

Passion Pit came on soon after Gambino which ended a little bit late. It was the last show of the night for us. Michael Angelakos and Co. could not have ended it any more perfectly. Passion Pit has got hits, and they played all of them. The crowd really got into it, too, and Angelakos had so much (drunken) charisma on stage; it was infectious. Everybody was dancing and singing along. I’m still amazed that Angelakos could stay in his upper register the ENTIRE night and be on pitch THE ENTIRE TIME. Passion Pit as a whole is just good at its job. Manners live sounded like CD-quality Manners; oh, but they didn’t stop at Manners. They played new material, too,  “testing” songs as they tour North America. At Moogfest, they tested two songs from their sophomore effort; both strangely patriotic (one was called “American Bride”; the other was called something else. It was the better of the two).

Huh. God bless America, I guess.


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