Virgin FreeFest: Full Photo Gallery
By now, this might be ancient history in Internet time; but after the jump, check out a quick preview of the 200+ photos in the full gallery. Plus, I've penned my thoughts on each of the festival acts in two sentences or less. Keep in mind that in my effort to cover every band, I didn't see a single full set. And there are just some bands about which I have absolutely nothing to say.
The Birthday Massacre: Wait, did I accidentally show up for the Warped Tour instead of Virgin Fest?
St. Vincent: Just as I was surprised that Explosions in the Sky were successful at an outdoor pavilion, I was surprised that Annie Clark and co. were equally successful in a festival setting.
Mates of State: Good set, probably would have been better-served on the more indie-rock West Stage.
Wale: He's got the stage presence and the charisma, hopefully he'll have the music to match soon enough.
Taking Back Sunday: Yeah, OK. Nice HRC sticker on the guitar there.
The Hold Steady: Band seemed much more enthusiastic than the crowd. Maybe everyone who wanted to see them already did the night before at the 9:30 Club.
Jet: Does anyone care?
Public Enemy: Yeeeeeeaaaaahhhhh boyyyyyeeeeee. Chuck D holds it down and Flavor Flav still does his thing even at age 50 (!).
The Bravery: People were into it. Tons of crowdsurfers.
The National: Following Public Enemy wasn't ideal, but playing their relaxed indie-rock as the afternoon light faded into evening was, very much so.
Weezer: OK, I admit it: they put on a good show. But I still have trouble getting behind songs that are intentionally this dumb.
Girl Talk: You know exactly what to expect with him, and it's still pretty fun. Especially for the folks onstage.
Blink-182: These guys just aren't very good. But why do I know so many of their songs?
Franz Ferdinand: What strikes me as cheesy on record comes off intense and fun live. Great closing set for the West Stage.
The dance stage: Pretty relaxed vibe. Lots of people there to be seen and really psyched about having their picture taken.
The fans: Generally well-behaved, despite the fact that the venue was selling pitchers of beer (see immediately above). Enthusiastic except during the lengthy soundchecks.
Publicity stunts: None more absurd than two dudes jumping out of a helicopter, landing on the pavilion roof, and being greeted by Richard Branson with a bottle of champagne. What?
Free stuff: People go crazy for it. No matter what it is.