Posts Tagged ‘Eminem’

Voodoo Experience Day 1

October 31, 2009

I had things to do, and was late getting out the door (is that not always the case with me and the first day of a festival? Why would I ever think it would be different?) but the one artist I wanted to see for sure fer shur today was Eminem. Yes, Eminem in his only concert this year. Me, the non Eminem fan, thrilled to see him.

It was raining when I left, so the less time spent outdoors, the better. It continued to drizzle, with spats of heavier rains, but no actual downpours. So wet feet, wet jeans, and cold, but not miserable. I bought a heavy duty rain poncho for the downpour, but the deluge did not come, perhaps because I bought the poncho for the downpour and thus jinxed it.

I walked in and Justice was playing. Because of the rain and cold, the crowd was thin-ish, but no less enthusiastic. The nice thing about the main stages at Voodoo in City Park, is the audience gets to stand on a paved track, so it may have been muddy elsewhere, and treacherous footing where the lighting was insufficient, but here it was solid footing, perfect for dancing. And dancing there was. In fact, the Man from Burning Man was there, a larger than life marionette, done up in El Wire. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised, since Burners Without Borders were originally formed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Burning Man participants wanting to come down to Louisiana and contribute enthusiasm and work to rebuilding the devastated communities. They specifically helped rebuild a Buddhist monastery, in a documentary I saw detailing it. Anyway, here’s the Man enjoying Justice. Justice was cut off, their sound turned off, but you could tell both they and their fans could have easily gone on for another few hours. Besides, dancing in the rain kept one warm!

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The Burning Man Man Dancing to Justice

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Another nice feature Voodoo does is specifically geared towards large crowds and camping in front of one stage exclusively: cameramen capture the main act playing, and project it onto the screens of the other stage. For Justice, with an excessive amount of fog/smoke from machines, I rarely could even see the two artists. But I could usually see the cameramen, because their white bags protected their cameras. But if I turned around, and looked at the other stage, I saw a perfect image of what I could not see!

And then it was time to move over to the other stage and watch Eminem. Perhaps it is a good thing I am not a huge fan, as everything was new to me. His visuals were great, showing videos throughout, and his band was dressed in skeleton costumes. The opening were a few quotes that I didn’t quite catch, and then it launched into a video involving blood and death and corpses, appropriate for Halloween horror. Other videos had a comic book theme, toy soldiers by computer animation, computer graphics, etc. They may have been videos aired on MTV, I have no idea, they were all new to me. The advantages of being a casual fan.

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I can’t help it, I like Eminem. He makes me laugh. I can’t take him seriously. Despite his bravado and bluff, what lyrics I catch just amuse. “The FCC / won’t let me be!” Sure, he swears a lot, is offensive on purpose, but given the subject matter of some of his songs, it is obvious this is all just for show. It is his stage persona. What with him having the numerous alter egos Eminem, Slim Shady, Big Proof, etc., it is obvious that he is clear he as a performer is not the same as he as a person. “Ever since I broke up with / What’s-Her-Name…” Sure, we know more about his personal life because he is a celebrity who has had relationship issues, but chances are for most of us that if we were celebrities, people would know far too much about our relationship issues too. Why should he be different?

Anyway, he did not disappoint. I continued dancing the night away, and he ended the show. With an encore. (Come on people, if the house lights and roadies do not come out, the show is not over yet!) Eminem, with his sad, world weary, mischevious eyes, willing to play with different musicians, musical stylings and dance styles, put on an excellent show. I am so glad to have had the chance to see him.

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And off we all trudged, through the mud towards the other lights and music, to see the last song of Ween on the way out.

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Ween Performing the Last Song of the Day

More tomorrow, as tomorrow is KISS. Thank you Henry Rollins for putting the image of KISS Nation in my head, making me curious to want to see The Nation.

Two More to Go

October 9, 2009

I am starting to mentally get ready for the remaining two music festivals on my plate for the year. And no, I did not go to rainy Austin City Limits of last weekend. Rain definitely seems to be the theme for the majority of music festivals I attended this year. Let’s hope it doesn’t continue! 

Next weekend (October 17 & 18) is Treasure Island Music Festival in San Francisco.

I will be volunteering there, which should be great, at a little two stage festival, no possibility of missing the bands. What a great place to get a volunteering gig! I still have to work out the details of getting to the festival once in SF via public transit (limited parking allowed on the island, which actually has a really cool and varied history involving visions as a transportation hub with airport/marina and realities as World’s Fair site and military installation), what is the actual address of where it is that I will be staying, and finally, making arrangements to get back to LA. That’s what the next week will consist of, making sure those details get handled. But I am definitely looking forward to the lineup. I am looking forward to hearing Murs, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, Passion Pit again, Grizzly Bear again, Beirut, MSTRKRFT, The Decembrists yet again, Girl Talk always, and finally, The Flaming Lips. That’s about half the lineup, so I should be happy, no matter what. The other half are just bands I’m not familiar with yet. But I’m looking forward to it.

Fortunately, the festival that closes out the season has all its details handled, since I went to the same fest last year, and already know the lay of the land. I’m actually not as thrilled about the lineup, but bought the ticket to see two bands in particular, and to experience Halloween in New Orleans. I can’t think of a city more conducive to dressing up as a character and no one thinking a thing of it. (Besides Black Rock City.) Yes, I’m talking about VOODOO Experience, in beautiful NOLA. I have ticket, plane fare, hotel, and know where to go buy the three day pass to get around on the street cars. Just add meals and I am all set. In fact, I even get a paycheck before I leave, so I will have some spending money to take in the sights, say a swamp tour. Or the Botanical Gardens. Or actually visiting the Art Museum that the festival grounds sit next to.

The two bands I am eager to see? Kiss and Eminem. Yes, you read that right. Sure, I’ll enjoy The Knux, Silversun Pickups, Gogol Bordello, The Pogues, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Meat Puppets, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, MarchFourth Marching Band, The Flaming Lips again and whomever else I stumble across, but Eminem and Kiss were the bands that had me buy the extremely inexpensive 3 day pass. I am neither a Kiss nor an Eminem fan, not fan enough to ever buy a ticket to their own shows or even buy their albums, but Kiss on Halloween? In New Orleans? C’mon. I just expect it to be a very memorable experience, if only how colorful I expect the actual fans to be. And Eminem just makes me laugh, some of his song lyrics and even his persona. I actually own an album of each of these artists. But I’m not what I would call a fan. Really. Just curious enough to see their live shows, given the opportunity.

And, I come with plans for disguises. I wouldn’t call them costumes, just alterations of my existence. The first is I found one of my masks. I can’t wear it for very long, since it is latex and makes everything around it moist, and steams up my glasses. But here’s an old photo of me wearing it, actually taken on a Halloween years past.

The Long Beak Mask

The Long Beak Mask

Sorry for the crappy quality, it’s actually a scanned 35mm photograph, digitized. My old antique Japanese 35mm camera there, RIP.

I just went to Robinson’s Beautilities on Venice in Mar Vista, an LA landmark, and bought a wig. Long, black, straight hair. For some reason, I’ve never yearned to be a blonde, but a black-haired, green eyed woman has interested me. So now I have a mask, and a wig. I intend to dig out some old contacts I have, get my eyes used to them again, so I can ditch the fogging eyeglasses.

And what would be really cool would be to do this sort of simple makeup, and have that be the whole thing:

However, Fever Ray‘s Karin Dreijer Andersson has professional make up artists, and more importantly, someone else to do this to her, so I don’t think I’ll quite be able to manage it. But it would be awesome! Imagine walking anywhere in a city with that face.

So, as you can see, there is much to plan, the all important what to pack, and the actual what am I allowed to pack? What to wear, and what parts of a costume should I take with me?

And I’ve started hunting for things to do while in New Orleans, and one of the dive bar/off the beaten path venues I found is hosting a CD release party of a band that sounds interesting: I, Octopus. I hope to go check them out while there.