mud, Tool & Ice T
During his Friday night set at the All Points West festival in Jersey City, Jay-Z took a moment to salute trail-blazing gangsta-rapper Ice-T, who, Jay-Z said, was "in the house." And Saturday afternoon, Ice-T took the stage to perform as a backing rapper during Kool Keith's second-stage performance.Though it didn't rain on Saturday (8/1), it was still super muddy. There were dry spots, but you literally could not walk from one place to another without going through some mud. Other highlights of the second day of All Points West included comedy by Tim & Eric in the tent (aka the third stage), back-to-back sets by St. Vincent and Neko Case on the 2nd stage, and the Arctic Monkeys and Gogol Bordello on the main stage. But nothing topped the end of the day. Now fully dark out and perfect weather, My Bloody Valentine, with the Statue of Liberty to their right and the Manhattan skyline straight ahead of them, delivered the power. The hour they played was, for me, the perfect festival experience.
"Sometimes it's just cool to stand on the side of the stage and be a hype man," said Ice-T.
He did, though, perform parts of his own raps, "Hardcore" and "God Forgive Me," a cappella.
With his confident, casually commanding flow, he made a strong impression in his few brief moments in the spotlight.
In addition to Jay-Z and Kool Keith, hip-hop acts like Q-Tip, the Knux and the Cool Kids have performed at All Points West. Hip-hop, though, will not figure prominently in the third and final day of the festival, Sunday. [NJ.com]
My Bloody Valentine
It helped that My Bloody Valentine, as they are known for being, were LOUD. Maybe they didn't seem as loud as they did inside a club, but they were loud enough that even those in the bleachers were putting on their earplugs if they had them. After their set I ran all the way back to the dance tent (pretty much the farthest distance you would have to ever go at this festival) to catch Crystal Castles. The tent was packed with the largest concentration of youth I'd seen in Liberty State Park up until that point. Everyone was dancing and cheering. Before CC were finished I ran back to the main stage to watch Tool.
During My Bloody Valentine I thought, "well, there are plenty of people here, but I guess they could fit a lot more". Ends up, all of those people that could fit, they showed up for Tool! Did they all just get there? Were they hiding in other areas? Either way, it totally hit me by surprise when I got back to the stage. I was also surprised, but happy, that Tool hadn't gone on yet. They don't play a super long set, so maybe they delayed to make the show go until curfew.
Once they did start, the amount of fist pumping (much bro fist pumping included) going on almost matched the amount of people in the park. I wouldn't consider myself a Tool fan, but there was no denying the awesomeness of their show.
"On a bill loaded with indie rock, Tool seemed initially distinguished by their popularity. They were the only band on Saturday's bill to have a platinum record, and the only performers to have won Grammys, and the only ones with enough starpower to sell out arenas on their own. And yet despite their high profile, Tool hardly behave like a mainstream band. Saturday's set was an exercise in atmosphere -- a dark, riveting performance that minimized the members of band while foregrounding their stranger sensibilities.I took the light rail to the park, but then the ferry home. Props to APW for making the ferry experience a much, much better one this year (no line at all, huge boats, very quick trip home, and I didn't even leave until Tool was finished).
Visually, the show was stunning. Tool perform to a series of bleak films mostly created by the artist Adam Jones, and beamed out giant-size across Liberty State Park they seemed more imposing and unnerving than ever. Opening with the sinister, twisting "Jambi," the group slowly worked its way through a set that spanned its small catalog. Part of what makes Tool concerts such visceral experiences is the band's peerless sense of control and release. Songs start with icicle drip guitars and rolling, tribal percussion, steadily building to perfectly timed explosions of sound. When paired with Jones' frightening films, it became more like a theater experience than a concert. At times it was remarkably easy to forget there was a band onstage at all." [Rolling Stone]
Pictures from APW day one HERE. More from day two below...
Trail of the Dead
Cage the Elephant
The Cool Kids
Kool Keith (with special guest Ice-T)
Tokyo Police Club
My Bloody Valentine
The Ting Tings
And Courtney Love was there.
DAY ONE PICTURES HERE.
DAY THREE PICTURES HERE