Posted in music | pictures on June 21, 2011

photos by Tamara Porras, words by Klaus Kinski

Guided By Voices

If you live in NYC (and don't live under a rock) you are very well aware that the 4-day music/film/art extravaganza that is The Northside Festival swept through the ultra-tough, filthy, gang ridden, and decrepit streets of North Williamsburg. Sadly, because of my rigid and limited musical preferences, the list of acts playing read like a foreign phone book to me and only one band (of the, what, 250? 300? bands) was enough for me to venture out and risk life and limb in the land of bad tattoos, cut-offs, deep Vs, and big sunglasses. That band? Guided By Voices.

This is my third time seeing the Classic Line-Up (anyone else sick of hearing them referred to as The Classic Line-Up?) and, whooooo boy, did they bring the stank! Besides the music and the license to drink excessively and pump one's fist high into the air, the best part of a GBV show (ANY GBV show, including non-Classic Line-Up shows) is the camaraderie. It never fails; whenever I am at a GBV show I run into friends who I never see otherwise, but who feel closer than most of the people I know on Facebook. And it's not hard to make new friends when you and several hundred other people are double-fisting over-priced beer and singing along to the music.

The fun started for me at 6pm on the dot as I arrived moments before Wavves hit the stage. It was 80 degrees, partly cloudy, nice breeze... perfect for an outdoor show. I have never seen Wavves, but being an avid BV reader they have a reputation in tow that certainly piqued my interest. And I liked them a lot. They were just straight up rock. Nothing flashy, nothing hard to digest... just good old fashioned rock. I mean, if you want rocket science, by all means, go listen to Yes or Dream Theater. They were definitely the perfect lead in to GBV. By the time they finished, the crowd was DEFINITELY ready for GBV's scheduled 7pm appearance.

The whole GBV atmosphere was a dream. 40 songs, 3 encores, a 99% crowd-rocking-out-and-singing-along percentage, beautiful weather, cold beers (come on people, you know that at this point in the evening price was hardly a concern)... perfection! GBV played everything from deep tracks to crowd favorites (set list below). Bob Pollard led the crowd as deftly as he led the band. Greg Demos, bedecked in a ruffled shirt and vest reminiscent of a 70s prom get up, often wielded his bass as though it was a sword. Tobin Sprout played the role of the quiet one, masterfully traversing his axe without showing too much dramatic flair or movement. And Mitch Mitchell. Jesus, between the tats, the ever present cigarette, his mighty Les Paul, and a facial expression that rarely deviates from a look of "I will fuck you up, so help me God," Mitch definitely gets the Badass of the Evening Award. Everything about the evening was perfect, and I have a feeling that this show will be the highlight of my summer. It's certainly going to take a lot to top it.

All snarkiness aside, the Northside Festival is a pretty phenomenal opportunity for people to catch a huge number of great bands, art, film, food, panels, and more for what amounts to a $60-or-so pittance. For the price, the variety of programming one can catch in a 4-day time span is rather remarkable. This year's fest boasted a much larger scope than last year and if this trend continues we can expect next year to be sensational as well. North Williamsburg, on the other hand, will no doubt be a much more grotesque and tedious neighborhood to find yourself in. But ain't that progress?

Beirut, Sharon Van Etten & Yellow Ostrich played the same temporary outdoor venue one night earlier. Pictures from the whole GBV show, The Babies and Surfer Blood included, and the full GBV setlist, below....

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The Babies

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Surfer Blood

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Wavves

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Guided by Voices

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Guided by Voices Concert at McCarren Park, Brooklyn, NY, USA
Setlist on June 18, 2011

Pimple Zoo
Expecting Brainchild
#2 in the Model Home Series
Watch Me Jumpstart
Melted Pat
Shocker in Gloomtown
Kicker of Elves
Buzzards and Dreadful Crows
Always Crush Me
Gleemer
Tractor Rape Chain
Hot Freaks
Striped White Jets
Squirmish Frontal Room
14 Cheerleader Coldfront
Dodging Invisible Rays
Gold Star for Robot Boy
Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory
Cut-Out Witch
Sad If I Lost It
Matter Eater Lad
A Good Flying Bird
Awful Bliss
Quality of Armor
Jane of the Waking Universe
Unleashed! The Large Hearted Boy
Exit Flagger
I am a Scientist
Game of Pricks

Encore:
Echos Myron
Bright Paper Werewolves
Motor Away
Don't Stop Now
Smothered in Hugs

Encore 2:
A Salty Salute
My Valuable Hunting Knife
Over the Neptune / Mesh Gear Fox

Encore 3:
My Impression Now
Some Drilling Implied
Weed King

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Comments (66)

I saw Paul Reiser there. He was tanked.

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 1:20 PM

Dude from Wavves looks like he has the down.

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 1:24 PM

Guided By Depends

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 1:25 PM

Super awesome afternoon.

GBV was on fire. Surfer Blood and The Babies were also phenomenal. Wavves was expectedly abominable.

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 1:25 PM

whats up with the ruffled shirt? NAGL

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 1:26 PM

Wavves! Top 5 doa...

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 1:28 PM

System of a Downs?

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 1:29 PM

Guided By Frohawk

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 1:30 PM

Wow, evertime I see the dude from Wavves I really, really want to slap him across his face.

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 1:30 PM

Does anyone else find the singer of Wavves to be really, REALLY annoying?

Also, the drummer of Best Coast and bassist of Wavves would make a great couple. They should get on that shit and then have a Wavves Coast foursome in hummus.

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 1:31 PM

Stopped by the show but refused to pay money to see those bands. Wavves were horrible. It sounded like they were playing together in some garage for like the fifth time. The songs were so cliche. As for GBV, they were so unimpressive. The posing with guitars, terrible lead vocals, etc. made me feel sorry for anyone who paid money to see that. I was impressed, however, of how many ciggies they smoked.

Posted by The Real Real Yup. PERIOD | June 21, 2011 1:33 PM

"guided by depends" i loled

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 1:37 PM

" made me feel sorry for anyone who paid money to see that."

Glad we have your sympathy, douche face/

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 1:50 PM

Wow that is a long long setlist... Also babies way better than Vivian Girls.

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 1:52 PM

I was listening to GBV live on Sirius. It was kinda bad.

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 1:53 PM

Hey Everyone, looks like WAVVES are back in town.

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 1:57 PM

Wavves reminded me of Green Day or some band like that.

Posted by The Real Real Yup. PERIOD | June 21, 2011 1:57 PM

Dude taking polaroids is a real artiste.

Posted by Vinny Panza | June 21, 2011 2:04 PM

"Dude taking polaroids is a real artiste."

Dude needs to get an SX-70 and stop wasting that film with such a piece of crap instant camera.

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 2:05 PM

crowd looked psyched

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 2:06 PM

Why is no one smiling in these photos? Fans and bands alike all look kinda bummed.

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 2:10 PM

"It never fails; whenever I am at a GBV show I run into friends who I never see otherwise, but who feel closer than most of the people I know on Facebook."

Crazy! It's almost like real human interaction is somehow...better or something.

Posted by streetdude | June 21, 2011 2:12 PM

You know Wavves are in town when the shops run out of Zima and dildos.

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 2:12 PM

Slugging the cheap, crappy Cuervo gold tequila right from the bottle hobo style.

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 2:17 PM

Hello shit has Mitch Mitchell gained a lot of weight since November. I guess that's what being on the road in GBV does to you.

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 2:19 PM

i thought wavves were great!

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 2:24 PM

guided by weiner

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 2:26 PM

wavves sounded the best I've heard him since he got the new band/new record. Babies were really awesome, sucks the reviewer missed them. Surfer blood were fun although kind of sad the singer couldn't figure out how to crowd surf on an audience of old people and babies. gotta choose your battles i guess.

Posted by Mandy | June 21, 2011 2:30 PM

If you can't say anything nice about these bands, then why do you come on here and post things? Answer me that, BV commentators?! Oh sorry Blank Dogs weren't on the lineup! Guess this wasn't hipster enough for you. I'm so fucking sick and tired of reading all the expected negative comments on here where it gets to the point no one ever says something nice about the music covered here. Respect your elders!!!

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 2:40 PM

@2:40

Blank Dogs? They're fucking awful. No one is dissing GBV, because we respect them. It's just that assclown playing the main support slot that gets the lashing.

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 2:43 PM

Surfer Blood singer thinks he's a rockstar... really annoying.

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 2:48 PM

I was really happy to see so many of my hummus eating brethren all gathered in one place. I had a blast!
Wavves rocks! Yea, King of the Beach! Wooooo!

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 2:53 PM

Whoa, look at that photo of headband guy...

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 2:53 PM

No pictures of Frohawk livin' it up in the VIP section in his women's shorts? Godammit, BV, priorities are not in order.

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 2:57 PM

He is a rock star, and you can be one too as long as you believe in yourself.

Posted by Mandy | June 21, 2011 3:01 PM

Not guided by losers in the audience.

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 3:10 PM

no smoking in city parks and beaches
the moose out front should have told you that

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 3:14 PM

The Babies?!? Wasn't that the band that John Waite was in?

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 3:21 PM

Guided By Voices looks like my Dad and his buddies recreating the good ole' days.

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 3:25 PM

babues killed it...im dru

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 3:26 PM

I hope the media will soon wavvvvvve goodbye to that hack

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 3:42 PM

g motherfucking b

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 4:23 PM

"friends who I never see otherwise"

you hardly see them, and they are your friends?

do you have, like, "really, really amazing friends and soulmates that I see EVERY DAY"

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 4:27 PM

2:40 is Colin P Fith

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 4:33 PM

Two questions:
1. Who will die first - Pollard or Shane McGowan?
2. Where will GBV play next?

My answers: Pollard and Wellmont.

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 4:43 PM

Overheard from a confused passerby while listening to GBV from park: "I thought Wavves was playing earlier."

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 4:57 PM

Wavves > GBV

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 5:04 PM

"Guided By Voices looks like my Dad and his buddies recreating the good ole' days."

They were already old when they broke through. Pollard was pushing 40 when Bee Thousand came out.

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 5:15 PM

Still baffled as to why GBV was given such shitty support acts.

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 5:17 PM

Does Surfer Blood have a new bassist?

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 5:18 PM

5:17 b/c their audience is too old to want to attend big lame outdoor concerts. I'm sure the opening acts where chosen to drum up interest w/ the kids in the area.

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 5:23 PM

Paul Reiser's dick smelled like a vacuum cleaner bag.

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 5:35 PM

BV photographers need to learn to edit themselves---not every goddamn photo is worthy of making it to print.

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 6:20 PM

I too refused to go to this show. Spending money and having fun? I can think of so many better things to do with my time. These guys are so old and they look like my dad, but at least back when my dad was in his prime beer, rock n roll, and great conversation was free. More like Guided By Bad Voices!!

Posted by Off Duty | June 21, 2011 6:50 PM

agreed, off duty. kick ass rock shows outside in the greatest city in the with a band playing songs both they and i love is outrageous and should be stopped.

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 8:03 PM

this whole "review" reads like a livejournal post

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 8:22 PM

"ironic" ageism = bad karma.

live it up, folks.

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2011 10:01 PM

I wonder if Surfer Blood drank a few with Pollard and GBV after wards? GBV has had some good shows over many years whether or not people liked this one they still have more soul than 90 percent of the younger bands now days.

Posted by Anonymous | June 22, 2011 3:34 AM

many of the GBV photos are broken, fyi

Posted by jim | June 22, 2011 11:29 AM

"many of the GBV photos are broken, fyi"

Not on my end. Check your internet connection or get a new computer.

Posted by Anonymous | June 22, 2011 11:49 PM

GBV would pound all of you pussies commenting here and then they would drink your beer.

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2011 12:24 AM

surfer blood are the worst band ever. i don't think i've seen anything so arrogant in my entire life. on the other hand, GBV are the greatest band ever and this is not disputable. fuck yourself if you think otherwise. no really, go fuck yourself.

Posted by mypenis69 | June 23, 2011 2:26 AM

If you having pita problems, I feel bad for you son
I got 99 dips and hummus is every one

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2011 4:49 AM

The car-mechanic-shirt style from the 90s doesn't work if the guy wearing it is 60ish years old. It actually looks like the owner of a garage picked up a guitar after he closed up shop and jumped on stage.

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2011 4:31 PM

you heard it here first ... don't be surprised when they start playing in spandex and Punky Meadows hair.

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2011 4:44 PM

GBV fucking ruled it, all the negative comments here are from whiney biyatches who think disliking a good band is the cool thing to do. Go eat and falafel and then go fuck yourselves.

Posted by Anonymous | June 24, 2011 12:34 PM

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