The Magic Band / Thee Oh Sees / the facilities, ATP NY 9/232012
The books have closed on ATP NY 2012, the series’s first excursion into the five boroughs, which replaced the getaway-style retreat of the previous four NYC-area events. Music festivals in the city are notoriously tricky propositions, and the way that this one played out has been less than smooth. The location was announced as Asbury Park, NJ, then changed to Manhattan, and anyone who looks back at the initial lineup will not only find that fest didn’t really add many more significant bands, but that a number of acts dropped off completely (Louis C.K., Reigning Sound, Sharon Van Etten, Death Grips, Factory Floor, Chavez). Through it all, the tickets remained $199 for the weekend and $60/$75 per day. The whole situation seems closely related to the company’s recently reported financial difficulties. For music fans enamored with ATP NY’s past iterations, the whole set up required a different set of expectations.
Once it was up and running, the festival experience was exceedingly smooth and comfortable. The weather cooperated and the stages, minus a few brief technical hiccups, sounded great (the FDR over the outside stage didn’t make a peep, aside from the occasional passing police siren).
Friday night brought the biggest names, with Frank Ocean and Philip Glass topping the bill. For me, that was the most unique match up of the fest, though hardly its only exclusive pairing. Other acts exclusive whose only area show this year was ATP, included the Dirty Three, who raged in their Saturday afternoon slot, and R&B-punk quartet the Make-Up, who tore up the indoor stage Sunday night. (Warren Ellis and Ian Svenonius vied for the title of best frontman, bringing wild yelps and James Brown-esque leg kicks, respectively.)
JEFF the Brotherhood turned out one of the best sets I’ve ever seen them play (often it seems the band is hampered by shoddy sound, despite only having two instruments). For them, the outdoor stage filled with billowing smoke and trippy laser lights. Afterwards, Jose Gonzalez took the same space, plucking his acoustic amid the impressive surroundings. He finished right before a downpour.
On Sunday, the psychedelic blues of Captain Beefheart’s group, The Magic Band, wowed on the same stage, followed by the always sturdy Thee Oh Sees. who played to a raucous crowd at The Well the night before with Ty Segall.) By Sunday night, the festival did have a bit of a ghost town feel, with Hot Snakes closing out the outdoor stage and Godspeed You! Black Emperor playing a crushing set indoors.
Definiltey, the fest could have used a few more hip-hop acts (especially considering curator Greg Dulli’s love of the genre). As it was, not counting Edan who DJ’d on Friday and perhaps Frank Ocean, the Roots were the closest thing on the lineup to representing the genre (Run DMC would have been a dream addition). Overall this year seemed less about dream lineups/reunions and more about getting its footing in Manhattan with a solid, more-modest three days.
More photos from Sunday are below, including pictures of Braids, Endless Boogie, The Psychic Paramount, Quintron and Miss Pussycat, Tall Firs and The Album Leaf, with another set from Sunday still to come. Friday photos are here. As for Saturday… the dog ate them? We do have the Afghan Whigs ATP setlist below, however.
The Psychic Paramount
Quintron & Miss Pussycat
The Magic Band
The Album Leaf
Thee Oh Sees
The rest of the Day Three pictures are coming soon.
Afghan Whigs set list
Crime Scene, Part One
I’m Her Slave
What Jail is Like
Fountain and Fairfax
My Curse (with Marcy Mays)
Son of the South
See and Don’t See (Marie “Queenie” Lyons cover)
Lovecrimes / Thinkin’ Bout You (Frank Ocean cover)
Going to Town
Bulletproof / Where Did Our Love Go
Faded / Purple Rain