Yoko Ono, w/ Yo La Tengo, Thurston Moore, Julianna Barwick & more, headlined the 2015 Modern Sky Festival (pics)
photos by P Squared
Yoko Ono w/ Yo La Tengo, Thurston Moore & more @ Modern Sky Fest 10/4/2015
This was the second annual New York edition of the Modern Sky festival: a matter-of-fact event, essentially a promotional venture to bring Chinese youth culture to American audiences -- although there weren't very many non-Chinese speakers in attendance, and some of these bands aren't exactly young. (There will be a similar concert in Seattle on Sunday, with the same Chinese bands and some different American ones.) Both New Pants and Miserable Faith -- Beijing bands with roots in punk and metal that later moved on to synth-pop and reggae -- have been around since the late 1990s.
English-speaking and Chinese bands alternated through the afternoon and evening. Saturday's lineup also included Lower, the young Danish postpunk group; Mark Sultan, the scrappy, surfy one-man band from Montreal; the current, one-original-member incarnation of the English postpunk band Gang of Four; and Yoko Ono, with an all-star version of the conceptual group she calls Plastic Ono Band. Most of the performances felt a bit utilitarian, a bit trade show. Different kinds of people were there for different reasons. The day couldn't conjure a shared mind-set. - [NY Times]
Yoko Ono headlined the second-annual NYC edition of the Modern Sky Festival on Sunday (10/4) in Central Park, and her Plastic Ono Band featured a few heavy hitters: Yo La Tengo, Thurston Moore, Ornette Coleman's son, Denardo, on drums, plus tabla player Nitin Mitta, cellist Kris Hoffman, Julianna Barwick on backing vocals, keyboardist Jared Samuel, and Yoko's son, Sean Lennon (who played with The Moonlandingz on Saturday and Cibo Matto on Thursday). Pictures from her set are in this post.
As the Times article quoted above mentioned, Modern Sky serves mainly to showcase Chinese bands to North America, this year including New Pants, Hedgehog, Song Dongye, and Miserable Faith; but Western acts included Gang of Four (that only features Andy Gill from the original lineup), Danish band Lower, and King Khan cohort Mark Sultan (aka BBQ). We unfortunately missed their sets. Did you go to Modern Sky? More pics from Yoko Ono & the Plastic Ono Band, below...