SnowBall Music Festival 2012: Day 2 travelogue
Britt Chester The scene from SnowBall Music Festival 2012 on Saturday night.
SNOWBALL MUSIC FESTIVAL @ VAIL VALLEY | 3/3/12 (DAY 2)
Having survived the frigid first night, the sunshine and above-freezing temps of the second day are a treat. Feeling a little wear and tear from the night before, I was hoping to make it back to the festival grounds in time to catch Sauna play early in the Ballroom tent. A leisurely breakfast conspired against my planned punctuality, but I managed to catch their last tune, a properly rocking rendition of "Glitter Party."
I headed in the direction of the Groove Tent in order to check out some dubstep courtesy of Figure, but wound up seeing Pierce Fulton, who was warming up the crowd with a well-orchestrated set spanning a variety of dance styles. Figure didn't take the stage until almost 45 minutes after his set was supposed to begin, but when he did, his presence was felt immediately -- a bass heavy adaptation of a haunted house ride.
Fulton droped a new cut, "Werewolf," as well as a massive take on Danny Elfman's "Beetlejuice" theme, and a dark, codeine-inflected remix of the theme from Halloween, including a nasty vocal sample screaming "Michael Myers is fucking dead," over the top of a severely slowed down piano sample from the film's score. The highlight, however, was definitely his remix of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit," which had the surprisingly rage-ready crowd (considering it was only 2 p.m.) all pogo-ing and fist pumping.
All the stages seemed to be running behind schedule during the afternoon. After watching the first few songs by Break Science and Jurassic 5's Chali2Na (which were awesome), I headed over to the Heat Hut to catch Pictureplane's set. But, upon arrival, there was still fifteen to twenty minutes of Cassian's throbbing hard house set.
Britt Chester Break Science groove tent at SnowBall Music Festival last night.
One of the hot trends in creative self-expression I noticed among festival goers was the dance staff -- or whatever you might call the decorated poles people were carrying around. Among the best of the day: A twelve to fifteen foot staff wrapped in blue xmas lights and capped with a skull featuring a multi-colored mohawk; a broom handle topped with a Lord of the Flies-esque impaled Bullwinkle the moose head and decorated with orange glow sticks; a teddy bear in 18th Century garb strapped to a ten-plus foot pole and carried by someone in a tri-corner hat (suggesting a French Revolution theme of sorts); and a kid carrying around a blown up photo cardboard cut out of some other kid's face.
After a break for dinner, I made my way over to the TV on the Radio main stage set, which rocked a lot harder than I expected. Given the ever-present cold and the threat of ambient noise from other stages, the band largely avoided slower, more introspective songs and upped the tempo and the volume on some of their heavier tunes.
Their set was followed by the feel good jamboree conducted by master of ceremonies Snoop Dogg, one of the most unflappably cool human beings on the face of the earth. His stage presence is crazy. He doesn't need to shout or jump around. I doubt his heart rate ever surpasses 65 beats per minute. He just stands there and runs it. Who doesn't like Snoop? "Even my mom likes Snoop Dogg," a girl tells her friend in passing.
It was a good day, but there was no way I could've mustered the gusto necessary to conquer one of the after parties. Besides there was some writing to do. In the hotel lobby, using the wireless to post a review, there was a stream of party goers returning from various points of festival-related fun.
As I was writing, the security guards were chilling on the couch, watching TV and swapping war stories about past gigs working club security. "I have twelve years of tae kwon do," says one. "Those guys were drunk. They said they were gonna kill me. I told them they better shoot me before I got to them." Just then, the receptionist came up to them and quietly said something about "the crying guy on the second floor."
"Again?" said the guard. "That sucks for him. Okay. I'll get him out of here."
-- Patrick Rodgers
Britt Chester's take on Day 2 is on Page 2.