Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Monolith Recap Day Two

Day two of Monolith was a vast improvement on Saturday. There was a little falter at the beginning when a late cabbie meant missing We Were Promised Jetpacks. But, we did get there in time for ...

The Grates

I have long adored this Aussie group's addictive pop music and had heard a lot of great things about their live show. So, I was pretty excited to see their set. Lead singer, Alana, was the embodiment of cheer. Championing the Grates cause to get everybody moving and happy. It was a fantastic way to start the day. If you haven't heard them here's a taste of what they sound like live. Suckafish at the Knitting factory.


While The Grates were on the SoCo stage Rahzel was entertaining on the main stage. Considering it was his beat boxing that first really pushed me towards the world of Hip Hop I couldn't miss his bit. He was every bit as amazing as I was expecting. The man's ability to throw his voice and imitate well, anything is astounding and his years of experience made for a flawless show.

I'm not gonna lie, Monotonix isn't my bag; however, watching the spectacle they created was a little amusing. They prefer to do their thing from crowd level (ie the press pit) forcing the misplaced photog's and other assorted media to the stage. It was a unique sight to behold.
The Thermals
Next up were The Thermals. They served up a sharp thirty minutes which really woke up the festival goers up on the plaza. This trio had so much fun on stage it would have been had to ignore them even if their music weren't so incredibly awesome. I am glad to say my first live dose of them was at Red Rocks.

Passion Pit
Regardless of how you feel about Passion Pit this was the most breath taking set of the weekend. It is undeniable that their electro pop music is catchy and the lengthy stints on the road have transformed them into total crowd pleasers. With the lighting and a day of fantastic music tucked under our belts Passion Pit's dancey set was a delectable dose of dance music at just the right time. Sleepyhead - Run Toto Run

Bad Veins

Chased Passion Pit's set underground on the WOXY stage. Having just seen them play in Philly to a dismal showing it was nice to see them get the audience and response they deserve. Ben was ever the showman while Sebastian wowed on the drums. They are coming back to Philly with The Subjects in October.

There were a lot of other acts we heard on Sunday. Some notable mentions:

HealthNeon IndianTwilight Sad

Why am I not giving them blurbs you ask? Because their stages were "closed" when the rooms they were in reached capacity. But, from the hallway I can tell you without a doubt they were fantabulous.

Hands down the best act of the weekend was Phoenix's show. Originally slated for the SoCo stage for a 30 minute set ealier in the day they were moved to the main stage when MSTRKRFT had to cancel due to illness. Groups were shifted around. Passion Pit taking Phoenix's space and Phoenix stepping in for MSTRKRFT.

I can't imagine it falling any other way. The French electro pop group filled the entire 45 minute with a flawless set touching on both their older, lesser known hits, as well as, the big crowd pleasers from Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. They brought the entire amphitheater to their feet and kept them dancing, singing and simply celebrating the beautiful night and fantastic music. There wasn't much stage banter but it wasn't necessary as the progression of songs was well thought out and delivered perfectly. Impressed doesn't even begin to cover what I felt after watching these veteran (but, clearly still contributing kick ass tunes) pull together a main stage worthy performance at the very last minute. I left feeling entirely satiated by my first Monolith experience. I look forward to seeing what kind of line up they assemble next year.

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