Monday, July 30, 2007

Rock the Bells 2007


it was hot. it was hot in brooklyn as i walked down 7th avenue and it was hot when we got on the train going up to harlem. it was hot when we got off the train too, 125th street was burning and the line for the bus wrapped around the block. it was so hot that the street hustlers were dripping sweat as they peddled their wares up and down the boulevard. they made money though, thats for sure. i saw a few people wearing the bootleg tie-dye concert shirts they were pushing, smelled the weed i heard offered, even saw a couple kids getting beat for fake tickets. yep, they made their money. that summer heat didnt stop the hustle. it never does.

the bus took us to randall island and dropped us off at the entrance. we found our tickets and made our way inside. i had to take a leak so pushed my way towards the nearest port-o-potty. the line was hsort but it took forever. what do people do in there? it was the middle of the day, too early for cocaine, and i doubt they ALL had to take a dump. i didnt understand it. there i was, doing the dance of impatience, with only one person ahead of me in line, a male no less, and it took ten minutes for me to get a chance for relief. its a god damned port-o-potty for christ sakes! those things are disgusting. get in and get out. there is no time or reason for lingering.

we started in towards the crowd, which was large but not at its full capacity yet. the field was loosley seperated into 3 different sections. one large patch of grass towards the back, one slight patch of grass with random straw on it towards the middle, then a fence which blocked off the main area in front of the stage. along the sides were booths.

booths selling beer. booths selling fried foods. booths with concert tshirts. booths with album promotions. booths with energy drinks and random, disposable concert memorabilia that would most likely wind up in one of the very few trashcans they provided. private tents that you needed special wrist bands to get into. they played dance and rock in those tents. open tents that had huge HDTV's mounted in them playimng movies that werent yet out. booths selling ice cream and fruit smoothies. booths that told you where all the other booths were.

it was one of the few festival concerts id ever been too. ive been to plenty of shows, but multi stage more acts than you can count outdoor in the heat with no where to sit all age extravaganzas arent usually my bag. i like going to shows where everyone is on the same page. where all are in agreement that the main artist is who we sh0ould watch, and that the openers are just bonus material. this concert had no less than 5 headliners on any given stage [ok so there were only two stages but still...]. i wanted to see them all. i didnt.

the reason i was there were one of our artist were headlining on the side stage. otherwise i would have probably skipped it all together. but since i was there i planned on having a good time. making a day of it. i limited myself to just $50 in cash so i didnt drink myself out of rent this month. turned out that was all i needed as standing in line for beer became too much of a hassle and i hoped to see some of the performers, er, perform.

i gotta wrap this post up because duty calls. but here are the highlights in bullet format:

  • it seemed 90% of the crowd were there for Rage Against the Machine. which is cool, but left acts like EPMD and Talib Kweli with somewhat lackluster crowd responses.
  • Public Enemy were good, but i think Flava Flav pissed Chuck D off with his insessent chatter, cutting their time and leaving no room for them to do Fight The Power, which was disappointing.
  • Wu Tang were my favorite. not only because they seemed as if they rehearsed a bit before the show, but because they paid a fitting tribute to ODB.
  • Mos Def got sort of noodly on the mic, singing and shit. but he did Ms. fat booty, so all was ok.
  • it was hot.
  • Felt killed the side stage. Slug and Murs are really good performers
  • beer was $7 a bottle
  • it was hot
  • there was a mosh pit. i was this close to getting punched in the face

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:gray matters: by jkg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at downtownalleys.blogspot.com.