Monday, August 07, 2006

Still exhausted from this and I don't have much to say about day three aside from I guess I'm glad I went. The Hold Steady was a good way to start the day, but from there it was a whole lot of wanderin' around in search of acts that would turn out to be disappoint. The Shins might have been on fire, but no one in the crowd would have noticed. Their sound mix was muddy and too quiet and the audience's frequent chants of "Turn it up! Turn it up!" prompted nobody to remedy the situation. Too bad, too. That's a great band and they were playing before what had to have been their biggest crowd ever. I felt bad for everyone. We heard Andrew Bird waiting for The Shins--we'd seen him before and liked him--and Poi Dog Pondering waiting for Wilco. I still like Poi Dog's early stuff; this sounded kind of annoying. Wilco was... unsettling. Jeff Tweedy looked puffy, hairy, and bit beaten up. It's weird: Seeing favorite bands is sometimes like seeing old friends and realizing that the years between must have been awful hard on them. The set didn't really gel until the end, although the new songs sounded really promising. One of them sounded a bit like the Dead, but in that good American Beauty-era way, like Ryan Adams' Cold Roses. We bailed after that.

But it was a good time, even if the seams started to show on day three. Here are some odds and ends in picture form.

At one point the (lame) art area was to be called "Who Arted?" Cooler, or at least smarter, heads apparently prevailed and the name got switched to "Who Art Thou?", an awful name, but a considerably less awful name. But the switch must have happened after most of the brochures and festival banners got printed. Wandering around one of the less trafficked areas, we found this lonely sign behind a fence:

Teens offer free hugs. (Tips accepted.)

Tweedy on the Jumbotron.

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