Eric writes in with a report from Intonation Festival.
Yesterday Jose Gonzalez was mesmerizing, even in the midday sun, High on Fire rocked like nobody’s business, and the Boredoms blew everyone away. I don’t think most people were suspecting the three drumset/keyboard onslaught, and even those who might not have been appreciative of the Boredoms five or ten years ago were seriously rocked by their current incarnation. Ghostface told his DJ to throw on anything he felt like and invited half of the ladies in attendance to get down with him on stage. I had low expectations for Mike Skinner’s live show, but he pulled it off in a big way. Full of charisma, and totally chatty with his band and the crowd…
Anyone else getting their Intonation on?
9:05pm BLOC PARTY
8:15pm DEAD PREZ
7:15pm ROBERT POLLARD
6:15pm JON BRION
5:30pm BLUE CHEER
4:55pm THE SWORD
4:20pm LUPE FIASCO
UPDATE: Eric’s Day Two report and photos after the jump.
DAY TWO by Eric
It rained all morning, and there were definitely a few folks who were skittish about the prospect of a wet and muddy afternoon on the baseball diamonds. The rain held off until the very end though, and even the sprinkling we did get during Bloc Party’s set was quite refreshing after a long day in the sun. Luckily, the weather wasn’t the only thing that was exceedingly pleasant.
The early afternoon had two of Chicago’s next wave of hip-hop royalty showing the hometown crowd what to expect from their forthcoming albums. It may surprise some that a cat named Rhymefest would have thoughtful, complex lyrics with a bit more to them than just weed & women (sorry, Devin), but he came to impress and did so most notably with an extended acapalla that showed off his swift tongue. A little later, Lupe Fiasco slowly worked the crowd up to his single “Kick, Push,” but after that, he had them eating out of the palm of his hands.
Between the two Chicago rappers, the lovely Annie took the stage with blue-eyed bubblegum-funk and got the crowd swaying in the breeze. At one point, I saw her soundman enjoying a popsicle while Annie was working the stage. I think that’s about as appropriate as can be.
The pairing of The Sword and Blue Cheer was a one-two punch from either end of the history of heavy music. The Sword were straight-up, riff-heavy, headbanging metal, and they are the real deal! They were followed by Blue Cheer whose proto-metal psychedelia paved the way for Black Sabbath and of course, Hawkwind. The highlight of their set was a sludgy sing-along of “Summertime Blues.”
Jon Brion and Robert Pollard’s sets both sounded great, Dead Prez had some of the loudest bass I’ve ever heard outside, and everyone went bananas when “Hip-Hop” came booming out of the speakers.
As Dead Prez were on stage, it had started to get dark, and the other stage started beckoning with it’s light show and wafting smoke. As I mentioned, it started to sprinkle a bit a few songs into Bloc Party’s set but the rain seemed as perfectly timed as the light show, adding another effect to the Bloc Party Stage show. Kele mentioned that they were really just taking a break from recording the album to come out and play their first headlining festival set ever (!), and they debuted several new songs over the course of the night, they sounded good, but I was there to sing along. I think they did all of the songs from the album. The only one I remember missing was “Pioneers” which served as a great closer and perfect capper for the weekend! All in all Vice and Intonation threw a hell of a party. Check pics on Flickr.