Fortunately (since we didn’t go) one of the winners of Stereogum’s Virgin Festival ticket giveaway was kind enough to write up a review for us:
My Free Ticket to a Virgin by J Seger
There was no Natty Bo! Come on, being in Balmer and all…There was a Freak Lounge, a dance/DJ tent, two stages, mysterious inflatable chairs, even a batting cage, but no Natural Bohemian. Besides the beer choice, the only other disappointments of the day at Pimlico were a Neko-less New Pornographers and the simultaneous scheduling of the Flaming Lips and Red Hot Chili Peppers. The first time for the Virgin Festival in America proved to be quite romantic?maybe we?ll do it again?
I started my day sitting through a Drive By Truckers set waiting to see if Neko Case would even be present with the New Pornographers. The Truckers delivered their somewhat cheesy, but heartfelt Southern rock-ish set, while the New Pornographers kicked it straight Canadian indie rock style. Someone in the crowd wanted to have AC Newman?s baby, ew. The Raconteurs are a must see. Having seen them at Austin City Limits a week earlier, I can now firmly establish that they are the most rockin? band in the US. I will also confirm labels of live Zeppelinisms, evidenced by their set finale ?Blue Veins.? The song is a sort of ?Since I?ve Been Loving You? or ?No Quarter.? The Killers pulled a somewhat large crowd to the main stage. They killed the time before the Who?s set, keeping the mood dancey and upbeat; all of the songs were seemingly the same tempo. The Who blew out some classics, streaming old video clips on the jumbo screen. They sounded great, almost too great. I noticed a ?fifth man? on guitar/back-up vocals lingering in the back of the stage, avoiding the cameras.
Other older artists like Bob Dylan and Van Morrison don?t utilize a ?fifth man.? That?s why they sound as if they?re actually 60 years old, still making music, still relevant, and still great. Uninterested, I left to get a good look at the Scissor Sisters. Have they played Vegas yet? I can?t wait ?til they get their Vegas showed worked up.
Then came the decision of the night, the Red Hot Chili Peppers or the Flaming Lips? Having seen the Lips at ACL also, the Chili Peppers would have been the more logical choice, but I couldn?t give up my spot. About 10 rows back and fully aware I could possibly get my hands on ?The Bubble,? I denied myself the Chili Peppers? presence. The Lips delivered the same set as a week earlier. Wayne in ?The Bubble,? Wayne firing confetti cannons, Wayne getting people to sing and then shushing them via hand puppet, Wayne building song bombs, and Wayne not delivering an encore. They were still amazing in a ?before you die? sort of way. Fortunately, the Chili Peppers did play an encore; begun with a few choruses of ?Tiny Dancer,? prompted and sung by Frusciante. A full out version of ?Give it Away? was followed by a seriously Flea-driven jam. He and Frusciante traded overindulgent, but equally as inspiring solos while Kiedes rambled and howled random vocal melody, a red-hot, like chili peppers, moment if you ask me.