This Saturday, I drove up to Asheville, NC to check out the 2nd day of this year’s Moogfest and as expected, it was fantastic. Unfortunately I could only go on the Saturday since I went to see Jay-Z & Kanye West on Sunday (which was also amazing). I arrived there a little late and missed The Naked And Famous but I saw them at Lollapalooza so I wasn’t too bothered. I got my pass and headed to one of North Carolina’s best venues, The Orange Peel. There weren’t many people there at first and I was a bit worried that not many people would show up for the first act but it quickly filled up. CANT were the first act that played. CANT is the solo project of Chris Taylor from Grizzly Bear and his first album Dreams Come True was made in collaboration with George Lewis Jr. from Twin Shadow. They played a 45-minute long set playing all of the songs from this album. During the whole set, you could absolutely tell that Chris Taylor was in charge. He ran the whole show, playing bass, guitar, and synth all rather beautifully. The rest of the band were on top of the game as well, especially the drummer. Their set was at times beautiful and other times furious and pounding. Dreams Come True is kind of a quiet, slow album but live it was huge.
After CANT I got to see Twin Shadow for the second time and it was even better than at Hopscotch. They said it was their last show for a while, I’m assuming they are recording a new album, and they definitely played like it was their last show. The crowd were feeling it, especially a girl right next to me who was so over the top singing that you’d think she was performing in front of a crowd of crazy people. During the set, the female keyboardist and George Lewis Jr., the frontman seemed to get in a fight. The keyboardist was screaming swear words at him and she looked really angry. But then he made the crowd cheer for her and they were better, I think? She was drinking so she was probably a bit drunk and it was something silly. Their song Yellow Balloon was brilliant live and I can’t wait for what their next album is gonna be like.
I went to a great Mexican place next to The Orange Peel called Mamacitas and got an amazing quesadilla before heading to the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium/Asheville Civic Centre along with a hefty amount of extremely messed up people. It was freezing outside and I was really upset with that because I have a new pair of gloves that I have really wanted to wear and I could have worn them but I didn’t bring them. Literally the worst thing ever. Anyways, I went to the Asheville Civic Center which is a pretty big arena and saw Amon Tobin: ISAM. Listen to me right now, I have never seen anything close to what I experienced. I went to the front in front of the barrier to take pictures but instead of really taking pictures I found myself captured by this 3D light-cube-space show. I do not know how to explain this but look at that picture and imagine images of space and crazy lights all over it in time with the music. The music was spacey and huge. I have never felt that much bass go through me and it was quite a majestic feeling. I left after a bit to go see St. Vincent in the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium.
If anyone reading this has ever seen St. Vincent before, you know that she is the most adorable human being alive but can also play guitar a lot better than many of the acts out there right now. She played cuts from her three albums but I would say my personal favorite was Cheerleader which is off her newest album Strange Mercy. Something about that song rubs me in just the right way and her band pulled it off just perfectly. I don’t know what song she played as the encore but it involved just her and her keyboardist and she sung the most emotional, beautiful song. I saw some drunk girls crying. By that, I mean I was crying. After St. Vincent played Battles came on and they were just great. All three members are so talented with their instruments and bring something unique to the stage. Their sound was huge and they had a large amount of polyrhythms making everything sound weird but great. This is one of those groups whose members are all so talented that you do not know which one to watch. I found myself staring at the drummer most of the time as a good drummer is probably one of my favorite things in life. This guy was absolutely brilliant. I don’t know how he kept going for over an hour with the drumming he was doing. I would have been lying in a coffin by then, but I guess that’s why I’m not a drummer.
I really wish that I could have stayed for the whole weekend as I missed out on The Antlers, Passion Pit, M83 and a bunch more but it was such a great time that I’m for sure going to go back again next year. I like the fact that all the bands there have a synthesizer in their band. I guess that’s the point of it, but I just think it’s very clever. Thanks to Pitch Perfect PR for hooking me up with this! See you next year.