Thursday, August 14, 2008

Here I Stay Festival 2008: Day One, 25.07.08

We arrived while Il Moro E Il Quasi Biondo were finishing their set, and we put our tents up (and Roberta started to build her stand) while Vanvera was playing at the White Stage. Vanvera was good and enjoyable, but since there was a lot of running to and from the car with boxes and struggling with vegetation involved i can't remember a thing of it. What we did manage to see was Lupe Velez, who played at the Black Stage while we helped Roberta finish setting her stand up. They sounded a bit like Beatrice Antolini but without keyboards, a bit better and doing it for longer than her. Then there was a break for an hour while another band played at the White Stage, but since our stand was next to the Black one we stayed put around there. The next Black Stage band we saw was

Lush Rimbaud

Great job. 4-piece band quoting Fugazi and Disco Drive on the press release, sampled beats the drummer someties struggles to cope with but he needn't because they're doing great. Their Post-prog noise punk with uneven, sometimes oblique rhythms sounds a bit like what the Grateful Dead could have been in the '00s minus the blues, the beards and the embarrassing fans. I'd heard of them before but never seen them live: the former is well-deserved but the latter isn't. Had to resist the temptation of buying their cd.

After that Enon did their line check at the Black Stage, and Dos Hermanos started their set at the White Stage. Since things were pretty slow we decided to close shop and go watch

Dos Hermanos
Dos Hermanos will liven up your birthday party. They will bring girls to your party. They will bring the strongest booze you've ever tried to your party. They ARE your party. And they're sending you to bed without your supper.

More? Standing on his chair, the left half of the duo croons "Da Da Da" into a loudspeaker while Hermano #2 drums an obsessive beat. Obsessive and repetitive, but funky anyway. We don't know how they does it, but they jus' does it.

For fairness, Roberta's opinion was "perfect running-away-from-peasant-lynchmob music". Yes, she liked them too.

After them came Enon, who had obviously made the most of their soundcheck. I didn't take any notes down because i was too busy enjoying the show, but what i can say is that they sounded enormously better than last time i saw them (in Udine, in December, in a cellar), and i had already enjoyed it quite a lot that time.

The sounds were perfect and nice and loud - especially for those of us right in front of the stage. The sheer energy of the trio was something that has to be seen to believed: definitely one of the best bands currently active who you can still manage to see in DIY places like Friulian cellars or the Sardinian countryside. Their setlist (which -in its physical incarnation- i kept after the show and is quite a feast for the eyes) was fundamentally most of the latest album plus most of their previous hits, all played amazingly tight, surprisingly fast and with almost no breaks inbetween. The drummer in particular, clad in a Neil Young squared shirt and sporting a lumberjack moustache, stood out for the sheer energy of his performance. All in all, they played the best possible set and if it had been any better there would probably been a police intervention due to excessive coolness. No, they didn't play Daughter In The House Of Fools. Yes, it was that cool anyway.

Enon's setlist, w/guest

We were positively knackered after their set, so we headed back to our tents and fell asleep in mere minutes completely oblivious to how close the White Stage was and to how long the all-night deejay played.

That's all for day one of the festival. I'm going to skip day two because due to the things that happened that night i didn't manage to take notes on the concerts - or enjoy them, for that matter. But this is a topic that must be dealt with elsewhere.

The italicized comments are the ones i had written down during the festival, sometimes even during performances.

Hereistay Records/Festival official site here