All Points West 2008 | Day One in Brief

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On Friday it was pretty clear what the modus operandi of All Points West is: There is Radiohead and there is everybody else.

By day, All Points West was a nice festival with some strong sets. Andrew Bird played to an adoring audience, mixing old favorites (“Fake Palindromes,” “Plasticities,” “Tables and Chairs”) with a couple new songs in a set right around 75 minutes. Despite missing alt-country chanteuse Neko Case, the New Pornographers’ set sounded great, at least what I saw of it did. I caught the first four songs of Carl Newman and Co. before heading over to Grizzly Bear. It took me a little while to get into their set. I’m not sure their music is ideal for the late afternoon time slot, but their almost haunting melodies are still rolling around in my head, and by the end of their shortened 45 minute set I was pretty impressed.

But all the day music was really just a lead up to the main event, and All Points West made it seem like Triple A vs. the Majors. At most festivals I’ve been to, the headliner plays the biggest stage in the last time slot, but that’s generally what sets them apart. Last night Radiohead took to the main stage with a series of long metal pendants hanging from the rafters. The pendants worked in conjunction with an unbelievable light show, at times appearing like prison bars, green rain, candles, and rainbow strobe lights. Radiohead also had the ace video setup, with cameras trained on all members of the band projected up on the jumbo screen in washed out sepia tones.

Even without the A/V and special effects the band would have shined. There’s really no question that Radiohead is in the upper echelon of live bands playing today. Last night they did not disappoint. In fact, for my money, I think they blew away their Bonnaroo set from 2006. Thom Yorke and co. were in top form, playing for well over two hours, and playing cuts from across their catalog. The sound was crystaline clear and I couldn’t help but wonder if lower Manhattan, the festival’s dramatic backdrop, was being treated to the same fantastic show that I was.

  • http://www.alexcreativeconsulting.com alexb

    you can slightly hear it from battery park, I was visiting a friend there. or maybe it was just my wishful thinking, gonna be there tomorrow for trey, interested to see how he will sound post rehab, got high hopes, other then that gonna be another festival of worshipping the golden cow of sweaty hairy rockstars, but this time in nyc!

  • http://www.alexcreativeconsulting.com alexb

    you can slightly hear it from battery park, I was visiting a friend there. or maybe it was just my wishful thinking, gonna be there tomorrow for trey, interested to see how he will sound post rehab, got high hopes, other then that gonna be another festival of worshipping the golden cow of sweaty hairy rockstars, but this time in nyc!

  • Hal9000

    Underworld Rocked it. Right there with Radiohead.

  • Hal9000

    Underworld Rocked it. Right there with Radiohead.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/oliversarmy/ Mr. Oliver

    Hal, could not agree with you less. After shooting a some photos of the lead singer, I could not get away from that stage fast enough.

    Least favorite thing I saw all day.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/oliversarmy/ Mr. Oliver

    Hal, could not agree with you less. After shooting a some photos of the lead singer, I could not get away from that stage fast enough.

    Least favorite thing I saw all day.

  • Joe

    The festival sucked and they should never even have had it there with all the bullshit rules. Don’t get me wrong because Radiohead was awesome!!! But you couldn’t even drink at the show. You had to go to a fensed off area and you could only get 5 beers all day long. I’ve been to 50+ festivals and this was by far the worst run!!! Good job NJ!!! Also the transportation was horrible to NYC. For $34 you can take a 5 min ferry, and you will wait over an hour to board and then it’s around a mile from the concert.

  • Joe

    The festival sucked and they should never even have had it there with all the bullshit rules. Don’t get me wrong because Radiohead was awesome!!! But you couldn’t even drink at the show. You had to go to a fensed off area and you could only get 5 beers all day long. I’ve been to 50+ festivals and this was by far the worst run!!! Good job NJ!!! Also the transportation was horrible to NYC. For $34 you can take a 5 min ferry, and you will wait over an hour to board and then it’s around a mile from the concert.

  • Jason

    Underworld DID rock along with Radiohead, it was a fantastic show. Sorry the drunk didn’t like it but seriously, there was some amazing performances Friday – what about CSS?

  • Jason

    Underworld DID rock along with Radiohead, it was a fantastic show. Sorry the drunk didn’t like it but seriously, there was some amazing performances Friday – what about CSS?

  • Sarah

    Top 10 Reasons Why All Points Sucked Ass:

    10.Lines…lines…lines
    9. Seriously, a smokers tent?
    8. A chicken coop to drink your beer
    7. Bracelets with 5 beer ration tags
    6. Feeling claustraphobic too many times just to get in
    5. 40 minutes to pee
    4. State Troopers roaming the crowds
    3. Budweiser only
    2. water $4
    1. $102.40

  • Sarah

    Top 10 Reasons Why All Points Sucked Ass:

    10.Lines…lines…lines
    9. Seriously, a smokers tent?
    8. A chicken coop to drink your beer
    7. Bracelets with 5 beer ration tags
    6. Feeling claustraphobic too many times just to get in
    5. 40 minutes to pee
    4. State Troopers roaming the crowds
    3. Budweiser only
    2. water $4
    1. $102.40

  • Big Al

    What a load of TOTAL TOTAL TOTAL SHITE that so called “festival” was. Lines everywhere for everything… and who the fuck makes you drink your beer in a tent/garden/shit hole without letting you take it out and watch a band? And charges you $9 for a Stella? Fuck off you twats. What a joke!! I love radiohead but left at 8.30 coz (1) it was shit (2) didn’t want to have to deal with the lines for the ferries (3) didn’t want to hand over any more money to those cnts. Goood jaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaab NYC. not.

  • Big Al

    What a load of TOTAL TOTAL TOTAL SHITE that so called “festival” was. Lines everywhere for everything… and who the fuck makes you drink your beer in a tent/garden/shit hole without letting you take it out and watch a band? And charges you $9 for a Stella? Fuck off you twats. What a joke!! I love radiohead but left at 8.30 coz (1) it was shit (2) didn’t want to have to deal with the lines for the ferries (3) didn’t want to hand over any more money to those cnts. Goood jaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaab NYC. not.

  • Courtney

    what a complete disappointment. we took the train there and ended up walking about a mile to get to the show, where (as already mentioned) we were met with one line after the next. did they not know how many people they were expecting? because you would think that they could have taken that into account when deciding things like: how many ID check tents and the number of port-a-potty’s to have. the only reason i didn’t pee my pants at the show is because a sympathetic security guard let me into the VIP section, where there was still a line, but i only had to wait 15 minutes to use the bathroom instead of the 30 that people were waiting in the main area. also the beer thing was ridiculous. if you pay that much money for tickets they shouldn’t tell you where or how much you can drink. the beer areas were one hot sweaty pile of people pounding beers so they could make it to the next stage. the festival staff was rude, although i would have been too if i had to listen to the slew of complaints from unhappy concert goers. when all was said and done kings of leon and radiohead were spectacular and i am glad i got to see both preform… but we were so ready to leave by 9:30 that we missed the end of the set to walk to the ferry (what a scam) and made it back to lower manhattan with plenty of time to get sufficiently drunk.

  • Courtney

    what a complete disappointment. we took the train there and ended up walking about a mile to get to the show, where (as already mentioned) we were met with one line after the next. did they not know how many people they were expecting? because you would think that they could have taken that into account when deciding things like: how many ID check tents and the number of port-a-potty’s to have. the only reason i didn’t pee my pants at the show is because a sympathetic security guard let me into the VIP section, where there was still a line, but i only had to wait 15 minutes to use the bathroom instead of the 30 that people were waiting in the main area. also the beer thing was ridiculous. if you pay that much money for tickets they shouldn’t tell you where or how much you can drink. the beer areas were one hot sweaty pile of people pounding beers so they could make it to the next stage. the festival staff was rude, although i would have been too if i had to listen to the slew of complaints from unhappy concert goers. when all was said and done kings of leon and radiohead were spectacular and i am glad i got to see both preform… but we were so ready to leave by 9:30 that we missed the end of the set to walk to the ferry (what a scam) and made it back to lower manhattan with plenty of time to get sufficiently drunk.

  • Katrina

    While there were definitely some logistical problems with the festival the bathroom situation and the beer corral particularly; Radiohead’s incredible performance overshadowed all this though. I can’t imagine being so annoyed by these inconveniences that you could actually leave halfway through Radiohead’s incredible set. We drove and the walk to the parking lot was far, but again well worth it. They were in top form surprisingly I think they were even better than in ’06 when I saw them in a small venue (wamu theatre @ the garden). Even the sound was very good for an outdoor show, and their lighting was fantastical!

  • Katrina

    While there were definitely some logistical problems with the festival the bathroom situation and the beer corral particularly; Radiohead’s incredible performance overshadowed all this though. I can’t imagine being so annoyed by these inconveniences that you could actually leave halfway through Radiohead’s incredible set. We drove and the walk to the parking lot was far, but again well worth it. They were in top form surprisingly I think they were even better than in ’06 when I saw them in a small venue (wamu theatre @ the garden). Even the sound was very good for an outdoor show, and their lighting was fantastical!

  • J

    We and our first world problems. The show was good. I’m glad the drunks were kept penned up. The smokers tent was an american spirits giveaway. you could smoke outside. There were two very large sets of bathrooms. Unfortunately, most people went near the small stage. The larger set was between the middle and main stage…no waits.

  • J

    We and our first world problems. The show was good. I’m glad the drunks were kept penned up. The smokers tent was an american spirits giveaway. you could smoke outside. There were two very large sets of bathrooms. Unfortunately, most people went near the small stage. The larger set was between the middle and main stage…no waits.