Vegoose: Our Second First-Hand Review

Late last week we posted our first eyewitness account to the Halloween festival in Vegas, an excellent rant from my friend Teddy.

Today, we bring you a stream-of-consciousness review with barely any articles from my friend Ahren. The man is a silly genius, and I trust his musical opinion implicitly.

As we said in front of Teddy’s post, “we understand that everyone’s experience at the festival was different and unique. We offer these simply as a chance to look at the weekend through someone else’s eyes, to receive a glimpse of what you may have missed.”

So enjoy Ahren’s take, which has a great review of Primus’ show while everyone else was dancing at Beck:

Vegoose was indeed awesome. Definitely the best-run and most well-organized festival I’ve ever been too. Probably the most enjoyable too (not including Jazzfest).

Music started for us Friday night with Trey late night. First set was okay. Money, Love, and Change was nice, but mostly he played a bunch of semi-rockin’ pop songs that were decent but not great. Acoustic set was interesting, and then the 2nd set was incredible. It was only like 4 songs, but Goodbye Head was amazing and Mr. Completely was totally out of control. It was a good time, and we spotted Howard Lederer buying a Dave Matthews T-shirt as
our celebrity sighting of the weekend.

Saturday was expected to be the light-weight day of the weekend, but turned out to be the exact opposite. We warmed up with some early afternoon Gov’t Mule, which I thought was decent, but not really incredible in anyway…

Then it was time for the Codetalkers…holy s***! They were playing up against Phil and Friends and another popular group (The Shins maybe?), so the crowd was small, which made it even better. At one point, during a drum solo, the bass player picked up his standup bass and slammed it on top of the drumset, then the drummer just continued drumming on top of the bass and they did a weird drum and bass thing that way — really wild and awesome.

Following that, we decided to stick around at that same stage to see Primus, which was a hard decision because Beck was playing at the same time. But (as was the theme of the weekend) we made the correct choice.

Honestly, that Primus show is in the running for my favorite concert of all time. I’m not even that big of a Primus fan, but they put on such a hard-hitting, virtuoso performance that I can guarantee not a single person left the show halfway through and wandered over to see Beck (which seemed to be almost everybody’s original plan).

After 3 opening songs that absolutely ripped through everyone’s brain-hole, Les Claypool stepped up to the mic and said, “Ummm guys, I hate to be the bearer of bad news… but… ummm… you guys are missing Beck.” Then he launched into an explosive 5 minute bass solo. Definitely one of the most badass things I’ve ever seen a musician do.

After a performance like that, we figured that seeing Dave Matthews and Friends would be basically a crime against music, so we headed home to rest up for the String Cheese late night show. I was really conflicted about that show, because moe. was playing at the same time and moe. is one of my favorite bands. But I’ve seen them so many times recently that I wanted to do something a little different.

I didn’t regret the decision. After digesting some natural goodies, we got ready to embark on a fabulous Halloween experience. String Cheese’s set was really enjoyable. They did a lot of mixing of ambient, spacey stuff with funkier material, which was perfect for our frame of mind. Then… at about 1:45… all hell broke loose.

The band launched into Thriller, and as the song progressed, the weirdness grew exponentially. It started with “strippers” that showed up on various platforms around the arena. I think they were really Cirque du Soleil dancers.

Then, contortionists slowly started oozing out of the walls, walking around on their hands and so forth.
Then these chicks dropped from the ceiling, doing incredible tumbling acts while hanging onto strips of material. There was even a fire-breather! And meanwhile a bunch of monsters, along with a Michael Jackson impersonater in full wolf costume were moonwalking around the stage. I can’t begin to tell you how fantastically unsettling this all was.

If you’re interested, I’ll give you some more details later…

I’m interested…sounds ridiculous. Claypool, what a joker.