August 7, 2008

All Points Worst

Some guys I know sneaked into the All Points West Festival of Arts and Schmartz earlier this evening. The All Points West Festival is being held at Liberty State Park in lovely Jersey City, NJ, just about mile from where me, my friend Kirk, and the two guys we know that sneaked into it live.

When I first heard rumors about this festival coming to the East Coast (probably from Brooklyn Vegan or some shit), I was fucking psyched. I've never been to a proper music festival. Sure, I'd been to Ozzfest and Warped Tour a number of times, but those are traveling festivals; I always wanted to experience the three day, camp out, eat dirt, and bathe in feces kind of festival.

Then they announced the lineup and I crapped out a book on how to puke. I have a love/hate relationship with Radiohead. I haven't really listened to their last couple albums because I know I won't like them. I love The Bends. I love OK Computer. I like a lot of Kid A. I didn't need any more than that. I totally blew it when I didn't go see them at Liberty State Park back in 2001 because a then-recent ex-girlfriend was in the group going and blah blah blah. Fortunately, I own the Radiohead: Live at the Astoria and Meeting People is Easy, two DVD's from what I consider their most important years. Still, skipping that show is my second biggest show regret.

The first biggest show regret, for those keeping score, is when I went to see Mike Patton play a solo show at Tonic (when John Zorn owned it) (Fantomas had opened up for Tool at MSG that night)(this was also 2001)(god, 2001 really sucked, huh?) and had to leave just 10 minutes into his set because he went on so late and I still lived down the shore and I had to catch the last train back to the van I was borrowing that I had planned to sleep in at a rest stop on the Garden State Parkway so I could be on time meeting the rest of the work crew to drive us all to work at 6:30 the next morning. As far as I know, Patton has not played another solo show in seven years.

Anyway, beyond Radiohead, I don't give a microscopic shit about a single other band, so it's not worth it for me. I will spend the weekend out of town masturbating to thoughts of my fantasy lineup while the totally hardcore Jack Johnson fans invade my 'hood (make sure to chain up your surfboard, brah!).

While I personally won't be checking out this event, TWO GUYS I KNOW were curious enough to go check out the Festival Grounds a mere 14 hours before the gates open up. They just rushed back and told me all about it. The descriptions were so lifelike that I almost felt as if I were there myself, right down to the itchy fucking bug bites on their arms and bruises on their legs from bumping into things on the stage in the dark.

There are not a ton of secrets that my sources were able to divulge, but I'll give you a quick rundown of what they learned.

1. You can see all three stages pretty clearly just by standing on a bench like this and looking over the fence without having to pay for the $260+ ticket (Radiohead goes on at 8:30 Friday night).

2. You can also see this wooden dinosaur jigsaw looking thing:

3. Handwashing station water is NOT FOR DRINKING! Go for the Port-O-Pottie toliet water instead:

4. If you're trying to see the main stage, just look for the intense spotlights. Then close your eyes.

5. No outside food or beverage is allowed on the grounds. When something's eventually set on fire in protest, don't get caught standing near this ridiculous wicker thing:

6. All the three stages have ridiculous names--Blue Comet, Bullet, and this one, Queen of the Valley:

7. It's not vandalism if it's tape.

8. The first band performing on the Queen of the Valley stage on Friday is Lowry. Hopefully, they are Plowing Mud Forever fans.

9. When you discover that you are totally bored because all the bands suck and you aren't allowed to leave the festival grounds, you'll have no choice but to entertain yourself with weird art installations. One of them is a little forest with trees that play wilderness sound effects. This one is a Taj Mahal that plays shitty techno music:

10. If you need to sneak off and form a blazing sword with another concert-goer, make sure you do it behind the bushes:

Happy festivaling you dirty drunken bums.

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