Saturday, July 4, 2009

80/35 Mainstage Day Two

The second day at the main stage yielded some of the best acts yet, since (and let's be honest) it isn't hard to top a flavor-less Public Enemy. The day kicked off with Poison Control Center, which unfortunately your loyal staffers were not in attendance at since we were trying to wait out the rain (which was a good idea, considering the remainder of Independence Day was significantly less dreary than Friday).

The first act we saw was New Monsoon, and they were really, really good (even for a jam band). The lead singer was seriously working the guitar - which made for some rocking tunes. One of the things I really liked about New Monsoon was the band's ability to create a relaxed vibe that made it so nice to just sit back and drift away with the music.

After New Monsoon, Man Man took the stage and stole the entire day. Seriously. They were fucking awesome. Man Man didn't just put on a concert, the members put on a show with endless energy, rockin' tunes, and enough props to make Carrot Top go wild. Each one of them was so into it, with costumes that seemed caveman-esque (excluding the lead singers sparkly tunic - see below), and the energy those guys brought to the stage revved up the crowd so much it was a shame to see the boys finish their set.

G.Love and Special Sauce followed Man Man, and let me tell you there was nothing lovely or special about the performance. OK, so G. Love has a nice voice, but that's about all he had going for him. The singer had a reggae-vibe to him, but I kind of thought he had a country-twang/wannabe rapper thing going on, which is just flat-out awkward.

Broken Social Scene took the stage after G. Love, and I have to say it was definitely a highlight. The music was awesome (I would have to rank Broken Social Scene's tunes better than Man Man, but Man Man's overall performance factor was higher), and it was a much needed upper after G. Love and Special Sauce. The band really worked with the crowd, and the whole show felt really connected, which is definitely something I look for when I'm at a concert.

The final band that took the stage was Ben Harper and Relentless7. I wasn't disappointed with the band's show at all. Harper's smooth and sexy voice delivered a solid set to a crowd full of eager fans who were looking to hear good music and dance to some beats. Needless to say, hottie Harper fulfilled my wish of seeing a good band close out the fest. I'd listen to his harmonious vocal chords any day.

Overall, a really great lineup on the mainstage all weekend. Nearly every band delivered a solid set, which aided in making 80/35 the place to be over the holiday weekend.

--Rachael (who thinks the lead singer in Man Man's tunic was sexy)

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