Summer Oo’s and Ahh’s at the live show

By on September 7, 2001

Nothing can top a Summer afternoon or evening at an outdoor music festival, concert, or club show. Correct that. Maybe just a day at the beach, having a Nathan’s hot dog with the works, drinking lemonade and taking a ride on the legendary wooden roller-coaster, the Cyclone. Hold on a minute. All three took place at the first annual Siren Music Festival on July 21 at Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York.
A day at a Summer festival or concert can liven up any crowd, not to mention an audience of eclectic and jovial Manhattan-area and Brooklyn kids, as well as out-of-towners like myself and many of my friends.
It was a first ever rock fest with many college alt-rock bands, put on by a major, non-profit organized weekly publication.
The Siren Music Festival, sponsored by the Village Voice, a Manhattan non-profit weekly alternative newspaper, took place just off the scenic Coney Island boardwalk and waterfront. This area is well known for its diverse culturally mixed neighborhoods. Also you will find the founding hot dog stands of Nathan’s. There is the Cyclone and countless other historic American rides, sideshows, and food stands. Also in this neighborhood was the home of Woody Guthrie, the folk singer-songwriter and a co-founder of the modern American alternative music and culture that became known as Rock n’ Roll.
The free admission festival, debuting many indie-rock and alternative bands, was headlined by the come-back experimental blues-punk trio, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.
Throughout the afternoon several other bands took the stage. New-coming Indie and Emo rock bands Rainer Maria, Peaches, and Enon all played early in the afternoon. Veteran bands that played half-hour sets included organ and drum indie-pop duo Quasi and 90’s indie-rock bands Superchunk and Guided By Voices. Many of the performing bands have forthcoming or recently released album, including Guided By Voices and Quasi.
Well worth the afternoon’s wait until 9:30 p.m. was experiencing the Blues Explosion. Like similar cross-over artists like folk plus electronic alternative kid Beck or hip-hop to roots singer Lauryn Hill, Jon Spencer with band-mates Judah Bauer and Russell Simmins cross several tightly construed lines in alternative music. Spencer draws on the stage presence of R&B and rockabilly kingpins like Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, and even the King, Elvis Presley..
With hoot’s, hollers, screams and jiving rhythm and ferocity vocally and with pairing guitars, Spencer and his mates link the punk fan with gritty rhythmic blues rock shuffles, tempo-changes, and wailing lyrics about the low and down. An incredible dose of mind blow and raucous garage rock at its best.
“As Jackson Browne began his set, the sky cleared up and all that was left was an awesome rainbow. It was a nice sort of omen for the show yet to come,” said sophomore psych. major Adam Wasko, of Montclair, New Jersey, after sitting in the mud at a Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers concert at the PNC Arts Center.
“The venue was wicked packed at Saves The Day on the Vagrant Tour, and everyone was jumping around, having such a good time because the bands really rocked out! Saves’ performance gave me such an adrenaline rush. I was still dancing out in the parking lot in the Yale Coop, like twenty minutes after the their encore,” said sophomore mass communications Major Tricia Lucente, of Waltham, Mass., after seeing Saves the Day, Hot Rod Circuit, Dashboard Confessional, and the Anniversary during July’s Vagrant


About Michael Shoeck- Entertainment