The Download Festival 2006 was a complete success, both for fans, the promoter,
and the venue. People of all shapes and sizes packed into Shoreline
Amphitheatre, by far, the premiere northern California concert destination.
A place for music, the great equalizer, a force that transcends all boundaries
of color and creed, bridges the generation gap, and brings us all closer
together. The Download festival being a living example of how a community
should really work together, a realization of cultural diversity at its
best. People were just hanging out having a great time. The show was well
sold prior to the day of the event, and with day of the show door sales,
probably fiteen plus thousand of us were there. Some of the bands were
doing autogaph signings throughout the day. These are just awesome, the
fans get to talk to their favorite band and leave with something signed.
How cool is that? The event had many downloading related sponsors like
and others; there were gadget giveaways and video game centers for checking
out new products. Two stages and plenty of room for everyone to roam, you
can't beat that.
I was a little late, traffics sucks y'all, so I missed the first couple
of bands on the second stage which was set up in the parking lot.
I spent the whole day walking from the second stage to the main stage every
time a new band started their set, so I didn't get to catch the whole set
of any of the bands. They were all pretty good, Beck, of course, blowing
all other bands out of the water. The
Like looked pretty good, three girls, all ten-something, easy rythyms,
nothing too complicated, great charisma, but not so much stage presence.
They looked very excited to be there, but a couple of their songs seemed
like they were still works in progress. Not that they didn't sound good,
I just think some of the bass lines could have had a little more depth.
But then again, I judge all bassists after my favorite bass player Steve
Harris. That's OK, these girls have a long time to progress, as long as
their parents will let them drop out of school and spend their time focusing
on their career, which looks promising for these very young rock and roll
TV on the Radio, not TV on the
Road, as they were billed on the fake laminates. The festival handed out
these great freebees that made everybody look like they had all access
laminate passes, but they did not bill this band correctly. We are all
human, and everybody makes mistakes; but I am sure the band was still bummed.
These are definitely not country boys, these men have found their inner
city child as they jam space age electronica funk with soul and emotion.
was not a sex show and certainly implied that something out of the ordinary
was going to happen, and it did. What a great combination of personalities
are the band Kinky, these guys came out looking like they were parts of
two different bands. The bassist was wearing a cowboy hat and a jean jacket
and looked like he was going to start roping cowgirls. The lead singer
looked like someone out of the movie "A Clockwork Orange," and yet it worked
great. The keyboardist seemed to be having the most fun, just grinning
from ear to ear, and he was wearing this train conductor hat that totally
completed this bands oddity. I would like to see these guys again, I thought
they were a lot of fun. They are my second pick of the day, I thought they
were totally high energy, had an original sound, and really played to the
The Shins were your most standard
band of the day, with a familiar sound and many fans there just to see
them. A popular band with a popular sound, not necessarily pop music, but
certainly not rock music. Intelligent music with alternative driven rythyms
and laid back vocals. Nothing too outrageous, but their fans were loud
and happy to see them, screaming loudly when they came on stage. Talk about
avid fans, the next band, Coheed
& Cambria had this fanatical girl with a homemade sign that said
"Thank You." She was dead center front row with it and screaming bloody
murder when they came out. These guys are old school heavy metal, power
ballads with screeching guitar licks and live full vocals. They headlined
the second stage for a reason, because they rock. Always save the best
for last, that's what I always say.
The rest of the lineup was pretty solid, Muse
was exactly what their band title boldly states. The guitar and bass were
crazy, but the voice of the lead singer/guitar was other wordly. He hit
these high notes that were breaking glass, somewhere; higher than even
Geddy Lee could sing in his prime. It was really unreal, I'm still not
sure if I liked it, yet. I would definitely need another go around. I couldn't
understand what any of the words were, that's for sure. It almost felt,
right then, as if I might be getting old, you know, if it's too loud you're
too old! I grew up with Rush
and my mom hated it, that just made it all the better in my book. I think
the parents of this band's fans are feeling much the same as my mother
did back in the day. The Yeah Yeah
Yeahs were loud and obnoxious, and all those things that would piss
your mom off, if you were into them. Guitar and drums and screaming chick,
I don't know how it sounds so good, but you just gotta love it! This band
is a kick, she sings and dances and says she''ll "make you want" her, and
this trio is a hit.
Beck was the featured attraction of the night, and left no doubt why he
was the headliner. He opened his set with "Loser," and the intro started
just before thay all got out on stage. There was apuppet show that starts
right when the intro licks begin, they must be pre-recorded, because no
one was on stage holding any guitars yet. The puppet show is center stage,
and there are puppet masters that control each one of the band member's
puppets in an attempt to simultaneously create that member's movement on
stage in real time. It is really quite a spectacle, they even have a camera
crew that is acting just like the real camera crew for the real stage.
Beck's performance was undoubtedly my first pick for the night, but the
whole afternoon was just a great way to spend a day. Thanks for reading
and we'll see ya at the shows.