HORDE Festival,Texas Shows
The HORDE Festival hit Texas for two shows, Austin and Dallas. Withmy favorite BNL boys in the lineup, when they come to TX, its like Christmas for me. Hitting the road armed with their new CD Stunt in my cassette player, I was readyfor fun. What I wasn't ready for was a torrential monsoon that hit TX that weekendafter about a 6 month drought. This outdoor festival at Southpark Meadows in Austinbecame a mud bowl, but didn't seem to dimish the spirits of hard core concert goers.
I got to the main stage in time to see a new favorite of mine, Fastball. They have thatcatchy song "The Way" that everyone's been singing and lots of other great songslike Sweetwater TX and Fire Escape. They mix pop hooks, melodic lyrics, and heavyguitars for a sound that is really in demand today. Their CD All the Pain MoneyCan Buy is full of great stuff, definitely worth checking out.
On the second stage at this HORDE, we were treated with Cherry Poppin'Daddies and Cowboy Mouth. While I didn't get to see them, I heard the CPD had someproblems with mud being hurled at them and I caught the interminable 20 minute version ofCM's Jenny Said over the PA at the main stage. What an annoying bass line.
So, BNL hits the stage and I am soggy and crammed up front, but there's nowhere else that I'd rather be. They hit the stage with Old Apartment and then StrawHat, and then continued with such great tunes as Jane and Hello City. The crowdloved the new stuff, particularly the new hit "One Week" featuring the white boyrap stylin's of Ed Robertson. Other favs were It's All Been Done and Never isEnough. Banter at this show included acknowledging a woman in the crowd that hadflashed the band, but left her shirt up a bit too long. Steve proclaimed that he was"sick of boobies", to which Tyler launched into a "sick of boobies"drum beat, which he ended with "show us your nuts". Not being one toquestion authority, Ed proceeds to drop his drawers and wiggle around in his long, tightyCalvins. When Tyler once again screams "show us your nuts", Ed turns toface him, away from the audience, lets it all hang out, I am only to assume, becausethe several people at side stage were suddenly very red and embarrassed. These boystake their nudity seriously.
Later on Steve sang a ditty about having seen Morgan Fairchild in theairport that morning as they were flying in from LA in which they had done a great job thenight before on Leno. Leno had even called them over to the couch for a fairlylengthy interview where Steve and Ed talked about getting piles of sweat socksthrown at them and a funny incident involving getting stuck in an elevator in Amsterdamand more nakedness.
The highlight of the show for me was at the end of $1M. Steve wasdoing his standard Memories from Cats rendition, he moved to the end of the stage, andwith the rain and the wind and the big white light shining on him, made for one hell of adramatic finish. A picture of that would have been cool!!! They rapped andthey left the crowd begging for more than the one hour HORDE set allowed.
Afterwards, I headed to downtown Austin (after the tractor pull that wasthe parking lot), and got to enjoy a gig featuring Chris Brown, BNL's sub keyboardist (see Friends of Kevin Hearn page), and hisnormal partner, Kate Fenner, at Ruta Maya. They have an awesome thing going on. Chris plays keyboards and guitar and Kate has a sultry deep voice. Myfavorite songs of the evening included "whoever built this would never livehere" and "pigeons" (a song about the beauty of the birds being lost ontheir sheer quantity). Ed and Jim of BNL joined them for a couple of tunes at theend, making for a 3/5 of BNL jam. A new song that came out of a result of a latenight bus ride had the chorus "and I will drive while you sleep" which was alsoa highlight of the set.
So, then it was off to Dallas to Starplex, much better weather and beingheld in a real ampitheater versus a muddy bog. We were treated to basically the sameFastball set, but then as we wandered about the festival, we stopped at the workshop stagewhere Chris and Kate were once again getting ready to perform. This time, Steve Pagejoined in for some backing vocals, so with the only Tyler missing, the crowd got to seemost of BNL doing some really jammin' stuff. On one tune, Ed took control of a drumkit and showed some major rhythm. If you are at a BNL show, try to pick up the ChrisBrown CD. It's a unique gem.
The BNL set had most of the same songs as the previous day with theinclusion of Alcohol, a rocking ditty that discusses the irony of joy and insecurityassociated with addiction. Banter included Ed commenting about the inflated condomsin the pavilion and how a little boy thought it was a balloon. When the securityguard kindly handed it over to him, his parents were somewhat disgusted. Now Ed wassinging about it, much to their continued embarrassment. Throughout the set, Stevewas screaming out the names of different rock bands, saying they were all from TX (eventhough they all weren't). Afterwards, the boys signed autographs for the 500 peoplethat waited in line for an hour. BNL's popularity, while deserved, is still a bitamazing for me. I'm so glad to see that everyone, and I mean everyone, is findingout what I have known for so long. BNL is the best!
Once again, I must apologize for not paying closer attention to the otherHORDE headliners. I listened to a bit of Ben Harper and found his funky style to betalented, but not my thing. I did get to listen to a bit of Blues Traveler andreally liked their Imagine by John Lennon cover, but couldn't handle the interminably long(pop songs times 2) versions of their hits and John Popper going through an artillery ofharmonicas. Unfortunately, the pavilion cleared out to half full for BT, thusconfirming that the crowds had lined up for BNL.
So, with HORDE rapping up in a week, BNL is poised for some special eventsin Sept. (MTV Video Awards) and a fall solo tour starting in Oct. I'm there!!!
On That Note, I'm outta here......
Search for your favorites at