“Y’know, all the rich people… all the rich people that live around this park - every year, they try to buy out the rights... so you can’t make a little noise.
EVERYBODY SAY AAAAAAAHHHHH!!!”
EVERYBODY SAY AAAAAAAHHHHH!!!”
So I don‘t have many photos from last night, because from the moment Zach Condon opened his mouth to sing until I stumbled up my steps and cracked a beer, I existed in a state of extended rapture.
(Don’t get me wrong - Owen Pallett was amazing (I am pretty sure Owen Pallett is amazing when he’s doing nothing but breathing.), although his performance was a little wrecked for me by the obnoxious dudes a bit behind me who were ‘only there to see The Vaccines’ and were - forgive me if I sound snobbish but it’s true - of a certain breed of (predominantly male, though there’s definitely females too) obnoxious indie-rock fans who think tight jeans, a leather jacket, and a bad attitude are the be-all and end-all of cool, and who probably still think Pete Doherty’s the messiah. I also had a moment of profound culture shock, in that I was literally the only person in my area of the crowd who knew who Owen even was. The Vaccines themselves were fun and danceable and I enjoyed them, but definitely the weakest band on the setlist, and, even though I was a big Jay Jay Pistolet fan, I really think they’re just another in a long line of good but not all that original or memorable London indie bands. Maybe it was just the wrong venue for them, though - I definitely think they would fare better in some sweaty club than Hyde Park.
Beirut, unfortunately, had a moment of almost being wrecked, too: by a group of completely wasted girls who were pushing forward to try to get nearer for Mumford & Sons (and can I just say: I FUCKING HATE THAT. If you are the type of person who rushes the barrier at gigs instead of getting close at the beginning and appreciating the entire line up? We will never be friends. In fact, I will happily punch you in the face. The rest of us like these bands, too, dickhead. That’s why we got here several hours early. This, of course, does not count in instances of moshpits, and moving/dancing crowds. If you are alone I am also slightly more likely to be forgiving.) who started shouting at me and the girls around me for not letting them past. One of them proceeded to pee in a cup, which she then spilt on one of the poor girls near me. They moved off pretty quickly, though, and my bliss at finally, finally seeing Beirut live won out.
It was the next two bands that really rattled me, though. Mumford & Sons are incredible live. They feed off the energy of the crowd like nobody’s business, and the amount of joy they put into every instant of their music is contagious. I screamed and sang myself hoarse, and danced all my troubles away. They have been one of my favourite bands since 2008, and the only time they ever played Vancouver was the evening before I moved to the UK, so it was such a joy to finally get to see them live. I cannot wait till they drop their next album and start touring again. I spent the entire gig one deep from the barrier, a bit to the right of the stage, and was lucky enough to have really amazing people around me for the most part - the aforementioned girls behind me and to my right who were just as blissed out the entire time as I was, a man and his two young sons who were obviously having the time of their lives to my left, and a three girls and a guy in front of me who threw themselves into the music with so much abandon; they were wonderful to dance with.
And so that was the act that brought me the most joy in the simple sense of the word. But the one that brought me to tears was Arcade Fire. I’m ashamed to say that despite being a fan since Funeral, and a Canadian to boot, this was my first time seeing them live. But as the sun went down, someone released a wishing lantern, and the crowd sang along to their joyous cacophony, it didn’t matter in the slightest