October 31st, 2011
Loopster Live: Buzzfest XXVII
Another Fall, another BuzzFest. Another chance to see what new developments Seether and Puddle of Mudd have been up to in the last 6 months. What? They’re not? Was their a tour bus accident? No? Good. I guess.
Kudos to LiveNation/94.5 for placing local artist thelastplaceyoulook on the Main Stage (and congrats to Justin and the lads).
Weather was perfect. Crowd was… well, the sidestage had its share of fights, but the crowd was standard BuzzFest crew with a lot more returning servicemen (women) which is a good sign on multiple levels. Welcome home. Thank you for your service. Hope this economy treats you better than Kandahar.
The major wrinkles were some illnesses in the bands. The lead singer of Anberlin was unable to perform and AWOLNATION was… absent. The latter a larger source of consternation than one Youtube video deserves, but I’m told the bass in the song does wonders for the fairer set. Feel free to do some research and report back.
These events have become so routine that on the upside — set times are 95% reliable, stages are reset promptly, the show goes on; the downside — the main stage artists always seem a bit startled to be playing in the daylight, nocturnal animals rousted from their nests to play before a moderately tuned in audience as a rapidly shifting stage prevents any real momentum throughout the day. The best energy (and fights) can be found on the side stage, with birthday boy, Jon Foreman of Switchfoot leading by example with an extended foray into the crowd and clambering onto any stack of speakers he could reach.
BF27 did not deviate much from the pattern, with the odd note that the crowd kept building in energy. Maybe I’m being unfair labeling the later main stage as ho-hum performances. The lineup wasn’t built around image-focused, performance acts, but there was little interaction originating from the stage, little attempt to reciprocate what was clearly a good-vibed, enthusiastic crowd. Staind, from chatter in beer lines, was by far the most anticipated, and the fan noise made it so clear that singer Aaron Lewis was forced to comment on the volume and was met with an even louder roar, by far the loudest I’ve ever heard at The Pavilion.
Headliners, Bush, suffered from a similar fate as Jane’s Addiction in May’s BF26. A crowd primed for a heavier sound discounted the headliner based on reputation (looks?), so that by the time Bush hit the stage, the crowd had visibly thinned. Kind of a shame, as Gavin came out swinging and demonstrated how to own the larger stage.