Spain Colored Orange:
|Spain Colored Orange|
Although technical difficulties with one ticket scanner caused an enormous line of hot and restless festival-goers outside one gate, Spain Colored Orange started its set at 2:05 p.m. on the dot - before the gates had even opened. SCO informed the growing mass of people in front of the 29-95 stage that they were being allowed to re-start their set.
The sort of band that music journalists love to write about, SCO plays music akin to movies that lend themselves to multiple viewings and discovery of nuances with each screening. No matter how many times we hear an SCO album or see the group live, it's still refreshing to catch new glimpses of Preservation Hall jazz, White Album Paul McCartney songwriting, the vocals of Elliot Smith, the psychedelics of the Flaming Lips, or bouncy keyboard parts a la Electric Light Orchestra. But Spain Colored Orange rocks in their own right.
In many ways, SCO was the perfect band to kick off Summerfest. Their eclectic sound matched the diversity of acts that rocked Eleanor Tinsley Park all weekend, and trumpet player Eric Jackson wasted no time getting the festivities started right, taking large swigs of Dos Equis during and in between songs.
In what might be the cleverest crowd draw of the day, SCO, recognizing that festival-goers would be in for the long haul beneath the hot Texas sun, offered everyone free bottles of water from a giant cooler in front of their stage. But the music didn't need any gimmicks. - Valerie Alberto
Mix Master Mike:
It makes us smile to witness a musical education unfold before our eyes, and that's exactly what happened during Mix Master Mike's performance on Saturday. Like eager pupils gathered around a podium, a very young crowd, bedecked in a rainbow of Urban Outfitter wayfarers, surrounded the stage coming off the heels of the Wild Moccasins' spirited performance.
Mix Master Mike took the stage to a slowed-down version of Prodigy's "Breathe," and class was in session for the many youths who likely wouldn't have been able to tell the Mix Master from the throngs of Serato DJs infiltrating our bars and clubs until today. It was hard for us not to geek out over this one ourselves - MMM, Beastie Boys DJ and member of the legendary Invisibl Scratch Piklz crew, is an acclaimed turntablism pioneer who reinvented the art of scratching.
He spun a very high-energy, electro-heavy set with a smattering of mash-ups and quick 30-second change-ups. His turntable acrobatics - cutting Rage Against the Machine with KRS-One, System of a Down with Fatboy Slim and Dr. Dre, Jay-Z and Notorious B.I.G all together - left mouths agape and elicited a variety of reactions including, but not limited to, screams, ohhhs and shrieks.
Unfortunately, the type of energy demanded by his quick-tempo, hour-long set was difficult to sustain under the beating of our Texas sun. 40 minutes into the set, screaming and dancing gave way to head-nodding with an occasional arm-wave. It's not an obvious factor to someone hailing from the Bay Area.
But please, Mike, try to account for the sun next time you plan a summer festival set in Texas. Thanks. - V.A.