Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Vegoose Day 2 at Sam Boyd Stadium

Rage Against The Machine

Everybody is a Rage Against The Machine fan these days. But do you have their free demo tape above? I didn't think so. I acquired that tape in 1992 when I saw Rage Against The Machine at the Hollywood Palladium open for some band called Pearl Jam. It is still one of the most memorable shows I have ever attended. I missed Rage Against The Machine's return at Coachella but heard that they were back in full force. I have a black Fender Telecaster that I have been known to plug in and play along to their self titled debut album. Tom Morello (Guitars) was on fire as he made his guitar sound like a siren during the "Sleep Now In A Fire". Tom was also playing his trademark frankenstein "Arm The Homeless" guitar. I imagine Matt Bellamy from Muse was on the side of the stage taking notes on how to use the Digitech Whammy Pedal that Tom Morello made so famous. Zack De La Rocha (Vocals) sounded just like I remembered and even changed the lyrics to "Killing In The Name" by saying "Some of those that work forces...are the same that hold office". It had been many years since I saw them and I was still in a state of disbelief when I saw them on stage. Some of the other highlights from their set include "Testify", "Bulls On Parade", "Bombtrack", "Know Your Enemy", "Bullet In The Head", "Vietnow", "Tire Me", "Guerilla Radio", "Calm Like A Bomb", "War Within A Breath", and "Freedom".


Muse rocks. Muse saved Street Scene the day after I saw them in Irvine. Muse wrapped up their forever tour of the U.S. with a bang in Las Vegas. It looked like Muse was playing some rented gear because they had just played in Copenhagen a few days prior. Matt Bellamy(Vocals/Guitars) did have his custom made Hugh Manson guitars. I do own a Korg Kaoss pad but unfortunately it is not loaded into my guitar. Matt is already talented enough but having custom super guitars is just not fair. Dominic Howard (Drums) was sporting a slick spiderman outfit as he bashed the drums. It is still very fitting for them to end their set with "Take A Bow". I look forward to their new album.

Muse setlist in Las Vegas for the Vegoose Festival (10/29/07)
"Knights of Cydonia"
"Map Of The Problematique"
"Supermassive Black Hole"
"Butterflies And Hurricanes"
"New Born"
"Feeling Good"
"Time Is Running Out"
"Plug In Baby"
"Stockholm Syndrome"
"Take A Bow


Unkle was another must see of the Vegoose festival. Unkle is the brainchild of James Lavelle. Unkle rarely tours and when he does tour, it is usually not as a full band. Unkle played some smaller warm up dates in San Francisco and Los Angeles before their U.S. Festival debut as a full band. James and company played selections off his latest album "War Stories" as well as touching on "Psyence Fiction" and "Never,Never,Land". Unkle came on late to the stage but it soon all made sense after some thinking. Unkle was slotted against Muse but was the last band to play that particular stage and smartly delayed their set so more people could see what an amazing performance they put on. I was not surprised how big their turn out was after seeing them perform.

Ghostland Observatory

Ghostland Observatory knows how to get a crowd moving. The Las Vegas sun was scorching but it didn't matter as Aaron Behrens(Vocals/Guitars) electrified the crowd with his frantic stage dancing as Thomas Turner (Keyboards) worked his keyboard setup. I thought it might be to early in the afternoon to dance. I was wrong. I had heard these guys put on an energetic set and I can now confirm this in person. I hope to catch them at their own show on November 30th at the Henry Fonda.

Infected Mushroom

Infected Mushroom is billed as an electronica duo but they had me fooled into thinking they were an industrial band after the performance they turned in at Vegoose. I was wondering where they got that vintage Kiss shirt?

Micheal Franti And Spearhead

Political advocate Micheal Franti turned in a feel good performance at Vegoose and managed to find time to jump into the crowd for some towel waving.

Robert Randolph & The Family Band

Robert Randolph had a slick sparkled Fender Telecaster. I was really taken by his slide guitar playing.

Overall, Vegoose was one heck of a weekend. The lineup was almost too good as one had to make difficult choices due to schedule conflicts. It will be really interesting to see what Vegoose '08 holds because it will be difficult to top the line up from this year. The only thing I will bet is that it will be a good time. I somehow suspect they already have something up their sleeve.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Vegoose Day 1 at Sam Boyd Stadium

Daft Punk

Daft Punk is an experience. I can try and describe it to you but it doesn't do it justice. Anyone in attendance at the Los Angeles Sports Arena will tell you that their life was changed after seeing Daft Punk. I would write out the setlist for this show but Daft Punk combines elements of their songs and blends them together making it difficult to describe. They started out with "Robot Rock" and transitioned over to "Technologic" while dropping "Around The World" in and out of the mix. "Brainwasher" was also incorporated into the set effectively living up to the title of the track. The intimacy of the sports arena was missed but the performance and energy was similar. Daft Punk did switch up their set and played different parts compared to the Los Angeles set. Daft Punk's performance alone made the trip to Vegas worth it.

Queens Of The Stone Age

Queens of the Stone Age have come a long way since I saw them at the Troubadour touring on their first album. As a fan of Kyuss, I always admired Josh Homme's guitar playing. I never would have figured they would gain as much popularity as they have now. Their latest album "Era Vulgaris" showcases Josh's sludgy riffs and his smoky vocal style as they pound you over the head with tracks like "Battery Acid", "3's and 7's" and "Sick, Sick, Sick". I admit I was stoked to hear them play "Regular John" and "Avon" from their first album. I also found it ironic to see Troy Van Leeuwen on stage because it meant I saw all the members of Failure within the span of a week.

Iggy Pop And The Stooges

Iggy Pop is a living legend. Iggy Pop and The Stooges performed the classic album "Fun House" in its entirety. Mike Watt (Bass) was filling on bass and watching Iggy jump all over stage and on top of the speakers. Iggy even had a staircase built in front of the stage so he could go down and interact with the audience. I am surprised that he didn't just stage dive down into the crowd. Iggy has more energy on stage then anyone I can think of. I wonder if Johnny Rotten(Sex Pistols) has the same amount of energy these days.

Public Enemy

I am sure most of the kids know Public Enemy today due to Flavor Flav's reality show. I remember Public Enemy from the Less Than Zero Soundtrack which included the track "Bring The Noise". Public Enemy are mavericks of the rap genre. I made sure to catch some of their set and didn't spot any members of Anthrax on the side of the stage for a guest spot on "Bring The Noise". I am sad that I missed "911 Is a Joke". My friends said they put on one of the better sets of the day.

Cypress Hill

Cypress Hill doesn't need an introduction. "Hand On The Pump" still sounds just as fresh now as it did sixteen years ago. B-Real still has the skills with his chracteristic vocal style that is complemented well by Sen Dog. I am still wondering if B-Real and Stephen Carpenter from the Deftones will ever release the material they recorded for a rumored side project a few years ago.


MIA had the audience in the palm of her hand from the second she came out. It made everyone forgot about the delay in getting her turntables and laptop setup. MIA was traversing the stage and getting the crowd into a groovy mood. I could have sworn I heard her incorporate a New Order song into her mix. If you sample New Order, you will get my attention.


Battles played early and if you didn't get there you missed out. Tyondai Braxton (Vocals/Guitars/Keyboards) quipped that he lost ten thousand dollars at the MGM the prior night. John Stanier (Drums) followed up Tyondai's remarks with a quick drum roll. I saw them at the Henry Fonda a few days after and still can't comprehend how they do it. "Atlas" was the standout track of their white hot set.

The Shins

"Wincing The Night Away" is one of the better album releases of 2007. The Shins have been touring quite extensively as I caught them earlier this year at the Orpheum Theatre and at the KCRW show. They played a lengthy set at Vegoose with a good sampling from their three albums. The Shins also managed to throw in a jaw dropping Pink Floyd cover of "Breathe". I was excited that I would see them again on Sunday night at the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel.

Shins setlist in Las Vegas for the Vegoose Festival (10/28/07)
"Sleeping Lessons
"Kissing The Lipless"
"Mine's Not A High Horse"
"When I Goose Step"
"Caring Is Creepy"
"Turn A Square"
"Girl Sailor"
"A Comet Appears"
"Sea Legs"
"Girl Inform Me"
"Saint Simon"
"Gone For Good"
"Know Your Onion"
"New Slang"
"Turn On Me"
"So Says I"
"Phantom Limb"

Blonde Redhead

I can't say enough good things about Blonde Redhead. I highly recommend you buy their album "23". I am so glad I caught them at the House of Blues San Diego, Sunset Junction, Glass House and the Wiltern Theatre this year.


Mastodon was one of the few bands that I have not seen live before. They did not disappoint as they kicked out their brand of doom sludge metal. I was drooling over Bill Kelliher's (Guitars) Gibson Les Paul Custom Silverburst guitar. It is the same guitar model that Adam Jones from Tool plays. Troy Sanders (Bass/Vocals) also got into the act with a silverburst bass. Mastodon played tracks of their album "Blood Mountain". It was pretty early in the day but Mastodon managed to keep it gloomy with their costumes and ear splitting performance volume coming from the stage. I need to see them headline their own show.

Gogol Bordello

Gogol Bordello shows are legendary. I have heard so much about how good their live shows were and the dynamic performance energy that Eugene Hutz(Vocals/Guitars) puts into every show. Euguene is so energetic that I had a difficult time choosing what photo I wanted to photo to post because every shot conveys a ton of emotion. It was really difficult to leave their set but I couldn't miss Battles. Gogol Bordello is touring in support of their album "Super Taranta".