Moogfest, Day 3

Well, Jordan Lawrence didn’t like Day Three, as he details in his post on our Moogfest Tumblr.

I sincerely wish that day three of Moogfest had not existed. This is not to say that it was terrible. There was a solid amount of decent to good music. But it wasn’t fun, and for a festival where the first two days seemed to hold up fun as the highest priority, this is the most damning criticism I can think of.

The rest of our staff had a better time, it seems. Here’s what Alli Marshall was into on Sunday:

Asheville’s own Sonmi landed the best slot at the Animoog stage: 4:15 on Sunday when the sun was out and the chill was less chilly, more autumn-spectacular. And the band did Asheville proud, with the tight, driving grooves they’re known for, and energetic instrumentals that toe the line between organic and mathematic. They tested a few new songs (the band has an album in the works) on the receptive crowd.

Haiku Review: Sonmi
Wrench tight and on time
robots in the crisp fall air.
Beat of human heart.

Active Child kicked off the day on the Civic Center stage, performing to a small but intimate crowd. Lead singer/harpist Pat Grossi commented that this was the biggest stage the band had played to date. Really, they might have been a better fit for the Orange Peel, but Grossi’s soaring falsetto and the ethereal tones of Active Child’s lush dream pop echoed gorgeously in the open space of the Civic Center.

Active Child is currently on tour as support for M83, who followed. Earlier in the day, M83 mastermind/ French-born-multi-instrumentalist Anthony Gonzales took questions from the press at the Moog Factory. He opened by explaining that he’s actually very shy and usually people get to know him through his music. He spent some time discussing how he uses movies for inspiration, and how he constantly plays movies in the background while working in his studio. M83 is, probably as a result, cinematic and dreamy — on stage with a full band, Gonzales’ songs were huge and lush. One high point was the performance of “Steve McQueen,” a song about the American actor dubbed “the king of cool.”

Jake Frankel enjoyed M83 and Passion Pit:

Haiku review: M83
Soaring, graceful, songs
like waves in a synth ocean
washing over us.

Best use of electro-cowbell at the fest: M83

Special Disco version featuring James Murphy & Pat Mahoney
These guys proved to be bumping DJs, but why the heck were they booked to play the Civic Center? I mean, sure, if anyone can get away with spinning vinyl in Asheville’s cavernous sports arena, it’s them. And it was fun. But just think how rad it would have been in a slightly more conducive venue, such as the Orange Peel (Or better yet, the Admiral!).

James Murphy quoted from the stage: “We’re just going to play some records. That OK?” [earlier tweeted rumors that a drumkit was being set up were unfounded].

Tweets from Ghostland Observatory:

Just walked in to Ghostland Observatory. First impression: sounds like horror-porn soundtrack #moogfest
Ghostland is like a vampire version of Kid Rock having a bad trip. #moogfest

Most pop-radio friendly set at the fest: Passion Pit.

I was skeptical of these guys at first, and at times I found Michael Angelakos’ never-ending falsetto a bit wearing (i.e., annoying). But by the end of the set, their innocent pop-rock exuberance — and the crowd’s enthusiastic reaction — won me over. Despite the cold chill of the evening air, the set marked one of the most joyous costumed dance parties of the the weekend.

M83 by Bill Rhodes.

Rebecca Sulock was blown away by M83. Their dramatic, lovely and danceable set ended eight minutes too early, and while someone standing on the stage attempted to cajole the crowd into encore-inducing applause, it didn’t happen. They simply filed out quietly. Strange.

Everyone then shambled into Neon Indian at Thomas Wolfe, whose catchy and charming songs packed the house. We were impressed with his dance moves (which Justin Souther identified as the Icky Shuffle, and now let’s all go learn it) and the fact that he could move so nimbly and sing so well at the same time.

Then it was back to the Civic Center for the aforementioned dance party with James Murphy and Pat Mahoney. I had no problem with this. If they want to come DJ our hockey arena, bring it. Anytime. It was super fun. And, for about 15 minutes, two aerial artists performed on either side of the stage.

Aerialist photo to Bill Rhodes.

Meantime, Childish Gambino was performing to an apparently less-then-massive crowd at Animoog. We’ll have some shots of him, courtesy Rich Orris, later this evening. Check back!

Jaye Bartell was charmed by John Maus, who performed for 30 minutes at the Asheville Music Hall, and then shook the hand of the show-goers as they filed out of the venue.

Not since Switched-on Bach have J.S. and Moog found such luminous cohesion as in the pontifications of composer and crooner John Maus. At an Oct. 30 press conference at Moog Music, Maus talked energetically — read: frantic exuberance — about performance, synthesizers and legendary Canadian pianist Glenn Gould. Those familiar with Gould’s radio broadcasts for CBC and his many recorded interviews will recognize a similarly elliptical and boisterous intelligence to Maus’ responses.

Perhaps the small bottle of “five hour energy” drink Maus swigged before assuming the riser at Moog Music (“I haven’t had enough caffeine,” he said) contributed to his restive, insistent manner, but given his expressed interests in the works of philosopher Theodor Adorno and Alain Badiou, one can assume that such feverish discourse and analysis are inherent to his intellect.

Miles Britton was supposed to cover Umphrey’s McGee, but he threw his back out and couldn’t make it. I know he’s disappointed to miss that show.

I walked into the Civic Center for Ghostland Observatory. True facts about that show: The lights were amazing. The bass made my spleen vibrate. And it was packed … the last dance party of the festival, and people made the most of it. When the band’s set ended, a huge crowd migrated over to the Orange Peel, which hit capacity pretty quick. People were trying to get every moment out of the fest.

That brings us to …. Gold Panda, the final act of the weekend. Guest reviewer Clark Mackey gave this account:

Gold Panda played an excellent set, but I can’t tell you exactly what was in it because, for most of it, I was waiting in line with the rest of the large crowd while The Orange Peel managed a one in – one out situation. Inside, the crowd was wall-to-wall. If so many Moogfest goers weren’t exhausted and leaving early, I might never have seen the show at all. A few, at the end of the line, only got in for the encore. I heard the last 15 minutes.

I asked a few who came out the door while I was in line and they told me the same story each time: “great show,” “awesome show,” “killer,” but they were exhausted and slipping out early anyway.

I noticed a similar pattern at Brandt Brauer Frick (which was a really great show) —- not taking anything away from Mr. Panda, but the final sets at Moogfest each night have been very good slots, both for the performer and the hosting venues. The crowd at the end of each night seems larger than at least some of the venues.

Gold Panda was clearly into it, thanking the crowd near the end, and the crowd was appreciative — he dropped several bass heavy segments that had the whole room bouncing. And that always makes me think of the old factory floor in there. It obviously held. But you could tell how into it the crowd was by the way the floor moved. His setup was at the front of the Orange Peel stage, with looping video on screens hung above. It was nice to have a DJ front and center in a small venue. Panda was definitely reading the crowd and, even with the capacity crowd, I thought that this is how club DJing should feel, up close and personal.

You know how you go to some shows and the crowd is just dancing up near the stage? How sometimes even at really good shows you can sort of lean on the sound-booth rail and have a quiet zone for ten yards or so before you are under the big ass fan? Nothing like that existed tonight. People were bouncing in front of me as soon as I set foot in the room.

For more fest photos, check our Flickr.

Here’s our favorite tweet-porter, Justin Souther (@veryanal), on the entire dang day.

Lyrics such as “I love you enough to drive like an hour from wherever I am to be with you” are why I won’t be seeing Baths tonight

Like, a whole HOUR? Wow, thanks sweetie! The “like” means maybe you’d drive even further! Maybe 90 minutes?? I LOVE YOU, TOO, BABY CAKES.

Late start today, just go to Oneohtrix, hoping @lucaschirps is here in spirit

True story: Oneohtrix is the soundtrack to all of my space travel fantasies

Oneohtrix Point Never, the perfect compliment to pizza

I was worried Oneohtrix wasn’t going to be loud enough, but every so often he drops the hammer

Hoping the two guys dressed as Beetlejuice get into some sort of HIGHLANDER-styled battle to the death

Someone should come dressed as steam punk Devo just so I can like steam punk for once

Not much to say about Beats Antique, except any band with a sax that doesn’t cover “Young Americans” is a let down

M83’s Zola Jesus stand-in is no Zola Jesus. The whole band sounds better in the Civic Center than I thought they might

“All I wanted was a Pepsi…” My #moogfest Civic Center lament.

M83 getting the light show set-up they deserve

M83: makes me feel like I’m in the DRIVE soundtrack, am throwing Civic Center hot dogs at everyone

Ah the time on Sunday where everything I want to see is at the same time.

Catching @DonaldGlover, the spirit of @NoraDebris here with me. Everyone pour a little out for her

Surprisingly sparse crowd for Childish Gambino. Crowd consensus seems to be “HE’S A REALLY FUNNY RAPPER.” A pity really.

Childish Gambino: #tinyshorts

Is it bourgeois of me not to like rappers backed by a live band? I feel like it is

My buddy told me John Maus might be making people more uncomfortable than Suicide, so of course I had to make it there

Aaaaaand of course it’s already over.

Neon Indian’s bringing the Icky Shuffle back into vogue

Not so good pic of the bulletin asking for help w/ #moogfest’s stolen Janice costume, on the giant Civic Center TVs

This is the worst thing to happen to Asheville since the piglet got stolen.

Far too exhausted for Special Disco Version. I feel ooooold

Every time I find a venue’s secret media entrance I feel like I’ve leveled up

Is it too much to ask to see one person at #moogfest do the cooking dance? Sorry Based God, we know not what we do.

“I love Baths so much I’d stand in line for like an hour.” -Baths fans

That last tweet was super lame, but I’m trying to be nice here.

Dude from Passion Pit and I have the same taste in sweaters

#SweaterSwag at Passion Pit

I just really like a good sweater, you know?

Passion Pit from 1/4 mile away: I’m glad that guy made a career out of pubescent vocal changes.

Unless you’re going as a “grown-up,” wearing a suit doesn’t count as a Halloween costume.

@JordanLawrence The energy seems down all around. Not sure if it’s the acts or the hangovers.

Ford & Lopatin are the soundtrack to all my space travel dance party fantasies

#Moogfest’s two (arguably) nerdiest performers Ford & Lopatin ate cranking out some baby-making music.

Well, nerdiest-looking, which I mean totally as a term of endearment.

The Orange Peel is packed to the gills. No one is ever going home, I’m afraid.

If you want to rub up on strangers, Gold Panda is the place to be.

To quote I’LL NEVER FORGET WHAT’S ‘ISNAME: “Everyone looks 21. What happened 21 years ago tonight?”…

“All the grown-ups went to bed.” Goodnight #moogfest. Till next year, fare thee well.









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