On Day Two, the Escape to New York Festival found its groove. Between the massive bubble-gun audience participation that turned the White Rabbits set into something completely memorable for everyone involved and the ever-growing number of stimuli, there was a good-time atmosphere Saturday that was infectious (even after news of the cancellation of next week's Music to Know Festival in East Hampton started to filter in).
Escape to New York spokeswoman Pam Workman described it as a “summer of love,” as she announced E2NY's plans to let Music to Know ticketholders into the Southampton festival Sunday for free if they bring a proof of purchase. There really was a lot of love in the air, as concertgoers collaborated on murals and art projects, and who could be in a foul mood after tasting a Shinnecock Indian Taco (frybread filled with ground meat, cheese, tomatoes and lettuce and doused with taco sauce)?
There was also a lot of music in the air. Here are my top 5 moments from Escape to New York Day Two:
1. The Vaccines, “Wreckin' Bar (Ra Ra Ra)”: Like the rest of the Brits' impressive set, this under-two-minutes, punk-inspired rave-up was too short. Between Justin Young's driving vocals and Freddie Cowan's raging guitar, it was a hard-driving thrill-ride, built for pogoing, that you want to ride again once it ends. Sure, “Post Break-Up Sex” is more tuneful, but The Vaccines are more about hooks and testosterone, which was also on display as members made a crash-filled exit, sending Pete Robertson's drums flying. More please!
2. The Psychedelic Furs, “ Heartbreak Beat”: This late-'80s nugget embodied everything great about the band's energetic set, including singer Richard Butler's aerobic workout, the extension of the outro so people, including Butler, could keep dancing, and the cool saxophone work of Mars Williams. It ended, as it should have, with a smiling Butler taking a full stage bow.
3. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes, “Home”: The Los Angeles collective's laid-back, inventive vibe paired well with the festival and on “Home,” they teamed up with the audience for a huge sing-along that seemed incredibly sweet and genuine.
4. Andy Rourke DJ set: Loads of fun – especially when Mark Ronson's version of “Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before” bled into Fun Lovin' Criminals' “Scooby Snacks.”
5. Graffiti 6, “Free”: Jamie Scott's distinctive voice led the British band through a number of styles – from three-part-harmony folk to neo-soul – in a short set. But this pop number, where Scott's voice quivers like James Blunt, worked best. It's no wonder it will be the band's first American single in October.
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