The KjEE Summer Round Up @ The Bowl ~ June 3, 2011

Where The Party People At Yo?

I went to the local Santa Barbara KjEE annual summer festival concert expecting a true musical experience. FAIL.

Maybe I had my hopes up too high. Maybe I was still too elated from experiencing one of the headlining band's outstanding performance the night before. Maybe I forgot how the Santa Barbara Bowl gets during a day long alternative rock festival when most of SB is out to be seen rather to see new music. Maybe it wasn't me. Maybe...

The show kicked off with Foster The People, definitely the best performance and crowd of the day. The young boys in Foster flirted with the crowd as they danced their way through a full set of poppy indie rock. The band was young and energetic, as were their songs and fans. They proved their talent as they switched musical instruments rotating between keyboards, percussions, and guitars. They kept the crowd pumping and had the fans belting out the lyrics to "Pump Up Kicks" along with them. A genuine good time.

It all went downhill fast from there.

I barely saw Peter, Bjorn, and John since I was mostly navigating through the large swarm of people in the beer garden. The chatty people there pretty much remained there through the next act as well.

Manchester Orchestra took to the stage looking grumpy. And apparently they were. Coming from an intimate LA gig the night before (which I was lucky enough to attend) to the glare of the sunlight and chatter of the party goers in the pit proved to be to much for the artistic band. The lead singer tried to engage the small crowd but had the "Bueller" effect. Reasonably upset, the band cut out in a huff after less than thirty minutes. I was BUMMED. But the party people hardly noticed.

As it got dark and the beer sales ended, the crowd settled in to watch the headliner Cage The Elephant, who brought the rock. It was loud and visually stimulating, just what the crowd wanted. The singer dove into the pit, flailed around on stage, and wailed his lil' heart out. Rock star.

The night ended and I was more annoyed than enlightened from the experience. Maybe it is me...