Friday at All Tomorrow’s Parties festival (ATP) brought a chill night. Compared to the raucousness of Thursday, Friday’s vibe in general felt quieter and more relaxed. It also seemed like there were a lot less people there.
I attribute this to the line-up —while Thursday had some of the more well-known performers like Public Enemy and Iggy Pop, Friday’s set list was a bit more toned down. It didn’t have the same celebrity name recognition, and honestly (sorry), I didn’t know who most of the bands were.
But still I arrived at the festival around 19:00, excited to see the LA rap group clipping. I waited at the back of the main stage, anxiously looking at my watch, but whatever was playing on stage did not sound like experimental hip hop. After about 30 minutes of confusion, I found out that clipping. had travel troubles and would not be performing. At that exact moment, I got a text from my phone company telling me I had used up all my data, so it was a bad moment for everyone.
But clipping. is a great act so I’m going to give them some exposure here. Check ‘em out!
But I couldn’t be upset for too long because unlike Thursday, the weather yesterday was great. Sunny, bright, and warm, every festival-goer was taking advantage of the heat by hanging outside near the food area. As I said in my review of Thursday’s show, the hanger is really a strange location for a social hub. It’s got a concrete-wasteland/post-apocalyptic feeling that’s not initially attractive. But while Thursday’s rain made the location seem kind of Soviet, the sunshine on Friday made the festival feel friendlier.
It’s funny because although ATP and Secret Solstice happen within weeks of each other and attract a similar crowd, the fashion in both festivals is completely different. While at Secret Solstice you see a ton of “festival” wear—bindis, flowers, glitter—people at ATP dressed for comfort. Sweaters, kicks, and top-knots were the uniform for men, while girls tended towards jeans, and fashion sweatshirts. There was also a lot more “tourist in Iceland” garb as well—hiking boots, rain jackets, etc.
Favourite act of the night for me was Godspeed You! Black Emperor. To be honest, I wasn’t really a fan of them before (not a big post-rock person) but wow—they have a great stage presence. It’s rare to see a performance, especially when you personally don’t know the music, and have it really connect with you, but Godspeed totally did. The sound was not amazing (I think they had some technical problems) but you could just feel that the audience adored them, and it’s hard to dislike music when you’re surrounded by people who love it. I may just have to add them to my Spotify playlist.
Another good act was Mudhoney, which was a band I had never heard of before. Yes, they sounded just like every other grunge band ever (again, I’m not a connoisseur), but they really revved up the crowd and it was nice to see some energy in the festival.
On the whole though, I enjoyed Thursday night at ATP, but I found last night, while chill and relaxing, to be kind of boring. It was mainly artsy grunge-rock and that’s not a genre I know much about. But hey, you can’t please everyone.
More from the GV’s ATP coverage