In many ways it was the best of times, and it was the not so great of times. Today was supposed to be one of those surprise days. I had not lined up a large amount of must see acts, and I don’t like to duck in and out of sets because I think it’s foolish to only catch 15 minutes of each act. Most artists have some sort of downtime, so that would be unfair.
Watching Felix Cartal and DJ Thibault while sitting out the rain, there was a sincere and utter repetitive sonic-ism that carried through out most of the evening. It was great at first, but for someone who is around so much electronic music, my taste buds began to wear out, quickly. North Coast wanted a lot more electronic music this year, and they achieved that by reducing the types of other acts who played, with DJ sets dominating the line-up while the hip-hop and jam band roster dwindled.
At times I felt like I was drowning in this state of mind, and questioning myself. I was wondering whether I was crazy, wrong or even belonged in the first place (not to mentions every single person that I caught today played “The Perculator”). Ironically, the same music I’m always around began to become my own state of torture, and it seemed like I couldn’t find a lyric to save my life, especially when dubstep overtook a good amount of the afternoon.
The issue wasn’t the talent, nor was it that the sets were awful, but I as a “regular” person— I just was over it. By the time Fatboy Slim took the stage—who had a low volume set, stripped visuals (nothing for about 20 minutes), and what seemed like one burned CD—I felt like I was just wasting my time. By this point, it wasn’t just me who was over it either. Midway through Fatboy’s set, the field had cleared significantly. Some people were casually having conversations and many just opted to leave.
Despite my sour mood, the best thing about the day was being forced to sit out the sets with the fans, the people who paid to get in, the people who were more or less not concerned about having to recap anything but were just there to shake the fucking recession, life problems or monotony away. The energy from the crowds versus the energy from the critics was obvious. It wasn’t a job, it wasn’t what music was being played, and it wasn’t about the technical things that were obvious to me that most people dancing could care less about. No, today was about one large nonstop never-ending dance set where everyone who was in their ravers outfit seemed to get lost in the moment. I began to envy that, I began to feel like a turd. The day was amazing for everyone, but me. And that makes this day not about me but about the people who paid to get to the festival to begin with, and who all seemed to be having the times of their lives.
* I shoot with film so “high quality” photographs will not be available until after the festival.