Live 105 BFD 2008 Part 1 – [Live Review]

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

[This is Part 1 of our Live 105 2008 BFD Coverage. View Part 2 HERE.]

On Saturday, June 7, the cool kids from all over the Bay—tan dudes with tattooed chests, punk chicks with pink hair, boys and girls sporting green Flogging Molly tees, and families with tiny tots—all converged on Mountain View’s Shoreline Amphitheatre for one reason: to rock.

BFD, the Bay Area alternative radio station Live 105’s annual all-day shindig, brought out the crowds as well as some top-notch acts—including the up-and-coming hip-hop collective Flobots, and the psychedelic-surf purveyors of the very fine Oracular Spectacular, MGMT. Teens shed their clothes, twenty-somethings knocked back Bud Lights, and everyone geared up for an afternoon of rocking to Alkaline Trio, Flogging Molly, Pennywise and Cypress Hill.

Before the crowd filled out and water bottles flew, British band The Kooks strummed “Ooh La” and “She Moves In Her Own Way” from their first album Inside In / Inside Out. Perhaps fearing those songs were too reserved for an outdoor fest, lead vocalist Luke Pritchard moved into an energetic “Do You Wanna” from the group’s new disc Konk. In a plain white tee and oversized sunglasses, Pritchard issued a faux scream and a little gallop as he sang “Stormy Weather,” and bridged into the closing “Sofa Song” with the requisite guitar solo.

The Kooks’ set had given BFD a mellow moment, and with the gruff Everlast on the horizon, for a split second it looked like the afternoon might be a low-key affair. Not so. A post-House Of Pain Everlast kicked off his slot with a bluesy and rough rendition of “Blinded By The Sun.” With his deeply melodic voice, Everlast sounded like an old blues man channeling Foghat’s “I Just Want To Make Love To You” and singing about “hearts already been broken” on “Love For Real.”

The 38-year-old asked if there were any Johnny Cash fans in the house and while his mixer pulsed Cypress Hill’s “Insane in the Brain” in the background, Everlast gave a truly excellent and funky guitar line to Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues.” Mr. Whitey Ford turned the man in black’s tune on its ear, noting it will be the first single on his new album due this fall. Before finishing up his 30 minutes with an electrified “What It’s Like,” Everlast cued his mixer and surprisingly dropped House Of Pain’s “Jump Around.” When he called “throw your hands up!” there was almost no need—hands were already in the air.

With the main stage preparing to welcome Alkaline Trio, San Francisco faves The Magic Bullets were busy setting up on the Local Stage. Prancing and dancing in a full suit—slacks, coat and long-sleeved shirt—one wondered if vocalist Philip Benson wasn’t informed that this show would be outdoors. With his distinctive and refined vocals (something along the lines of The Killers’ Brandon Flowers doing musical theater), Benson laid out new track “The Upstairs Flight,” which seemed to borrow equally from The Cure and The Strokes.

While Benson hokey-pokeyed, the boys from Alkaline Trio offered a preview of their forthcoming Agony & Irony LP (due out July 1) with new tune “In Vein,” and then laid out a ferocious guitar and haunting piano on the hit “Time To Waste.” The nouveau punk trio, clad in black, white and neon green got the crowd engaged in boisterous fist-pounding until the closing “Radio,” which sounded like a slow jam punctuated briefly with a riotous chorus. The highlight of the set was the Chicago threesome’s vocal harmonizing on the feel-good “Help Me.” Talk about a track made for radio.

More on Live 105's BFD and BFD bands here:

The Kooks – “Tick of Time” – [mp3]
MGMT – “Time to Pretend” – [mp3]

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