San Diego Street Scene 2008

There are a lot of music festivals out there. I haven’t really been to that many. But of course, ACL is a great example of a streamlined successful one. People tell me Jazzfest is the same. And SXSW is the best thing that has happened to so many people for years. We tried Sasquatch. Meh. I’ll see Lollapalooza someday. I’ll never go to the desert for Cochella.

I hadn’t seen hardly any live music in San Diego so I decided to pop over to Street Scene. If you’ve lived here longer than I have you care a lot about the fact it was returning to the streets of downtown for the first time in a long time and whether or not this was good or bad. I just had a free Friday night.

The ticket price for what you get was a little iffy (75$/day pass), since the days are only 4-12, and the four stages are maybe two blocks from each other. I saw Diplo, TV on the Radio, Spoon, Vampire Weekend, and Beck. I have already seen all of those bands except for Beck. Beck was not very good.

If there was one word I had to use to describe it, I’d go with ‘cute’. Seriously. It was like a little miniature attempt at a music festival that really turned out more like a block party.The one great feature was a beer garden portion of the CROWD in front of the STAGE. If you follow me, this great invention means I kicked it with my 21 and up brethren and didn’t have to watch my step, unlike outside the beer garden, where the ground was literally littered with unwashed raver children. Yuck.

We went to the 94.9 after show at the House of Blues, which I’ve always wanted to check out. The surprise band was NOT MGMT like I had been praying since I missed them, but the acceptable reggae beats of Michael Franti and Spearhead.

So I ended up not going back for Day Two. Literally no one I knew wanted to go back. And besides Ghostland Observatory, who I can never tire of seeing, I’d seen all those bands too. Am I getting too much music at SXSW? I sure feel spoiled when I’ve seen all the bands I want to. Here’s a funny review from someone who didn’t even make it. I’m not old -yet I hope- but I get what he’s saying.


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