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2008-04-06 - 5:34 p.m.
V Festival was good. It was a beautiful day (during the day anyway- it got cooler and actually rained a bit as the evening wore on), there was good company, plenty of open space and The Smashing Pumpkins put on a good show, which is good because that's essentially why I paid $140. Of course they're not worth $140, but there were other good bands as well, who I wouldn't have seen had I spent $100 on their sideshow at the Hordern instead. I knew from Jo and Pete's experience in San Francisco that the reformed band were back to playing their classics (as well as pretty much all of their new album for a 3 hour performance)- which made it all the more difficult to decide whether to see a festival which had the potential for them to cull the classics and keep all the new stuff (something I wouldn't put past Billy Corgan) or hang out and see if they did a sideshow.
As it was the set had plenty of classics early in the set, before they indulged in a fair bit of new stuff (including a 10 minute jam), and finished with an encore of a Church cover and "Cherub Rock". They opened with "Today", and the other "old stuff" consisted of "Hummer", "Tonight Tonight", "1979", "Bullet With Butterfly Wings" and "Stand Inside Your Love". And the new stuff wasn't bad, particularly the acoustic song that followed "1979", and the lead single "Tarantula", but I really could have done without the 10 minutes of self indulgence. Oh well- it was my choice- the sideshows have been feauturing the likes of "Porcelina" and "Starla".
We got there at about 1pm- Jo, Lucy and I met Meaghan at Central (Jo got a free ticket from one of her new work colleagues and Lucy was the beneficiary). Had a look around and decided that a drink was in order while we waited for the first band we were keen to see ("Hot Hot Heat"), while we were sitting in the Coopers/ Jagermeister area we caught sight of Chris (who I rightly assumed would never have paid for his ticket). His first must see was Robyn, and we went along and were suitably impressed. Jo, Lucy and I left mid set to see Hot Hot Heat, followed by Modest Mouse, both of whom weren't quite as good as I'd hoped. I think with Hot Hot Heat it was that they came across as very cock rock, whereas songs I liked like "Bandages" made me think of them as a lot more quirky Indie. With Modest Mouse, part of it was that the sound was crap (a complaint that I had throughout the day- evident when you could actually be bothered getting in amongst it- it was fine up at the back fence), but also I thought the lead singer pretty much shouted his way through the set, whereas when I've heard the recorded versions of their songs they're alot more melodic pop-rock.
After Modest Mouse Lucy went off to see Roisin Murphy, while Jo and I decided to stay put for a while, just at the time when I got a hold of Nathan, who was on his way (with his mate Cameron) to getting ridiculously drunk. We went via the bar before parking ourselves at the back fence with their troupe to see most of the Jesus and Mary Chain, who were quite good. We stayed at the back to watch Queens of the Stone Age, then I ducked across to see Duran Duran, who I wasn't all that impressed with (certain bands will just never work outside of the Eighties I feel), before heading back to the main stage for Smashing Pumpkins.
After the show Jo, Lucy, Meaghan and I walked all the way from Centennial Park to the City- Lucy caught the bus home, Meaghan caught the train from Town Hall, and Jo and I had a late Korean dinner before getting home at about 1am. And that was the V Festival.