We got through the gates into the Centennial Park venue for the V Festival about 2:30 on Saturday. First we wandered around getting our bearings, and grabbed some food. We were going to get beer too, but there was a bit of a queue and we were worried it might take a little too long, and we might not get a good spot for Phoenix.
Heh. We REALLY should have bought beer at that point. Just after that the lines got seriously amazingly long (like you might expect if the Pixies hand-brewed this beer themselves) and they stayed that way for hours. No one could get even tipsy because even if you got your beer and got right back in the queue to drink it, it would have completely worn off before you got another.
We got pretty close to the stage for Phoenix. The audience up the front were painfully young and hip, and I wished I had a beer to take the edge off. I seriously thought that Phoenix mostly appealed to 30-somethings like us.... I was so wrong. I have never seen so many pairs of huge ugly multicoloured 80's sunglasses on tiny little people - the boys and the girls. And guess what? Apparently multicoloured fluoro one-piece swimmers are back. You just whack on a pair of little shorts, et voila! Later, amongst a scantily clad group I spotted one of those Borat swimming costumes too. You know what I mean, and if you don't, be thankful. Temps were only mid to high twenties, but it woudn't be a sunny day out in Sydney without plenty of flesh on view.
The Phoenix show was fabulous. The band is a four-piece but they perform with additional musicians: an energetic and super-enthused drummer who mouthed/sang all the words to all the songs (sans mike), and a multi-tasking guy who played keyboard with one hand while playing hi-hat and electronic drum pads with the other. The show was just as good as we had hoped, and a lot more popular than I had expected.
After Phoenix, we caught a little bit of Nouvelle Vague (fun, sort of cabaret-style covers of all sorts of songs). Yes I managed to skip my Saturday French class in order to go to Sydney to see two French bands in a row - both of which sing in English. Then there was a little bit of a wander around, and a little bit of the New York Dolls.
Everyone on stage for Gnarls Barkely was dressed in funky tennis whites, even the (electric) string quartet.
I really enjoyed this show, and the crowd really got into it. I think it was the actual presence of the strings that sold me on it. They opened with a dodgey version of Queen's "We are the champions", which could have been really annoying. But by this time I have gotten into a more mellow mood - even though still no beer - and I just thought it was funny.
It's lucky there were nice big screens to watch. I felt like a bit of a shorty, and we weren't that far back, next to the sound tent actually. Here is a photo, I call it "Gnarls show thru 'fro".
It's late. There's more to tell another day. I've saved the best for last.