But let's speak of penises for a moment. I never realized what an apt penile metaphor cameras are. Seriously, in the moments before any given artist took the stage — and all the more so if that artist happened to be a headliner — the photogs would strut about, jockeying for position and fiddling with their high-powered lenses. They'd attach them, re-attach them, extend them to their full telescopic length and occasionally glance over at each others' piece, noting the less powerful units among them with a smirk.
I had one of the less powerful units.
Slung around my neck and hanging near my waist thought it was, my simple Costco-bought digital camera couldn't compare with the phallic monstrosities that lunged out from the photo pit. And I knew it. And they knew it. And they used it as an excuse to wedge me further and further back until I was shoulder-to-shoulder with the fourteen-year-old girls who'd snuck past security with no wristband and their flimsy Kodak funsaver.
Even at that, spending my weekend within spitting distance of some of my favorite bands still merited a mention. I'd never felt anything like the sensation of the first thumps of bass shooting through me at point blank range from speakers taller than I was. I didn't care that every cell was rattling in a manor that probably causes cancer or impotence or both. Standing there next to Rolling Stone and Spin was enough, even with my comparatively dinky point-and-shoot.
I'm extremely pleased to present the below photo slideshow, a collection of 344 pieces of evidence that prove I was there and saw it all better than the people who waited hours to squeeze to the front of the crowd.
(it may take a few moments to load. please be patient.)
A few notes, however.
The artists depicted are the following, in order:
- Rufus Wainwright
- Regina Spektor
- The New Pornographers (tragically missing Neko Case)
- Peter, Bjorn and John (who I just realized abbreviate to "PB&J")
- The Decemberists
- The Arcade Fire
- Explosions in the Sky
- The Kaiser Chiefs
- Willie Nelson
- Lily Allen
- Damien Rice
- Rage Against the Machine