Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Echo Project

On Friday, I got to go to the opening day of the first annual(?) Echo Project Festival which took place just South of Atlanta this weekend. The whole thing is modeled after all the big three-day festivals that are now a mainstay of summer, but with an ecologically minded proclivity. Basically, Al Gore's¹ wet dream of a concert concept.

They picked out a great location on a 350 acre farm just minutes outside of the A-T-L; a broad, ample field surrounded by rolling hills, placid lakes and a rippling (albeit, contaminated) river. And they also picked a great time, mid-October, when it's not so god damn² hot and clothes-drenching humid. Even the infrastructure and layout of the festival seemed to have been well thought out.

The gripes I had with it were that 1) tickets were way too expensive and 2) not enough good bands were booked to justify the price of the ticket, so 3) not as many people as were expected showed up.

Of course I got to go for free so why should I give a fuck, right?


Some of the more interesting bands playing on Friday, all brought together by their love of smoking weed (or ganja, where it may apply): The Flaming Lips, The Polyphonic Spree, GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan with Slick Rick, Cypress Hill, Stephen Marley, Les Claypool and Secret Machines.

The bad (or utterly obscure) bands that played on Friday: all the other 67 bands that played on various stages to tens of people throughout the day and night.

But even they couldn't ruin a good time. I definitely can't complain, I got to hang backstage drinking free beer and I met The Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne, a personal hero of mine. And best of all, I got to watch him and the other guys in the band (as well as a couple dozen folks dressed as Santa Claus, aliens and superheroes) send thousands of people into sensory overload and epileptic seizures with their amazing show. If you've never seen The Flaming Lips in concert, you're seriously missing out. This was my third time and even though their show is always basically the same, it's one of the most fun things I've ever been a part of every time.

Good times.

¹Note to Al Gore: if you entered the race for presidency right now, it would be a slam dunk, a home run and a 95 yard touchdown pass all wrapped into one. To put it plainly, you would win --handily. I'm just saying.

²I usually think it's more satisfying to write "goddam" instead of "god damn", but I'm giving it a try to see if it grows on me. Also, are you supposed to capitalize the word "god" or is that just if you're specifically talking about the Judeo-Christian God? Oh, goddam it all.

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