Pitchfork: The Final Day

by Rebecca Lang

SUNDAY: Headliners The Flaming Lips drew in a whole new crowd, this one of varying ages and with a proclivity for costume-wear (panda masks, human-sized banana suits, that kind of thing). Suspense for the show grew with the help of a giant store of yellow and orange balloons backstage. At one point, the little kids hanging out in the VIP area got into them and a few floated mysteriously into the area surrounding Nintendo DSi-pimping RV. By evening, the fields at Union Park were packed, leaving only the mellow set of Grizzly Bear to keep excited fans from getting territorial about the space they’d staked for themselves and their 312 beer. CONCERTS WE CHECKED OUT: THE THERMALS: It was hard to tell who was stealing the show as this Portland three-piece played. The drummer shook his fist passionately at the crowd, taking advantage of the parts where he didn’t have to play to sing into mics and raise his arms so high his tummy showed. Bass player Kathy Foster’s fluffy dreads and red dress complimented her dancing, and singer Hutch Harris just plain looked good. JAPANDROIDS: Punk two-piece Japandroids was everything other lo-fi rock two-piece Wavves was not: confident, head-banging and totally with-it. Singer Brian King used either the wind or a hidden fan to make his mop of curls blow dramatically as he hopped around in a tight white T-shirt and jeans. Playing several of the best tracks from LP “Post-Nothing,” he promised the crowd he’d play every single Japandroids track at his next show. GRIZZLY BEAR: Even though they released “Veckatimest” in May, this Brooklyn band of experimental, orchestral rockers chose to play mostly old hits. That’s not a bad thing though; tracks like “Little Brother” and their unbeatable hit “The Knife” always induce a chill live. THE FLAMING LIPS: Wayne Coyne rolling around in a bubble, psychedelic rainbow vaginas, yellow and orange balloons, confetti rockets, lots of mist – pretty much the usual for a Flaming Lips show (i.e. it was visually unforgettable, no drugs needed). Coyne played random songs off what he said was the “Write the Night” set for The Flaming Lips, but when he played song number 66 on the list, it started to appear as if he mocking the idea. Nonetheless, the biggest hits were pared down to slow sing-alongs, allowing the whole crowd to join in, and the closer, “Do You Realize” brought the festival down in chills.