SummerStage at the CBGB Festival

Posted on: July 10th, 2012 at 11:27 am by and

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War on Drugs; Credit: Mike Levine

The 100-degree temperatures were practically begging for us all to figure out a way to chill, and with massively extended solos and groove jams, the bands playing CBGB Festival’s SummerStage show this past Saturday, figured out a way to make it happen.

Cleveland’s Cloud Nothings took the stage first, performing sonic freakouts worthy of Sonic Youth’s more tumultuous noise melts. Their 15 minute finale especially took their work through layers of drone before finally diving back down to return to earth.

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Cloud Nothings; Credit: Mike Levine

Next up was Philly’s The War on Drugs, a band that somehow combines Tom Petty Americana with Floyd-like ambiance. When Singer Adam Granduciel promised the overheated crowd a “cool breeze” with the band’s set, it was a welcome change of pace.

Maybe it was the heat, or maybe the weed that Granduciel claimed to have smoked beforehand, but War on Drugs also went on a long, drawn out trip mid-through their third track that meandered through space a bit before settling into the rousing “Best Night.” Despite some technical difficulties, the band played a shape-shifting set that bounced around between folk and psychedelic groove. Definitely a highlight.

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Credit: Mike Levine

Later, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart came on board to vault the tempo up dramatically. This is a band dramatically different from the chill vibe of the two openers, and drowned out any chance of being able to talk up any girls I happened to meet.

Between these bands and the wonderfully spicy kimchi dogs from Asiadog, the day was a success. Unfortunately, I had to skip headliner Guided by Voices to head down to the other job…but no matter. GBV is a band that never seems to stop touring, so we’ll check ’em next time they come around.

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Credit: Mike Levine

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