The Highline Festival
So, we went to the Highline Festival last night. There were three bands. Kate Havnevik was eh, kinda Bjorky but lacking any edge or insanity. TV on the Radio was really good except for the overpowering falsetto singing that came in periodically and the fact that the lead singer is made of cartilege (ok that only bothered me for the first two songs and then I liked it). I hadn’t gotten around to listening to them yet, but I certainly will now. And the headliner, Air, was quite good, too. It wasn’t necessarily my kinda show but they’re quite good.
What I really wanted to talk about was the idiocy of whoever it was managing the lights there. It started out a little questionable when the stage was lit so that you could see maybe 2 of the 4-6 people in TV on the Radio – literally everyone else, including the lead singer was in the darkness and more or less invisible. You could see lead guitar and whoever was playing the logs. But whatever, the music was good.
Then Air came on. Clearly part of the theme was creating a texture or landscape on the whole venue (the Theater at MSG, great place to see a show) using lights. How to do this? Let me tell you how not to do this. Do not shine spot lights directly into the eyes of the audience for the entire show. They literally had 3 really bright spotlights shining directly into your eyes – at least one of them was pointing at you at any given time. The stage itself was dark, so pretty much all you could see was a really bright, usually blue, light shining directly into your dilated pupils. They could have topped it only marginally by hiring people to sit next to everyone in the seats and poke them every few seconds. Seriously, it was totally ridiculous and ruined a bunch of the enjoyment I might otherwise have had.
Nevertheless, the grand finale was pretty awesome. Truly awesome. It was all flashy-stroby and intense. At it’s peak I kinda thought I was about to have an epileptic fit and idly wondered how that would turn out. But honestly, it was one of the coolest things I’ve seen and heard in awhile.