Last I left off, Ryan Jarman was bleeding while the Cribs were playing. I got super-excited when they busted into “Hey Scenesters!“, a blistering song about… well… vapid scenesters, which is one of my favorite songs of the moment–although there are so many levels of subtext and irony singing along to this song during Siren Festival, I’m not sure who the joke is on.
Luckily for my feet, Art Brut was up next on Stillwell Stage so I didn’t have to run back and forth across the boardwalk. I hung out and got some drinks, and while standing around I saw this ridiculous poster:
“Wait so let me get this straight–WHEN are the Misshapes Djing on Stillwell Stage? I mean I don’t want to run the risk of missing their set.”
It was like looking at Set Breakdown for Dummies.
I’m not exactly sure why, but I love Art Brut live. Sure, it’s basically the same inter-song banter and set list every time, but their live shows are never boring. I remember reading an article that stated that the reason Art Brut tour so much out of their native country of England is because they are not that popular in the UK and are thought of as a joke band. I couldn’t believe it! Is Art Brut the indie rock Bush of the ’00s? Loved in the US but reviled in the UK?
Anyway, Art Brut was no less than spectacularly fun. Lead singer Eddie Argos always has the most incredible energy–kicking up his shoe-less feet (below)…
…and jump roping with the microphone cord (below)…
…and of course, running into the audience. He scaled the crowd barricade and jumped into the group of concertgoers (below).
By the time “Good Weekend” rolled around, the crowd was whipped into a frenzy, with everyone passionately singing along (below).
Totally brilliant. Also during “Bang Bang Rock and Roll” Eddie decided to throw in Kimya Dawson and Jeffrey Lewis‘s names into the “[Name of Band] Top of the Pops!” chant. I wondered why, but when I went back to the VIP area after the end of Art Brut, I saw Jeffrey Lewis there, so I kinda understood it. Seeing as how Kimya Dawson is supposed to pop any day now, I’m assuming she wasn’t on hand and Eddie was just spreading the anti-folk love.
By this point in the day I’d been outdoors for about 7 hours straight, only ate one hot dog the entire day, and tried to stay hydrated. Luckily the entire day was pretty much overcast, so it wasn’t ungodly hot like all the other Siren Festivals I’ve been too. But there was one final act to go… the phenomenal Sissor Sisters on the Main Stage.
I couldn’t wait! Having already seen them shake their stuff at Bowery Ballroom earlier this year, I knew their act was going to turn this into the gayest Siren Festival ever! By the time I got to Main Stage She Wants Revenge had ended and the crew was setting up for the Sisters. MisShapes DJ Geordon grabbed me onstage to take a look at the ridiculous crowd–which stretched all the way to the subway! (below)
–and I snapped a shot of Geo eating cotton candy and DJ Sammy Jo doing his DJ thing:
Right before the Scissor Sisters went on, they took some group photos…
…and gave each other some hugs…
before leaping onstage and rocking the crowd with their opening song (I think???) “Take Your Mama”…
They played all “the hits” like “Laura”, “Mary”, “Tits on the Radio”, alongside some new songs off their upcoming album. Most notably, when they tried to close their set with “I Don’t Feel Like Dancing,” the sound plug got pulled on them not once (during which they kept time with drums and…maracas!!) but TWICE (causing Ana Matronic to fall on the floor and pretend to be dead). By their third try at a finale, they opted for “Filthy/ Gorgeous” which had the crowd shaking their butts and shimmying their shoulders like they were in a Chelsea nightclub, and ended with “Music Is the Victim.”
Somewhere along the lines, Jake Shears stripped off not only his glittery tank top but also his pants, so several thousand people got to see him prance around stage in his navy blue briefs.
He did get bit with the modesty bug, and eventually grabbed a white towel to tie around his waist so for the last few songs everyone got a good idea of what it must look like when Jake Shears sings in his bathroom.
I think it was toward the very last song that Jake took the towel off again and was dancing when he started to play with his undies, as if he was going to take them off. I screamed in my head, “PLEASE, GOD NO! DO NOT TAKE THEM OFF!” because I feared all hell might break loose or someone’s head might have exploded due to the sheer amount of excitement that was pumping through the air.
The Scissors Sisters were the perfect band to round up this year’s fantastic festival. Their dedication to making their live show them most fun anyone could have is truly inspiring.
Seriously, it was the best Siren ever. See ya next year!
For more photos, check out my Flickr!