Siren Festival 2007: Fighting the Heat, Dehydration, and the Crowds

Another year, another Siren Festival. Last year was certainly one of the best Sirens I’ve ever been to (and I’ve been to ALL seven of them, starting w/ the first one in 2001), so I had high hopes for this year’s festival.

I really look forward to going to the fest each year, and every freaking year I manage to forget how hot, sweaty, and exhausting the event is until I actually get there. This time I was a bit more prepared than previous times–equipped with a hat, shades, and two bottles of sunblock. Next year I might go as so far as being one of *those* people, who wear a bathing suit underneath their clothing–you know, in case I want to play Hypodermic Needle Hunt in the sand.

Anyhoo…due to the MTA being awesome and deciding to re-route the N/Q trains to run on the R line, I ended up getting to Coney Island a little later than expected–unfortunately missing White Rabbits. I did however arrive in time to catch a bit of Elvis Perkins in Dearland on the Stillwell Stage b/c everything was running late.

elvis perkins

Next stop for me was not to see The Detroit Cobras, but rather to partake of the Coney Island tradition of getting a Nathan’s hot dog and messily eating it on the boardwalk. For years I’ve tried to figure out why the lines take so long (it’s not like you get up there and say “two hot dogs, please” and they’re like “oh sh*t! PUT A HOT DOG ON THE GRILL!”)–perhaps it’s the sheer volume that they have to churn out…who knows. But in any case, we got lucky and got on the “short” line and only had to wait 15 minutes to enjoy our godknowswhatsinthese dogs.

nathan’s hot dogs

After scarfing down some dogs, headed over to the main stage for the rockin’ trio from the UK, The Noisettes. Their live set has gotten significantly better since the first time I saw them at Mercury Lounge last year. Much more dynamic and thrilling the second time around:

noisettes siren festival

noisettes siren festival

Stayed to see some of The Black Lips, which was quite the experience. Full of loud rock, and wacky stage antics–such as “blowing up” a poor little chicken and then throwing out a bunch of pillow cases filled with feathers into the crowd.

the black lips siren festival

Ran over to Stillwell stage to see the last song or two of Lavender Diamond. Caught some grandstanding about saving the environment and the world in general.

lavender diamond siren festival

A bit too twee for me, and the girl slightly freaked me out w/ her intensity, but the crowd seemed to love. Probably because she’s very much in the “gee-whiz” vibe of the next act that performed on that stage, Matt & Kim, who were so enthusiastic and happy, you couldn’t help but feel like all was right in the world. The crowd when APEShiz for them, a young blond boy wearing purple shorts and a Black Flag t-shirt who was standing right in front of the stage was practically having a nervous breakdown–jittering to the music like an epileptic in a discotech.

matt and kim siren festival

matt and kim siren festival

matt and kim siren festival

Was only able to stay for half of their set before I had to run over to the main stage to get into the pit before it got too full in order to see the one and only MIA, who wowed the crowd as she came out wearing black skin-tight sequined leggings, a gold sparkle top, vest, and captain hat with feathers. MIA is not a classic beauty, but there is something about that woman that’s undeniably HOT.

What is also amazing is that when you see her out, she seems like just a normal girl–nothing super-captivating or striking about the petite woman–but something happens to her when she gets geared up and starts performing her songs, she simply turns into a SUPERSTAR. The Backseat Blogger tells me that it’s that “X factor” that separates talented performers such as MIA from the rest of us shlebs.

mia siren festival

Last but not least I saw a bit of the Saddle Creek powerhouse known as Cursive, who played songs off their new album Happy Hallow–which features a richer, lusher sound as a result of the 5-piece horn arrangements.

cursive siren festival

RELATED LINKS: NY Times

Author: laura

I run The Modern Age.org