Bashing out the last gasp of summer
And this year, the lineup made it imperative that I carve time into my weekend for it. I totally blew it the last time Daikaiju came around. I hadn't seen them in seven years. So this year, I vowed to make it out to see them at the Bay View Bash, the last band at the Rush Mor stage. But I also vowed to see Klaus Nomi's Homies, and they were going on early, so I knew I had to pace myself to make it through. In both cases (and a lot of meat in that sonic sandwich) it was worth it.
|Klaus Nomi's Homies|
|Belly dancing break between sets|
|3/4ths of Chief|
|The other 25% of Chief|
the Jesse White Tumblers, and they have a similar mentoring program and overall goals. In fact, their leadership worked with Jesse White himself. And they are similarly dazzling: little kids doing backflips over pyramids of others, doing impossible jump rope tricks, and eliciting cheers of amazement wherever they go.
So the fact of the matter is, while there's great music at all the stages, somehow, that North Stage is the one that brings in the bands that make my "where have they been all my life --- must see again!" list. Maybe it's because it's booked by the proprietors of one of the last record shops in town, Rush Mor Records.
|jumping into Daikaiju's set|
|Bay View Community|
Daikaiju emerged from their van with their Japanese masks on, not saying a word, just jumping into their set of dangerous, thrilling, precise instrumental surf rock.
They could take off the masks and dispose of all their other schtick, and they would still be a terrific, world class instrumental surf unit.
with assistance from the fans) while the rest of the band kept seamlessly playing? Suddenly you'd look around and the entire band had moved into the crowd and there was this Bay View community that Rouleau spoke of, this time of kids, slam dancers, air guitar players, videographers, festival goers, what have you; with no apparent line between artists and audience. They beckoned the crowd sit/crouch down while they musically told us about "The Trouble With Those Mothra Girls" and when the final chorus kicked in, the crowd exploded with the band, perfectly on cue.
I should have known there was a reason there were four cans of lighter fluid set up by the stage: yes, they lit their instruments (starting with the drum cymbals) and played them while the fire was ablaze, and that really lit up the crowd on a number of levels. It's exhausting just describing it.
They climbed up on their van, they moshed with the crowd, they crowd surfed while still playing, and they never skipped a beat.
Toward the end, they handed off their instruments to people in the crowd, and it just so happened that the bass was handed to Jonah Roth. You may remember him as WAMI award winning "rising star" -- the kid is a junior at the Milwaukee High School of the Arts and plays in both jazz bands and rock outfits. After a little bit of trepidation (which lasted all of five seconds), he slammed on that bass and joined in on lead guitarist Secret-Man's sonic assault of feedback and thrash to close out the set and the festival. And summer for that matter.
OK. I'm tired of providing links. Here's some evidence of the whole day.