The 2007 Best Music Poll was, at worst, a clusterfuck and at best a bunch of unbridled craziness. Starting on the street and ending in the clubs, it was a relentless slue of good music and psyched-up people. It all began with some rock star parking 2 streets down from Lansdowne, as Carina and I made our way back over to the stage with her 50 pound pack of equipment. Walking in the gates, we were dismayed to see that Kings of Leon had canceled (damn shame) but that the Cinematics had taken their place in the outside lineup (along with a switcharoo with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah). The rough plan set in motion, it was time for them to take the stage.
I had never really listened to the Cinematics before, so the sum total of what I knew of them prior to the BMP was that they were British. In other words, I didnít know what to expect. Starting off with a snarl and playing the marching Brit-beat rock thatís become so prevalent, they quickly got the crowd moving and proved their chops as a live act. Mixing up the slow and fast songs nicely without any large breaks, they really started the show off with a bang. The Cinematics display classic Brit-rock vocals combined with an especially thumping bass-heavy method, making for some excellent songs that you can always bob your head or tap your feet to. From here, it was onto Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, which can best be categorized as weird-rock.
Anyone whoís listened to CYHSY (no Iím not repeatedly typing that) knows that while they arenít the most normal band, they certainly are interesting. I missed one of their songs in my rush to get some dinner, but in general they put down an interesting set, though slightly lacking in energy when compared to the show the Cinematics put on. I do recommend giving them a listen, as the combination of Dylan-esque nasal twang with a unified keyboard/guitar vibe make for a good change of pace. What everyone was waiting for, however, was Bloc Party. But first, we raved to Sandstorm and Zombie Nation, as some of the DJís had some fun with the crowd.
Taking the stage to a roar, Bloc Party rocked the block with their beat driven rock while taking the crowd in a lock. Clearly having a fun time on stage, the Bloc Party crew mixed up the new with the old, playing some of the new singles early on before launching back into ďHelicopterĒ and their other faves. Between discussions with the crowd, the music was well-played to a crowd ready to move. Thankfully, I found myself next to the Bloc Party Super fan section, where everyone was grooving out on the show, from pretty girls to some likely-drunk college guys. A good time was had by the band and the fans as we rolled into the night and the later insanity.
Stuck outside of Avalon for Bang Camaro as they were past capacity (Sorry Bang Camaro, I will catch one of your shows sometime soon!), the clusterfuck of 6000 people trying to get into 2 clubs made itself quite evident. Reflecting for a minute on the nuttiness, I finally got into Avalon in time for the second set of the night, from Shiny Toy Guns. Also, at this point I must apologize to Say Anything, who I also wanted to see and ended up missing. Sorry guys.
I was not expecting much from Shiny Toy Guns. Iíve generally found synth-driven bands to be a bit confused in live venues, as theyíre often much better in the studio. Nothing could be farther from the truth with this band. Opening up with a scream and a yell, they put on a show for fucking rock stars, from the drummers random craziness to the sustained wail coming from the lead singer/guitarist, it was all good. Ripping through all of their current singles (Le Disko, You are the One) and a ton of songs no one knew, they still got the crowd into a frenzy. I really hate the term tour de force, but they defined it, as they took a crowd that wasnít expecting much and got them really, really into it. Best individual set I saw of the BMP, Iíd say (except for maybe Bloc Party, but they had an unfair advantage). Theyíre also the most multi-talented band I saw, as I saw people switching between guitars, basses and keyboards throughout the set.
Once Shiny Toy Guns had exited to thunderous applause, it was Bravery time. They threw down a solid performance, though it was tough to gather a ton of energy after seven plus hours on my feet. I didnít get to catch the end of it, but they came through with what I heard their shows were like: A enveloping sound that just rips you from stem to stern, so to speak. Their lights were also very bright. In the middle of their set, I ran over to catch part of Silversun Pickups, who were also put on a nice show.
Silversun Pickups were hampered by what seemed to be a mixing problem, as I kept losing their singers voice in the drums and guitar, which was a damn shame. I left halfway through their set, exhausted and exhilarated at the experience of the past few hours. BMPís a ride that just refuses to stop, and itís that much sweeter if you can hold on through most of it. Hope some of you got to catch it.