Could there be a better way to spend the last night of summer, than listening to Explosions in the Sky, Ghostland Observatory, Midlake, The Books, and Pinback? Not really. But, those performances aside, Wall of Sound was somewhat of a bust. Waiting out all day heat was one thing I was prepared to do, but I was not prepared to be bombarded with bands that, well... sucked. Not only did a majority of the bands that played the festival sound bad, but the sound sounded bad as well. From the front, a large part of the sound was muddied and the sound even cut out completely sometimes.
Complaining aside (I lie, there will be more in just a minute) the headliners that everyone was obviously there to see, were absolutely wonderful. I haven't ever heard much from Pinback, but I was probably one of the few. Most of the crowd knew a majority of the lyrics and from scanning the faces of those singing along, the band seems to be one of those that "got you through high school", much like Pedro the Lion. I hadn't felt so out of the loop since seeing David Bazan, which makes me want to delve more into the world of Pinback.
I've heard some material from The Books and had friends tell me how good they are, but I never have put them into heavy rotation in my iTunes library. However, that may be a good thing because the band is much more visual than auditory, which may seem a little off. My eyes were glued to the projections playing behind them, most of them odd and strangely funny. It seemed like someone was forcing me to watch their home videos while they played instruments, sung a little, and talked; but this family is one that I love. They were placid, yet captivating and that made them such a joy to watch.
Ghostland Observatory, was... Ghostland Observatory. I don't think I really need to say much more. The crowd waiting at stage one (in vein) to see Explosions in the Sky ended up craning their necks around the tall stacks of speakers to see what all the fuss was about. Girls screaming as they took the stage, the band did the usual and made everyone shake their butts. The females in the crowd clearly out numbered the males 5/1 (at least). Note to the guys: if you are single and Ghostland is in town, you know where to head for the night.
Midlake and Ghostland had to switch set times due to a hitch in Midlake's set-up, but they went on with apologies and a welcome from the crowd. Just like a friend of mine said, living up here, you can see Midlake just about every other weekend, so seeing them this weekend wasn't all that amazing, but the band was on point as always. They are a hometown favorite of mine and their set was short but definitely sweet.
The climax of the night/day came when Explosions in the Sky took the stage. Thanks to a much much much too long set from the critically over rated San Fransisco droners Om. The band also had to set up on the wrong stage thanks to Midlake's set up troubles, but they were just as amazing as ever. They never cease to amaze and it was wonderful to see the faces of people in the crowd who hadn't ever seen them play before. The guys are some of the most generous people I have encountered in music, giving all that they have on the stage for however long they have to play. Although they played a 20~30 minute set thanks to Om's greedy set, I think it would be safe to say that they satisfied everyone who came out to see them. If someone wasn't, they just weren't paying attention. When the crowd cheered for one more song, the guys wholeheartedly came out to thank the crowd for waiting for them and told them that Ft. Worth had a curfew which didn't allow them to play any longer. Hopefully next time they are in the metroplex, they will get a full time slot to play.