By Stephanie Garrison
Saturday, July 13, evening
Poe (video excerpt)
45 sec (2.85MB)
Although faced with strong competition from other main stage acts Porno for Pyros and Live, the 50,000 fans grooving to the Hip's unique blending of gently probing lyrics and a solid guitar/bass/drums combination can't be wrong. Without resorting to typical rock star poses, this band was the highlight of the evening, playing a crowd-pleasing mix of songs such as "700 Foot Ceiling," "Hundredth Meridian" and "Ahead By A Century." They also ran through the lead single off the band's latest album, Trouble in the Henhouse. Singer Gord Downie's characteristically intense stage concentration (he often looks like a bottle of pressurized gas on the brink of exploding) was in full effect, and the audience displayed its exultation by crowd surfing a hundred rows deep.
The fans were also up in the air during Porno for Pyros, as Perry Farrell et al (in this case, a special guest appearance by Tricky's vocalist/partner in crime Martika and bass legend Mike Watt) played a blissfully mystic set of songs off both Pyro albums, including a subtly low-key version of "Tahitian Moon." Farrell, resplendent in a baby blue satin suit, cropped black hair and Asian-inspired face-painting (with a dash of glam blue eyeshadow), urged the audience at one point to have some long hard sex during the night. Then, he advised any takers to name the resulting love child Perry. But he also had a serious eco-friendly message to say before leading the band into "Good God," and pleaded for fans to help clean up the globe's water and air supply. He also wanted to talk about other groups on the bill. "So many bands to focus on. How did you guys like Love and Rockets? They are, in West Coast terms, the shit."
Odds (video excerpt)
45 sec (2.52MB)
David J., one third of the Rockets, smiled at this comment from his perch near the soundboards. Although the band played a set earlier on in the evening to fewer people, its blistering attack on the best songs in its repertoire pleased the pockets of Rockets fans dotting the campground. Starting off with "Ball of Confusion," followed by "So Alive" and finally by "Sweet Love Hangover," these three ex-goths encapsulated the past, present and future direction of their music while the campers lapped it up. Pyros drummer Steven Perkins even joined them on-stage to play the bongos, which added a neat twist to the music.
Perhaps Farrell best summed up today's main stage activities when he wistfully sighed to the crowd, "I wish you all could see what I could see. It's beautiful." He's right. Day two of Eden was.