All Points West | 08.08 - 08.10 | Jersey

Words by: Jake Krolick | Images by: Rod Snyder

All Points West Festival :: 08.08.08 – 08.10.08 :: Liberty State Park :: Jersey City, NJ

Thom Yorke - Radiohead :: APW 2008
Music permeates my life! Notes ooze from every crack and pore on my body. I'll listen to it in almost any form as long as it moves me. I digest music in huge overflowing bites, sopped up like gravy with a biscuit. With an enduring stare, Lady Liberty guarded the green patch of land housing the first All Points West Festival. This weekend she bore witness to an event stacked with rising stars, torchbearers and pioneers venturing ahead of the rest. Radiohead doesn't so much break a mold as create a totally new one, shunning all that is bland and broadcasting passion and emotion in their performances, which are an all-encompassing Buddha of noise. On the flipside of this coin, jams guru and Jedi Trey Anastasio stepped back onstage with some familiar faces. This phoenix, back from his personal battles captivated with his axe creating a burst of inspiration thicker than the smog in Beijing.

Friday, August 8

08.08.08 - In Chinese, eight is the luckiest of numbers.

Friday began with Norton, the smiling police dog, sniffing his way around the fence for bombs. This was a funny thought for some, but with so many people this close to lower Manhattan what else do you expect? Thankfully, there was nothing to worry about, and Norton lightened the mood by dropping a steamer near an APW welcome sign. The festival grounds were filled with massive art exhibitions including a bamboo tower, a puzzle piece version of Yoda's hut, brushed aluminum sculpture and countless other nooks and crannies of creativity poking out from the ground. New York City sat proudly in the distance, reflecting the light and weather all day. She lit up at night, beaming a smile of a hundred thousand glowing windows. Lady Liberty sat ten blocks off the main stage. Even with her back turned to the action, she was still involved in a huge way as many gave her shout-outs throughout the weekend. Rarely has the legendary statue sat so tangibly in front of us in this kind of setting. It made one stare at the ornate spires of Ellis Island and think about how my families immigrated here less than 100 years ago. Now, here we stood, tossing our arms to the sky as we rocked our cares away.

The Go! Team :: APW 2008
The music started dramatically as a clap of thunder struck a few short measures into Pawn Shop Roses' set. These Philadelphians slurred out the rock through whisky-baited breath as they crooned about "Second Hand Love." As the clouds moved out, Little Brother's Phonte and Big Pooh moved in with cries of "make some noise, New Jersey." In Jersey, this Durham, NC group's set came off as average pass-the- verse hip-hop. Their set included a shifty version of "When Everything is Fresh and New" that brought Phonte to his knees as he preached harmoniously, "But I got dreams, but dreams don't keep the lights on." Their set continued to swing in the breeze with its North Cackalacky swagger, but lacked the original punch needed to keep me focused. Digest a tiny taste, but if you don't dig it move on.

"Big thanks to those who bumped off work to join us," shouted Ninja, the vocalist for The Go! Team, a cheeky English band out of Brighton. This six-piece outfit with two drummers is a must for your late '70s/early '80s flavored parties or b-movie soundtracks. Ninja, Chi Fukami Taylor (drums) and Kaori Tsuchida (vocals, electric guitar) played musical chairs in a mash-up game of swap spots and instruments. "Look Alive" made the masses squirm to their mix of spirited chants, guitars and early Salt-n-Pepa style hip- hop.

Liela Moss from The Duke Spirit started the weekend's trend of sassy frontwomen. She requested that we keep our eyes closed during "Neptune's Call" as she quaked with the depth of the briny deep. Her performance was very similar to The Pixies' Kim Deal performing the harpy call in "Where Is My Mind." Moss was patient and chose her moments carefully to find the opportune points to let her low voice break into her high one.

Forro in the Dark :: APW 2008
The stage layout at APW was like staring down at your middle three fingers. If you pointed your hand across to NYC you had a rough stage map. On the far left was the Queen of the Valley Stage, in the middle was the Bullet Stage and the big brut on the end was the Blue Comet Stage. It was only about two football fields between all three stages total, so seeing bits of most performances from various stages was easily doable. Forro in the Dark absolutely blew me away. They were groovy before they even started playing. The New York masters brought the heart of Northeastern Brazil to Jersey and then spun it Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey style, creating the hippest, jazziest block party. Their take on Brazilian rumbas pulsed with liveliness as harmonic resonance surrounded the Bullet Stage. Guitarist Guilherme Monteiro jammed between our clapping hands as singer-percussionist Davi Vieira breathed out infectious "hey heys." Their song titles were exotic like "Forrowest" and "Limoeiro Do Norte," and their music was filled with sugary Latin beats with a definite guitar edge and jazzy undercurrent steaming up from the core. We moved in a slow hustle adapting to Jorge Continentino's punchy flute and Wayne Coyne look-a-like Mauro Refosco's single barrel drumbeats. Their rhythmic pulse pulled out the hottest sun of the day, browning our faces. Forro in the Dark is a band you must see!

Just as Forro was ending, you could hear Michael Franti still kicking his smoky dub-step-skank of "Rude Boys Back In Town." Franti's reggae moved the masses and even Lady Liberty shook her fine green backside in his direction as he tossed a nasty "Staying Alive" jam into the irie mix.

The Mates of State are sort of like the husband-wife equivalent of The Benevento/Russo Duo. Sure, they don't have a huge field filling sound, but what they lack in vastness they make up for in vocal harmonies. With their kids watching from the side stage, Kori Gardner (vocals and assorted keyed instruments) and Jason Hammel (vocals and assorted percussion) combined their layers to offer bouncing sounds in a set drawn primarily from their newest effort, Re-Arrange Us.

Duffy :: APW 2008
With a fast bit of footwork, I was back riding the Comet for the New Pornographers softly crafted intro to "My Rights Versus Yours." Carl Newman filled the set with Canadian anecdotes as the band showed they were not above poking fun at themselves and the crowd. Newman dug into everything from the stereotypical "Ehh" to Strange Brew references as he paraded Canadian indie rock around the main stage for all to enjoy. Their solid set featured the commercial-friendly "Bleeding Heart Show," and they dipped into a fast, crowd led sing-along of Blind Melon's "No Rain" before letting loose a grand version of "All the Old Showstoppers." This was their version of Southern rock with a grander, more majestic feel. They finished with a cover of Electric Light Orchestra's "Don't Bring Me Down," which brought on a fist pump that wouldn't quit.

Duffy followed the line of female temptresses. Her stank was on par with Eartha Kitt in a younger, more opaque body. She strutted across the Bullet Stage swinging her microphone during "Stepping Stone," as the band complimented her devilish Welsh accented cries with a slow sultry jam. She kicked he red pumps in time to her howl as she launched into a speedy version of "Mercy." If you dig U.K. pop princesses in the vein of Lily Allen, minus the gangster lean and Jägermeister tendencies, then you'll love Duffy.

I had previously written off CSS after listening to their self-titled debut. But after seeing LoveFoxxx perform the material off their new album, Donkey, I'll give them a second chance. Sure, it's raw and showy, but there is a definite appeal to the fluorescently attired glam punk pumped out of their live show. CSS is the epitome of quirky and as long as you don't take them too seriously you'll lose yourself in the moments they create. LoveFoxxx thanked us for coming to her stage before kicking out her self-proclaimed summer jam and finishing it with the cheer, "Liberty for everyone!"

The beats from Underworld's electronic mind fuck, courtesy of Karl Hyde, Rick Smith and Darren Price, seeped in through CSS, so it was off for a frontal lobotomy as Underworld kicked out the zeitgeist. They created wild soundtracks with Hyde wielding the axe and vocals as Smith and Price worked enormous mixing boards and synthesizers. Stateside electronic music features more of a grinding sound, but in the U.K. it's often a fast and prevalent thump. Underworld's beats slipped between the vocals and guitar loops, forming a dance only these Brits could create. Hyde's creeping, heavy English accent was fed through a massive amount of filters, creating rhythmic gibberish. They pushed out grand, sweeping club beats as they sent large, white foam pillars out from the back of the stage. The Sequin coated Hyde danced through their Trainspotting hit, "Born Slippy Nuxx" and "Jumbo."

Andrew Bird :: APW 2008
I agreed with my new friend Vito when he said that "Andrew Bird rewrote the American Songbook in front of our eyes," and I shivered with goosebumps from the excitement of hearing such fine craft. I found myself open-mouthed as the multi-instrumentalist linked his instrument's tones with his vocals in a loving embrace. Bird switched modes at will, trading long, sweeping strokes of the violin for lazy, haunting whistles in an orchestration that was incredibly intricate. Bird approached the microphone, at points, like a blind man reaching out for a cane. Behind him sat some wild, spinning Victrola with double speakers. You could hear a multitude of genres and singers inside Bird's songs. "Non Animal," off his latest album of the same name, pulled in shades of a quirky Peter Gabriel tune with a Spanish tinge. Complexity flourished in Bird's music as it built to reverberating stanzas. There were touches of Cuban heat that leaked into the rhythms and passion at the heart of his music. "Skin Is Mine" was picked out bluegrass style on violin before Bird quickly exchanged four strings for six. His Avett Brothers qualities pushed through as he hammered heavily on guitar before revealing his tender side on "Tables and Chairs."

There were fifteen minutes left in DJ Gregg Gillis' Girl Talk set after Bird finished. I'll try to describe the scene upon walking up to the Bullet Stage in two words: "Holy Fuck!!!" First, the stage was so packed with ass-shake that it was hard to tell where one lady started and another ended. Gillis created a dance factory on the stage, slicing off only the choicest cuts. Jay-Z's "Roc Boys" slammed into "Paranoid Android" and Tag Team's "Whoomp! (There It Is)" met its demise when faced with Daft Punk's "Digital Love." The crowd was barely connected to the park as they launched themselves up in unison as enough beach balls flew around to entertain most beaches on the East Coast. Gillis' show has become an event in the vein of The Flaming Lips, as his crew lobbed roll after roll of toilet paper into the crowd. The whole scene finished with Gillis bouncing over the crowd on an inflatable mattress (watch it here).

Radiohead (Friday Night) :: APW 2008
Radiohead has their game down like no other band. The light show alone was worth the ticket. Friday night's moments were poignant and sent big messages without Thom Yorke having to say a word. Yorke simply sat at a piano draped in the Tibetan flag for "Morning Bell." He filled the ballad with shame and angst against China, and poured it out over the water to ring into Lady Liberty's metal ears. Yorke made you feel like he was draining a pint of his blood every time he pushed into the mic and cocked his head. During "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi," hundreds of white lights acted as coked-up fireflies, all intermittently flashing their asses. The crystalline-shaped columns that hung from the stage glowed with an emerald green during "Lucky." Just imagine the Wizard of Oz's pad on a bad acid trip, except Yorke was our warlock this evening and his tribal dance and shake during "Nude" tugged at out chests. "Nude" was deeply thoughtful and featured superb timing, not only within the music but also in the stage show. Yorke's mood turned from serious to jovial as he exclaimed, "Welcome to our world." This marathon Radiohead show was for all of Lower Manhattan, which shimmered in the perfect, cool August evening, the silent partner to the already spectacular stage show.

APW 2008
Continue reading for Saturday coverage...

Saturday, August 9

APW 2008
The All Points West Festival is named after the events that happened at Ellis Island and the New Jersey Central Railroad terminal in the early 1900s. After immigrants entered the United States, they would travel by rail to "all points west." We were greeted on Saturday by the celebrated sunlit towers of Ellis Island and Lily Holbrook as we made our way across the front of the Queen Stage at the East Coast's version of Coachella. The West Coast gal's voice echoed with an angst-filled version of a cherub as she sang "Welcome to the Slaughter House." The buzz of generators used to keep the giant moon jump next to the media center inflated hummed behind her set. As the sun rose, it revealed a shimmer of yesterday's confetti scattered in front of the Bullet Stage. We landed at the Blue Comet and could already see the substantial difference in crowd size, which continued to increase throughout the day, eventually capping at its sell-out capacity of over 20,000 attendees.

Chromeo's team of P-Thugg (Patrick Gemayel) on the ivories and Dave 1 (David Macklovitch) on guitar and lead vocals dropped the electro-funk on Dirty Jerz with freak-out pizzazz. Macklovitch explained that it was a little early for them and that this was how they wake-up before busting loose a sound that was part Jackson 5, part Jam Master Jay. Add a dash of P-Funk and you were cooking with Chromeo. The crowd locked up claps with P-Thugg's talk box and synth as they led us into a Dire Straits' "Money for Nothing" tease before dipping into a nasty version of "Bonafide lovin'." They made their mannequin-legged instruments quake, but those knock kneed lady legs had nothing on the fest's main squeeze in the harbor. The Montreal duo injected straight pimp juice into our veins as they laid out a sticky "You're So Gangsta" with Macklovitch's guitar fed through huge gobs of sticky goop. The effect could be felt deep in the gullet and made my stomach turn. The buddies acted like a rad version of Laverne & Shirley, except their Yiddish "Schlemiel! Schlimazel!" hopscotch chant was a tune called "Tenderoni."

Emily Haines - Metric :: APW 2008
One of the first things you noticed watching The Felice Brothers was Simone Felice, their drummer on a kit labeled "Stink Frank." His slow, over-exaggerated moves worked well with the tan riding helmet he sported. The whole look made his drumming appear as if he was some mad jockey, biting his lips as he leaned forward in the saddle to coerce his instrument. They switched gears as James Felice grabbed center stage for some hillbilly music. They performed each song like some aging actor's last-ditch attempt at theatrics. At times James' voice sounded like Eddie Vedder, all low and growling. Other times, he sent us for a Felice-fed spiritual romp around the lawn. "Frankie's Gun" brought huge cheers as they tore through the crowd favorite.

There are some artists you are just plain drawn to. Emily Haines of Metric is one of those personalities. There are lots of adjectives to describe her and most fall into the captivating and bold region. Her gold suit shimmered in the sun, reflecting the crowd's lust. Haines was the perfect complement to Liberty's gold flame, and carried on the weekend's trend of powerful frontwomen. She worked the entire main stage with thighs and headshakes as she rubbed elbows with guitarist James Shaw. She joked that she had turned herself into a hippy, and that she knew her outfit didn't look like hippy wear but that it was better than the hipsters wearing blazers. She wove her voice in between bassist Josh Winstead's shuffling pocket, plugging up any empty holes with her take on new wave rock.

Animal Collective :: APW 2008
Three words to sum up The Virgins: lanky, young and talented. The NYC foursome blasted their rock at us with "One Week of Danger." Donald Cumming's vocals came across as a fresh Joe Strummer crossed with a Bruce Springsteen fervor. He's confident, and why not? On his flanks sat the solid rhythm section of bassist Nick Zarin-Ackerman and drummer Erik Ratensperger to cradle his torrid guitar leads throughout, including the crowd-pleaser "Rich Girls."

The venue was kept fairly eco-friendly with plenty of recycling, carpooling and a number of green exhibits. I found Solar Pavilion 2 to be one of the most interesting. Its lightweight re-configurable structure utilized properties of self-organization found in nature. The structure was a visual version of the atmospheric grandeur Animal Collective laid down. Their abnormal harmonies demolished song structure and roped in the unassuming ear with a musical RSVP that demanded immediate response. Avey Tare emerged as the band's key vocalist, leaning on his ordinary melodies and howling lengthy, makeshift lines underneath during the extended intro of "Street Flash." Each song pulsed to life, making the ground around the Blue Comet Stage shake under our feet. They used the entire depth of the sound system to play with circular noises, sending out psychedelic, folksy drizzles of synthesizers and billowing bass. They bounced them off the giant cruise ship traveling between Lower Manhattan and the audience like some unusual version of radar. This only made the already odd site even more anomalous. It was hard to differentiate the notes leading into Panda Bear's "Comfy In Nautica" and the helicopter hovering a few hundred feet off the field, but it simply added to the space that Animal Collective thrived within.

Kings of Leon :: APW 2008
The mood was lethargic in the late afternoon at Liberty State Park, and it would take something substantial to make us budge. The last place I expected to find that was with The Black Angels. Whoever was in charge of Saturday's lineup had a vision that clicked like clockwork. The Black Angels' stoner doom descended dark and heavy as fuck with distortion and drums hanging out for the masses to consume or run from. The powerful combination of Stephanie Bailey's drumming and Alex Maas' haunting, choir-like church cries were the sound of pained alarm hanging by a taught wire. Maas' guitar pricked our skin with a thousand white-hot needles. All we could do was grit our teeth and hang on as the sound of magnificent trepidation reigned over the grounds. They played to the Statue of Liberty and sent her a nasty smack down with some wickedly devious guitar lines in the vein of Iron Butterfly and Vanilla Fudge.

Kings of Leon filled the main stage with glittery charisma rock. Jared Followill laid out a V8 powered pocket of bass that kept your head bobbing Marc Brownstein style the entire set. Caleb Followill tossed pick after pick to the front row as he played to the crowd's hunger for the band. He greased everyone up with showy Camaro rock on "Sex On Fire." The Followill family tore holes in the clouds with the energy created during the new song but otherwise the set was fairly bland. These four scruffy, shaggy minstrels had the ladies in heat though as a sizable red bra landed onstage with "I'll be your queen of Leon" scrawled across it. They even caught the attention of the good Green Lady in the harbor as she blushed in the setting sun. Big ups to the boom camera operator for catching some of the funniest candid moments of the festival, as the crowd flashed, made faces and laughed at themselves on the jumbo screens.

The Roots :: APW 2008
We got back to business as Philly-kin The Roots played an addictive game of pass the rhyme, always keeping the lyrical switches on the upstroke (think how a juggler keeps balls in the air). The Roots greatness appeared in their transitions filled with nuggets of free-form jazz that eventually slipped into a scat type boogie. Black Thought led us in what he called "a moment of laughter" for recently deceased comic legend Bernie Mac. Now this really wasn't your normal hip-hop show as Damon "Tuba Gooding Jr." Bryson led the tribe into a sousaphone jam layered with island undercurrents. The Roots crew eventually worked the jam down with the determined keystrokes of Kamal Gray. Hanging back, waiting to pounce on the mouse, sat the hip-cat Black Thought, who grabbed hold of the jazz to spit fire on "Rising Down." To toss a cherry on top of it all, Black Thought raised the ante with some razzle-dazzle speed rounds, rolling words into thoughts and then blowing them out of his mouth like intensity filled bubbles that popped in our ears. They were a clear highlight on Saturday, filling the set with everything from Led Zeppelin guitar teases to street corner prophesying.

I proudly played a game of human frogger as I navigated the masses waiting for Radiohead's second night extravaganza. A dark pink, puffy clouded sky highlighted Lower Manhattan, who had been waiting patiently for the Saturday night show to begin. The city lit up the backdrop again as Yorke and company unleashed the fury of ultimate crowd pleaser "National Anthem" before touching down on the driving beat of "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi." The Oz-like lights reemerged, casting a green-as-grass glow over the mammoth crowd. "The Bends" was unveiled with serious gut and soul, and Yorke sent the song into a raw, yet hope-filled direction. I made my way back to the bleachers where I found a slew of interesting people. Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins sat in the back while I stood next to Mike Meyers and his posse. After several songs went by, including a tremendous version of "Bangers and Mash," I asked Meyers what he thought of the show. His answer was short and simple, "Good, really good." All I could think about were three little words: Head, Pants, Now.

Yorke dedicated "Airbag" to opener Kings of Leon and gave them a shout out, sayin, "If we were as good looking as them, we would be famous." Saturday's Radiohead show was a peek into the future as they manipulated our senses, drilling a shock and awe campaign home with music, lights and a picturesque NYC backdrop. The skyline has changed dramatically since Radiohead had last played Liberty State Park almost seven years ago, and the missing Twin Towers' presence was still felt.

Thom Yorke - Radiohead :: APW 2008
Continue reading for Sunday coverage...

Sunday, August 10

APW 2008
"I don't drink Absolut, but I'll take a beer or brownies," said a State Park officer after being offered a vodka drink from one of Sunday's tie-dyed patrons. The mood changed Sunday, though even in the rain you couldn't refute the faultless space that combined green grass and views of both NYC's skyline and Lady Liberty's dignified, well-rounded backside. Sure, you may hear complaints about a five drink limit, beer corrals and last call being at 8:30 p.m., but packing your trousers with some hooch of your own was an easy solution. All Points West was a miracle of convenience, and the biggest letdown after two days of Radiohead wasn't the rain but a final day missing Thom Yorke.

After an extended delay, we were let loose in a dash to find ponchos and trash bags as rain started for Amadou & Mariam. This blind West African duo has been pushing out a deeply spiritual and powerful voice of the African plains for over 20 years. Mariam twinkled in red sequins as Amadou let loose his deeply powerful voice - a beacon of love and truth that graced the licks from his golden guitar. Mariam curled her lips into a smile as Amadou announced the African song titles before each selection. Together, they built fountains of joyful, erupting sound punctuated by skinned drumbeats, blocks and bass.

De Novo Dahl were dressed for the wet weather, sporting red and yellow striped 1940's full body swimsuits. Frontman Joel J. Dahl looked and sang like a character from a Roald Dahl book, using his quiet aggression to chant "Make Some Sense" from their latest album, Move Every Muscle, Make Every Sound. Moose Hungate whirled the keys into a frenzied carousel style mix, adding to the up-beat indie rock set.

De Novo Dahl :: APW 2008
It's funny the amount of bracelets and marks you got at All Points West. At the end of any given day you could run into a stranger in NYC who was also at the festival and get a rough estimate of their day just by glancing at their wrist. Here's how that conversation might go. "So, I see you rode the ferry over, hung backstage at the Bullet, had four beers and didn't wash too well on Friday, because your purple slash is still showing."

Rain couldn't dampen the spirits of Rodrigo y Gabriela as they advanced with a strong set. Gabriela Quintero frequently pointed the neck of her guitar towards the dark rain clouds and tapped out a beat with a speedy shaka hand. Her wrist raced all over the guitar's body while thumps from inside the hollow instrument echoed in time to the raindrops. Rodrigo Sanchez closed his eyes and channeled God through feverishly paced strumming. For him, it was all in the details as he drove home his points during their take on Metallica's "Orion." They finished with bows and blasting AC/DC intermission music.

Ben Jelen (pronounced: yellin') was the second performer to crack a Cloverfield joke about our lady in the harbor (New Pornographers did it Friday). He rattled through a set featuring the bold, bright environmental rock of "Insensitive" as he told us there are better things to do than dropping bombs. Over at the Bullet, Jason Isbell was trying to explain why he was missing his drummer. Apparently, Muscle Shoals, Alabama doesn't have airplanes. No worries as he harmonized with the four other musicians onstage in his firm but sensitive Southern way. Isbell has a jaw that hangs lower than the average bear's and he shows he means business in the corners of his mouth. Isabel landed heavy blows as they worked into a driving key and guitar driven jam during the side-blowing rain. His patient voice linked stories of Southern life into the music before uncorking a beautiful version Van Morrison's "Into the Mystic" that rocked our damp, gypsy souls with some help from three Philadelphia horn players.

Sunday, Chan Marshall (Ms. Cat Power) was in a chipper mood, dressed in green and a skinny black tie. She felt right at home on the main stage as she sang down onto the front row. Marshall is wonderful but it should be noted a lot of her prowess is because she is backed by one of the greatest bands going. The Dirty Delta Blues Band is the soundtrack I want playing wherever I travel. Gregg Foreman's funky key strolls made the rain seem not as cold as the band laid down blue soul drops during their cover of CCR's "Fortunate Son." Their inspired minimalism and palpable soul built to a dripping frenzy before "Lived In Bars" pulled the first rays of sun from the clouds.

Kamara Thomas - Earl Greyhound :: APW 2008
Cat Power had found some sun, but it was the first chords of Earl Greyhound set that seemed to really clear the sky. Lead guitarist Matt Whyte wore Sunday white, the equivalent of Jimmy Page's '77 "Dragon Suit." The Brooklyn power-trio kicked things off with "S.O.S." and did not let up until the end of the set. Smoke and raging guitar added to the mystery of the band, creating a psychedelic edge to their modern rock sound. The highlight of their set was the final combination of "I'm the One" > "Monkey." While Whyte busted loose with an intense guitar solo, drummer Ricc Sheridan punished his kit, leaving witnesses utterly amazed before they rolled on to The Secret Machines, the other power-trio next door.

The Secret Machines are way more sonically driven than your average trio, building layers of harmonious industrial fuzz and powerful chords. Their songs are nasal and less dark than before but their voodoo still penetrates dark places. The keys are a ritual for Brandon Curtis and the drums are a labor of love for Josh Garza, who hammers his kit similar to the late John Bonham.

It got chilly as the sun dipped below the clouds and a light rain started again during Grace Potter and the Nocturnals' set. Back at the merch tent, you got dark green passports to guide you around the festival for free but insulated wife beaters were going for $49.50 (not really, but close). Potter was talking about sex as I strolled up, and then she launched into a smoldering "Stop The Bus." Potter is instantly your best friend, that unassuming, happy girl-next-door just belting her heart out for all to see. She had cut her hair and donned an indie-rock friendly outfit including some skintight black jeans. Her Flying-V locked horns with Scott Tournet's axe, and, unlike their All Good set, she worked the embers patiently, coaxing out the jam.

Trey Anastasio :: APW 2008
Trey Anastasio played a packed warm-up club show in Brooklyn on Thursday before ferrying over to All Points West to rock the Bullet Stage. The crowd for Trey started to build during The Secret Machines' set and was fully packed by the time Big Red took the stage. Surrounded by his band, "Classic TAB" jammed through Phish's "Sand," as Anastasio tossed a long, seductive glance at the statues rumpus. He mouthed out the jam as the notes emitted from his weapon. He was charming his jam out while encouraging his inner guitar master to bring it big boy style. He dedicated a tender "Drifting" to his grandfather, who arrived from Italy at nearby Ellis Island in 1910. Ray Paczkowski tested Anastasio with some sinful organ riffs during "Cayman Review," and the two locked up in a bubbling, lighthearted calypso jam. There really weren't many Russ Lawton (drums) and Tony Markellis (bass) highlights other than providing the solid launch pad for Anastasio to soar from. He wailed on some incredibly fast, pleasing solos throughout a lively, hour-plus set that really trapped its groove during a 15-minute "Gotta Jibboo." Trey Anastasio may have played at looking aloof, but Sunday night there were barely any doodling moments as he let notes leap and dive into the Hudson River as a sea of strobe lights penetrated our brains. Surrounded by friends, he returned to the stage for a surprise two-song encore that saw Paczkowski downshift into a Charlie Brown choppy "Heavy Things."

Trey Anastasio played right into the beginning of Jack Johnson's set, and as Trey finished he let loose the thousand or so freaks who had been partying hard right through the Sonic Forest and smack into the family friendly, Curious George songster. When Jack's crowd met Jill it was not quite love at first sight but, by the end, Anastasio got pulled onstage by Johnson, along with Matt Costa. Anastasio ad hocked the guitar on "Mudfootball" before Costa added his own barely audible notes to "Fall Line." Costa remained to flawlessly segue into his own "Sunshine," helping to create a shared ending to APW's introductory weekend.

Continue reading for more images from All Points West...

Friday - 08.08.08

Little Brother
The Go! Team
Grizzly Bear
Mates of State
The Duke Spirit
Underworld
Michael Franti
Duffy
Andrew Bird
Mike Myers
Radiohead

Continue reading for Saturday images from All Points West...

Saturday - 08.09.08

Alberta Cross
Nicole Atkins
Chromeo
The Felice Brothers
The Virgins
Metric
Animal Collective
The Black Angels
Kings of Leon
The Roots
The Roots
Radiohead
Radiohead
Radiohead
Radiohead
Radiohead

Continue reading for Sunday images from All Points West...

Sunday - 08.10.08

Amadou & Mariam
De Novo Dahl
Rogue Wave
Earl Greyhound
Jason Isbell
The Secret Machines
Ben Jelen
Matt Costa
Cat Power
Grace Potter
Grace Potter
Ben Harper
Ben Harper
Ben Harper
Trey Anastasio
Trey Anastasio
Trey Anastasio
Trey Anastasio
Jack Johnson
Jack Johnson
Jack Johnson & Trey Anastasio by Dino Perrucci

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Comments

KCReb Tue 8/12/2008 02:41PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

KCReb

Looks like a chill festival. I'll have to keep an eye on this one for next year.

thisiswhathappenslarry starstarstarstar Tue 8/12/2008 02:50PM
+9 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

thisiswhathappenslarry

Great backdrop. Radiohead blew my mind but in NO way should APW be considered a festival. I will never go back if they decide to make this an annual deal. The public transportation was a mess and the whole thing was just pretty piss poor. No beer after 830? And you have to stay penned up? No caps for water bottles? I felt like for the price I paid, that the treatment we receieved wasn't up to par. Great music. Bad scene.

PooDolla Tue 8/12/2008 03:32PM
+12 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

PooDolla

Why do I have a feeling you had it coming. HA HA!!! Isn't that great everyone!! bluntsnbisco got popped! Sorry dude, no sympathy here.

breckenridgejam starstarstarstarstar Tue 8/12/2008 03:38PM
+10 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

breckenridgejam

Ahaha, that's karma at its phinest! Maybe you'll learn your lesson and keep your jaw grinders at home next time... That being said, I sure would show Grace Potter my best impression of Trey's "Oh Face"

toestothenose Tue 8/12/2008 03:40PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

toestothenose

OK - Sure you’ll hear a lot of complaints about a five drink limit, beer corrals, and last call being at 8:30, but packing your trousers with some hooch of your own was an easy solution. All Points West was a miracle of convenience. The biggest let down after two days of Radiohead was really not the rain, but a final day missing Thom Yorke. Seriously - I expect the people on jambase to be professional liive music viewers. A little planning went a long way.

Here's a link to Girl Talk surfing the crowd and in a day I'll have a mash-up of trey's entire set.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkOLePJTvGw

I Loved APW

Cheers'

Jake

sunnbear Tue 8/12/2008 03:42PM
+8 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

sunnbear

Karma IS a bitch. Eh, blunts? You shouldn't be such a douchebag. Wish I could've been there just for that!

kegsvstoken Tue 8/12/2008 04:00PM
+6 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

I loved Radiohead's performance and I had a great time. But I am hugely dissappointed in this "festival". Everything was poorly planned. The whole beer thing was a disaster, bad transportation, crazy strict security, & trash everywhere. Being from NY and my experience in music festivals I knew that this couldn't be a true "festival" and knew going into it what to expect, but everything was 10 times worse than expected.

I'm not quite sure who would have to be on the lineup for me to return to this festival. I wish NY could stop being a bunch of pu**ies and put on a real festival already. I kind of felt this whole thing was flase advertising.

derreck starstar Tue 8/12/2008 04:01PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

derreck

Wasn't there, but haven't really heard much good about this fest.

One thing on the write up though, there's pics of Ben Harper but no mention of him.

iwantstogetfunkedup Tue 8/12/2008 04:42PM
+4 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Why do I have a feeling bluntsnbisco was askin' for it...that's funny shit

tourfan starstarstarstarstar Tue 8/12/2008 05:28PM
+4 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Jake, as usual, above and beyond. Way to go on bringing the festival spirit to the rest of us. And Great pics as well. Well done by all. I too am a little disapointed that there was no words on Ben Harpers set. Did he sit in with JJ at all? I know its hard with multiple stages and travel time between them all, so you can't get everything. But personally, there were a lot of acts here that I would rather have not read anything about and gotten some words on BH's set. In anycase, I really do mean it, from one JB writer to another, nice job here.

gregboyer Tue 8/12/2008 05:48PM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

I like Radiohead but this festival sounded totally unappealling and I think I made a good call not wasting my money. The new trend of "festivals" where you can't stay is garbage. They're not really festivals if you have to risk a DWI or stay sober. I would rather camp in the woods and breathe fresh air than view NYs ugly skyline and be harassed all day and night. But that stupid bisco kid getting busted is great!

toestothenose Tue 8/12/2008 06:27PM
+5 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

toestothenose

Thank-you TF -

So here’s why I skipped Ben Harper –

I’ve seen him play a bunch over the last years and felt that it would be better to catch Grace, The Secret Machines and not miss a note of Trey.

I’ve heard that Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals set was good. Apparently he had a 10 minute delay due to some "problem" guitar. Their set included smooth choices including "Don't Take that Attitude to Your Grave," "Fight Outta You" and "Diamonds on the Inside."

I love the camping festivals just as much as I loved this sucker. Seriously take a look at the last 5 years of All Good Coverage. Like I started this piece – I’ll take my live music anyway I can get it. I played MacGyver w/ my party favors and all was fine and hey isn’t it about the music first?

At APW the music and scenery were top-notch.

fishbone1 starstarstarstar Tue 8/12/2008 06:31PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

fishbone1

sounds like the lineup was better than lolla's in certain places, and had some of the same bands. I would have loved to see andrew bird at lollapalooza again. but the guy up there said it about these festivals you can't stay at. bad things tend to happen in the city.

i thought the article was good coverage. great description of andrew bird, one of my favorite performers.

moecheeseplease Tue 8/12/2008 06:49PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

moecheeseplease

yay blunts got busted! made my day. but can anyone verify if that is infact grace potters nipple? looks like it to me and its awesome

iAMuANDwhatIseeISme starstarstarstarstar Tue 8/12/2008 07:10PM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

iAMuANDwhatIseeISme

im gonna have to confirm that nipple sighting....A+....im also gonna have to second that "yay" on the douchenbisco arrest....A++....excellent review as always jake!!!

thedrugsdontwork Tue 8/12/2008 09:13PM
+5 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

thedrugsdontwork

"purifying drinks"....LOL! i have a feeling bluntsnbisco is going to disappear from this message board soon and no one is going to hear from him in a long, long time........

ogsamurai starstarstarstarstar Tue 8/12/2008 11:04PM
+5 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

ogsamurai

i went on friday. paid $50 on craigslist. totally worth fifty, but i dont know if id go again if i had to pay full price. girl talk was the best dance party of the summer. radiohead was magestic. arpeggi/jigsaw/gloaming were the highlights. overall AMAZING music....sub par festival.

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} starstarstarstarstar Wed 8/13/2008 04:14AM
+7 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›      {¬¿¬}

adios blunts&bisco philly mafia, sideways flat brimmed hat wearing ding dong!

toestothenose Wed 8/13/2008 04:47AM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

toestothenose

No Ben Harper sit in's w/ JJ.

Here is a mash-up video of Trey doing Sand, Alaska and Gotta Jibboo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XpeH2XNjZU

keenan41 starstarstarstarstar Wed 8/13/2008 06:19AM
+7 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

keenan41

A+ for Grace Potter. A+ for Tall Tale BluntsnBisco. I don't really believe him but if so, nice bout of instant karma.

sacsquash star Wed 8/13/2008 06:35AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

What's with this 'you had it coming" mentality? Rockin's a crime? I thought this was America?

Greg11 Wed 8/13/2008 06:58AM
+4 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

ALL POINTS WORST

breadloaf Wed 8/13/2008 07:33AM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

"He mouthed out the jam as the notes emitted from his weapon. He was charming his jam out while encouraging his inner guitar master to bring it big boy style"

Are you serious? I'm sorry, Jake, good review and great enthusiasm but that one should have been left on the editing room floor. And "no highlights" from drummer Russ Lawton? The guy is every bit the master musician that Trey is. I'm just sayin'.

hambone Wed 8/13/2008 07:45AM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

There wasn't enough coverage/pics of Radiohead in this article........Gimme an F'in brak. Does anyone really care about Radiohead? Dude......my wife called.....she wants her scarf back!!

allthink Wed 8/13/2008 08:37AM
+10 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

allthink

hambone your wifes scarf is at my house...bluntsnbisco, na na na na...na na na na...Now to the music. Girl talk looked dirty. Chromeo is growin on me...Trey's 'Oh Face' is going to become a nightly happenin soon...I want to kiss Potter's breasts...Grace if you read this, I want to kiss your breasts...

O1Roggae Wed 8/13/2008 08:49AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

O1Roggae

Chromeo is badass. Grace has some nice legs as well

KCReb Wed 8/13/2008 08:55AM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

KCReb

I can't get enough of Grace shredding that flying V... wow.

Road To Shambala Wed 8/13/2008 09:52AM
+4 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Road To Shambala

Thank you Jambase for the nipple show of Grace. Love her more everyday.

NittyGritty Wed 8/13/2008 12:07PM
+4 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

NittyGritty

serves you right bluntsnbisco for trashing everything and everyone all the time....karma is a bitch

robbobzman star Wed 8/13/2008 12:35PM
+6 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

First - This persons review is way off. I could not sugarcoat it any better myself.

Don't be fooled - People are calling "All Ponits Worst" for a reason. With the exception of Trey, Franti, and the acts you want to see, it was surprisingly bad. The list of bands I'll never see again are too long to list. 5 beer limit over 9 hours in the sun (corraled in a designated area) with wristbands, without being forwarned is uncalled for. New York sucks, and somehow they've screwed this up beyond your wildest imagination. If it weren't so sad it'd be funny. Worst fest I been to (out of about 15 or so).

gmoo Wed 8/13/2008 01:10PM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

gmoo

Wow. I guess I'm glad I didn't go. Thanks for the cool pictures and one of the better reviews of the summer. BiscoBlunts, are you gonna learn anything from this? I hope so.

diggerr starstarstarstarstar Wed 8/13/2008 01:47PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

diggerr

Jake, nice review. Thanks for covering so many bands, several of which I'm not familiar with. Your words and perspective has prompted me to check out several in detail. Although it doesn't sound like a festival I would enjoy, you really brought it to life for me. Great job!

MFF0RD6 starstarstar Wed 8/13/2008 02:14PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

MFF0RD6

stop bagging on new york. this festival was held in New Jersey, one of the most strict states in the nation. how could you expect anything else in terms of security and rules?

theguykeator Wed 8/13/2008 02:42PM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

theguykeator

HEAD, PANTS, NOW!!

gregboyer Thu 8/14/2008 10:53AM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

dirtyjerz stinks (literally). Sounds like a real Super Suck Fest.

toestothenose Fri 8/15/2008 07:14AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

toestothenose

Here is a mash-up of All Points West on Sunday - with extended sections of Grace Potter(the jam during "Stop the Bus"), Jason Isabel (performing "Into the Mystic") and Earl Greyhound (Ripping finale) plus Amadou & Mariam, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Cat Power, Trey and More

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvvJxKOaGFQ

totalot Fri 8/15/2008 09:29AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

toestothenose - that little mash-up is cool. the thing with Potter's face split on the screen with romantic music is classic after school special crush scene material.

schofizzl Fri 8/15/2008 11:01PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

schofizzl

so how/why exactly did you get popped, blunts? i think we all want details.

lsd25247 Sun 8/17/2008 09:39AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

lsd25247

whoever is sleeping with grace potter is one lucky bastard

toestothenose Sun 8/17/2008 10:38AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

toestothenose

Glad you folks dug the videos - here is the last - a mash-up Saturday at the All Points West festival with Chromeo, a tour thru the art, The Felice Bros, Metric, The Virgins, Animal Collective, The Black Angels and the Roots

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEPHb9Zhiz0

johnnygoff starstarstarstarstar Sun 8/17/2008 06:44PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

johnnygoff

hey lsd^^,

'who else but bob weaver'??

great review JK. cheers.

spiderdonkey starstarstarstar Sun 8/24/2008 11:10AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

spiderdonkey

Wow its funny I saw most of the artists at this festival and at Virgin Fest this year at other festivals without having to shell out a king's random either one of these shit shows. And camping was included at the ones I went to. On a more serious note, who cares bout a dumb bisco kid getting locked up I see it far to often in Philly.