Thursday, August 2, 2012

Review: Catalpa Festival @ Randall's Island (Day 2)

Girl Talk @ Catalpa NYC
Catalpa Festival @ Randall’s Island - July 29, 2012
Photos: Geanna B. and James MacFie / Review: Geanna B.

La-di-da-di-dahh! It's time to talk about the D-O-double-G! What, what, what whaaaaaat! Fo' rizzle. If there was anyone at Catalpa who was more excited to see Snoop Dogg than me, I would like to shake that person's hand. And then possibly give them a high five. Possibly. My dad hates rap music, so I used to have to listen to Snoop in my room quietly with headphones on without moving, so as not to upset his classic rock sensibilities. But before I geek out on middle school nostalgia, let's dive right into the funstuffs.

Sunday. Round Two. No Mercy, Mr. LaRusso.

The crowd was thicker, the air was clearer. And our feets were drier! We kicked off the afternoon with Cold War Kids, just as it started drizzling. The rain came down, but the crowd didn't care - Nathan Willet's voice, as piercing and clear and wistful as ever, rose over the festival lawn and reached out to anyone with ears. They played the requisite "Hang Me Up to Dry," as well as the very bittersweet, "We Used to Vacation," in addition to giving us some newer tracks to sink our teeth into. As their set ended, the band thanked everyone for sticking it out with them through the weather - but honestly, I think the rain only added to the fun.

After wandering around in search of the Arcadia Stage once more, and instead finding a girl in a Tinkerbell outfit, it was time for Matt & Kim. I had never seen them live before, and I think it's safe to say that they are fucking nuts. In the best way possible. I challenge you to find two people with more enthusiasm, love and genuine joy that can keep a party going like they do. After a six month hiatus from playing live, it felt like the two of them had just been released from solitary confinement, ready to rock and play and shake their groove thangs in our faces. BONUS: we were the first audience ever to hear their most recent single, "Let's Go" live! Look at us, all special-like. They're playing Terminal 5 this fall, I suggest you get tickets immediately, if not sooner.

Keeping the party going was Girl Talk, mashing the shit out of some pop tunes and getting everyone crazed pre-Snoop. If you aren't dancing to Girl Talk, I'm pretty sure your heart is made of the lost souls of stuffed animals on the Island of Misfit Toys. It is literally impossible to not get down to those raucous beats. My favorite thing he did during this set was put the Beastie Boys' "Hey Ladies" alongside Iggy Pop's "Lust for Life". God damn, was that catchy. This, along with TP guns and inflatable zoo animals, made for quite the spectacle. And we liked it.

And now, for the main event. The creme de la creme. The final countdown. THE END OF DAYS! SNOOP DOGG. SNOOP DOGGY DOGG. SNOOP!! Holy balls, my head kind of exploded. Joined by members of the Dogg Pound, he started off the night with "Gin and Juice," playing most of Doggystyle (not in its entirety as we may have been lead to believe) and adding in some favorites like "Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang" and "The Next Episode." Although I prayed to every god imaginable - and Oprah Winfrey herself - for the miracle of Dr. Dre to appear before me, he was nowhere to be found. Another missing element was the inclusion of "Lodi Dodi" in the mix, but as the Mac rightfully noted, there may have been too many words to remember. Snoop closed out the set with "Drop It Like It's Hot," and "Young, Wild and Free." While those are not my personal faves, I was still riding high on the raps of yesteryear, 'cuz everything is fine when you listenin' to the D-O-G.

We hear it’s hard being the new festival on the block, what with the trillion other festivals held in NYC this summer, some taking place in the exact same location. For its first year, Catalpa was a success. Even with the rain and lack of brisket tacos, the weekend was a rockin' good time. The jury is still out on what happened to that huge fire sculpture thing, but I guess that's what we have to look forward to next year. RIGHT?! Right. Now for some photos!

Cold War Kids

Matt & Kim
Snoop Dogg


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  2. "Hang Me Up to Dry," as well as the very bittersweet, "We Used to Vacation," in addition to giving us some newer tracks to sink our teeth into. As their set ended, the band thanked everyone for sticking it out with them through the weather - but honestly, I think the rain only added to the fun.

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