Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Amsterjam, Randall's Island, August 20

I decided to go to Amsterjam because Katie asked me to go with her. I figured it would be a pretty run-of-the-mill mainstream concert so I wasn’t expecting too much. It was 21+ though so the no teeny bopper factor was good. They even checked everyone’s id’s with a special bracelet machine that printed out Heineken bracelets with our names on them “over age 21 verified.”
The show started at 11:30 but we figured the good bands wouldn’t be on until later in the afternoon. We were wrong! When we arrived at 2:30 Garbage was already playing. It was also incredibly humid, muggy and gross on the island which was physically exhausting. Of course you can’t go to a beer sponsored event and not partake so we waited on line for an hour to get beer tickets. Luckily we just bought a bunch so we didn’t have to wait on line again. While on line we heard the rest of Garbage’s set and special guest Peaches came out to sing with Shirley which was a blast. Then Wyclef came on, we heard a few songs and moseyed over to the 2nd stage in the Green Light District (ha ha) where we thought Fishbone was playing. When we got there another band called Antibalas was on with a full horn section and animated dread-locked singer. The area was kind of shaded and full of hippies dancing and smoking so we decided to hang out – and Fishbone was on next! The Anibalas and Fishbone sets were awesome and the crowd was fun to hang around and dance with. I even ventured out into the mosh pit which I haven’t done in a while!
After Fishbone we grabbed some more beer & food and headed into the main stage crowd to situate ourselves for Snoop Dogg. At this point we were spent and the night didn’t bring any refreshing cool breezes. It was just as humid and gross and now we were surrounded by thousands of people. Then, Snoop came out and it was all worth it! He did everything from Snoop/Dr. Dre numbers to the latest songs and they were all tons of fun.
Next up, Chili Peppers. They played all of their hits from over the years but what I liked the best was John Fruisciante. I had never seen him play with the Pepper’s before and he is an AMAZING guitarist. I was very impressed. Finally, for the encore (though the Pepper’s didn’t leave the stage) Bootsy Collins and Snoop were called out to play on the last few numbers. This kind of thing only happens once in a lifetime. I think Katie put it best, “I can’t believe this is happening right in front of me.” Touché.


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