“It was much better than yesterday,” said junior English major Jessica Carlson, who joined others in enduring pouring rain and freezing winds to see the Yeah Yeah Yeahs play the last set of the first day. “[It was] one of the best shows I’ve seen in a long time.”
The weather played a factor in helping people cope with the fact that one of the most anticipated bands to play at Monolith, MSTRKRFT, canceled at the last minute due to illness. Online confirmation of this fact has yet to be released.
MSTRKRFT’s absence threw the entire concert schedule into chaos and left a lot of attendees confused. Fans hoping to see the band perform on the Passion Pit upper-stage at 5 p.m. were instead treated to Boulder-based electronic band Savoy.
Though initially disappointed, most fans seemed to come around toward the end of the set, especially when Savoy busted out a cover of the classic Pat Benatar song, “Love is a Battlefield.”
Half the crowd had either left the venue or departed elsewhere in the amphitheater by the time headliner the Mars Volta came onstage at 9:30 p.m. The unholy pairing of guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and lead vocalist Cedric Bixler-Zavala produces a sound so loud and obnoxious, it’s amazing that people were even willing to occupy the first five rows. Mars Volta’s set at Monolith was overshadowed by the outlandish antics of Bixler-Zavala. They included falling off the stage, temporarily leaving and throwing the microphone on the ground in the process, and pulling out a chair out to assist him in his mid-song pelvic thrusts.
Glitch Mob blew audiences away earlier in the day on the main Esurance Music Stage during their 4:45 p.m. set. The three California DJs managed fill a significant portion of amphitheatre despite going on stage towards the middle of the festival. The crowd erupted with enthusiasm when the DJ’s faced off in rhythm battle against each other as they played solos in succession, each trying to top the last’s performance. The crowd was so intoxicated by Glitch Mob’s beats they practically shook the amphitheater with their dancing.
The Monolith Festival plays host to five different stages which all feature different performances simultaneously throughout the day. Two of these stages are located within the Red Rock’s museum and offer crowds an intimate concert experience with some lesser-known bands playing the festival. Deer Tick, a southern rock band from Rhode Island packed the indoor Woxy.com stage.
Deer Tick shook the house, and did it sporting an eclectic mix of clothing including a skirt, Astroturf hat, beer helmet and nightgown. The band’s set list included both old songs and currently unreleased EP tracks. The performance climaxed towards the end of the set as both the band and audience united to sing Deer Tick’s hit song, “Art Isn’t Real (City of Sin),” which resonated throughout all the halls of the museum.
Parisian pop-rockers Phoenix managed to draw the biggest crowd of the concert regardless of the headlining bands. Fans rocked out to old hits like “Consolation Prizes” and new ones like “1901”. Thomas Mars, the band’s front man and lead vocalist, took full advantage of his charisma by coaxing the front five rows of the amphitheatre into crowd surfing him through the stands. Though most of the other members of the band were engulfed by fog from an over-eager fog machine, Phoenix had one of the most solid and entertaining sets of the entire festival.
Monolith was a concert of highs and lows. Between the poor weather and festival’s line-up, the concert could have been a hit or a miss depending upon individual attitudes–and experiences.
“I got a lot of gross sweaty man-ass in my face, said Hannah Angst, a senior political science major. “But I’ve still been having a blast.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Chris Atkinson at Christopher.email@example.com.