Britt Daniel gazed out over what was probably the smallest festival crowd to which Spoon has played in recent memory and marveled, “This is a pretty cool deal, right?
“This is my kind of festival — there’s people right there I can almost touch,” he said, then pointing toward the horizon and adding, “Usually you’re, like, back there.”
- ||| Photos by David Benjamin. Main stage gallery, above; Block Stage and Party Stage galleries below.
Yes, the Moon Block Party arrived Saturday with bigger aspirations and a modest (at best) turnout, the latter despite a lineup that should have had psychedelic-rock fans bursting at their bell bottoms. Newly relocated to the spacious Pomona Fairplex (home to the L.A. County Fair, the Warped Tour, horse racing, etc.), the Moon Block Party offered 19 bands on three stages (for a reasonable $45) and, as it turned out, an easy-to-navigate festival experience.
Fans came dressed as friars, zombies, cheerleaders, zombie cheerleaders and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — if you can imagine the latter as beer-chugging, chain-smoking bros. Along with the rank-and-file, they enjoyed virtually every shade of what can be described as psych, from the Saharan folk of Tinariwen to punk high jinks of Black Lips to the hardcore screeds of Metz to the blissful drone of the Black Angels.
Downsides included occasional sound glitches on the two small stages, the meager carnival food offerings, one major set-time conflict that forced attendees to choose between Tinariwen and Band of Skulls and the unfortunate last-minute cancellation of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (along with the lack of a blast communicating the revised set times, which had some festival-goers confused).
Maybe it was the moonless night.
There were upsides aplenty, though — for one thing, no beer gardens. That’s right, you could carry your 24-ouncer all over the festival grounds. Consider that if you were suffering from festival fatigue or couldn’t find a road map to Pomona. The weather was pretty too, even if some of the hair wasn’t.
That said, here are my Top 8 memorable moments of the Moon Block Party:
[click to continue…]