Tuesday, August 4, 2009

All Points West: Half-full

Since the festival is held on a state park, drinking at All Points West is confined to the over-21 Beer Gardens, which also feature free cigarettes, queue-less toilets and seemingly the only dry grass in the site. But all the landscaping in the world couldn't disguise the cold hard facts: the organisers were forcing you to choose between beer and beats, between kicking back and rocking out, between inebriation and intoxication. Luckily we'd left our IDs at home, so the only dilemma we had was how much breast-warmed vodka to pour into our toggle-topped bottomless lemonade.

We hit the music hard. Steel Train - giving a jovially bitter little acoustic set in a random tent after being rained off their stage. Silversun Pickups. We Are Scientists - as catchy as swine flu. Elbow - MDMA-grade euphoria from the bearded Mancunian and co. Mogwai. Lykke Li [dance dance dance]. Coldplay. MGMT. [sneak back] Coldplay. Etienne de Crecy [danse danse danse].

But it was Coldplay, good old Gwennie-boffing, planet-loving, mum-approved Coldplay, who blew everyone else away. Feeling like traitors to the Brooklyn hipster cause we abandoned our Grand Plan (and a less than sparkling MGMT) for some more of the old boys' razzle dazzling. And then it happened. It was like God and Chris Martin were working together to wipe out the storms, the lines, the four hours in the ferry depot. The band disappeared from stage. We watched the screens jealously as they walked passed the tightly-packed fans at the front, heading to...
"They're coming. RUN!"
Grabbing my hand, Chris sprints across the mud. Unlike most of the flip-flopped crowd we're in sturdy hiking boots, so we splash and weave and jostle until we're there and they're there and fucking hell we're close. Coldplay are on a platform behind the soundstage, less than five feet away. They play one song after another. We scream. We sing along. We move our feet so that we don't get sucked down into the quagmire. I shout "thank you, thank you" over and over again.

Trudged back to the ferries, after even the dance tent has gone dark, a girl behind me is trying to describe it to her friends.

"It was... incredible. I think I got Chris Martin's spit on my face."

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