Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Flaming Lips Ignite Nateva Music & Camping Festival with Spectacular Performance

The Flaming Lips Ignite Nateva Music & Camping Festival
with Spectacular Performance

STS9, Crash Kings, Grizzly Bear, She & Him, Drive By Truckers and More Highlight Saturday Line-Up at New England's Premier Music Festival

OXFORD, MAINE (July 4, 2010) - On the second day of the inaugural offering of the Nateva Music & Camping Festival the powers-that-be blessed the sight with an absolutely gorgeous summer day. Weather is hard to call in this neck of the woods. Perhaps an easier prediction would have been that the Nateva line-up of music would blow around with an eagerness to brush against so many genres.

This ideal could not have been more beautifully illustrated than by the Flaming Lips. From the bombastic opening of confetti cannons and an ad-hoc dance squad of guys and girls in fantastically orange ensembles, one could be forgiven for thinking that they'd lapsed into a time of easy air travel and readily recognizable rhythms.

Frontman Wayne Coyne was forthcoming in his Nateva love. He called out the volunteers and the workers who made the port-a-potties, "clean enough that I'd put my ass on them."
Working from a set that drew from the band's eclectic catalog, the Flaming Lips proved, once again, that they might be America's most durable band. If the instantly recognizable, "Jelly," was not sufficient proof of the band's wonders with a hook, then the plaintive cries of "Yoshimi" worked to remind listeners of an ever evolving act.

The Lips were preceded by the throbbing beats of STS9 (who also got a Flaming Lips shout-out). With an anxious crowd waiting for the headliner, STS9 delivered a beat and synth heavy set that called at points on three keyboards, and the loops that go with each, to dance with guitar. It's not easy to serve salad when the masses are screaming for steak but STS9 put enough meat into their set to warm up the masses wonderfully for the Flaming Lips.

Earlier in the day, Grizzly Bear turned out to be the wildcard on the Main Stage as tuned in hipsters stood transfixed by their "Elephant Six Collective" approach to avant rock, while far too many others hurried to the dinner bell. Those who weathered their stomach's callings caught a smart, and at times surprisingly aggressive, set. Many who didn't see this set will one day claim that they did.

Of course, She & Him didn't come as an easy act to follow. With their sound fleshed out by two backing singers/instrumentalists, a rhythm section of bass and drums, and an additional guitarist, M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel had plenty of room to stretch out. While Ward's work as a solo artist, and in such collaborations as Monsters of Folk, has cemented his credibility, Deschanel is a newly discovered treasure of a performer.

Whether behind a Wurlitzer organ that Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers described as the "Spooner Oldham Special," strumming a ukulele, or simply belting out a killer like, "Sentimental Heart," Deschanel can flat out sing. The cover of Chuck Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven" showed that they know their roots but She & Him can confidently move in the current day in style.

Hood should, and does, know a thing or two about performing and his Drive-By Truckers blew doors in a set slated to start at 4:20. Fresh off a support gig for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, they delivered solid hooks via ringing guitars in a manner perhaps best mastered by Neil Young and Crazy Horse. They even dedicated, "Girls That Smoke," to She & Him and "anyone who tours in England when it's cold."

The Crash Kings may have been the nicest surprise of the big stage performers with their catchy, "Saving Grace," mining solid guitar hooks and vocals that reached the same neighborhood that Hot, Hot, Heat and Wolf Mother have occupied.

With two nights down it seems that a true personality is emerging in this event that we now collectively call, "Nateva." Friendliness emerges at virtually every turn here, and with one more night, it's your call to go make a new friend. There's only one day left. This is the spot.
Today's lineup features Festival headliner Furthur, George Clinton & P-Funk, Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band, Max Creek, Zappa Plays Zappa and more.

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