By: Ty Velasques
Ain’t no party like a Moon Block Party cause a Moon Block Party won’t stop! With the onslaught of phenomenal artists for the festival at the Pomona Fairplex Saturday, there was no shortage of fun to be had. Unfortunately, the Thursday before we received some devastating news. Leah the drummer of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club would not be performing because of a rare condition that was affecting the fluid in her spinal column and brain. Alas, the show must go on and I hope Leah has a speedy recovery. Thankfully there were many more bands on our aural horizon.
Our arrival on the Moon (stage) was later than scheduled but we came in with a bang as we ran furiously into the crowd. We were on cloud 9 (or on Death Hymn #9?). The sweet, unforgettable notes of Band of Skulls “I Know What I Am” hit me like a euphoric psychedelic. I knew that it would be their last song as it was one of their big hits. As any festival goer knows, the arrival at a show flings your heart around consistently. Make your plans but be aware that any number of divine vibrations could quickly ricochet you away.
We blasted off towards the Party (stage) where Deap Vally was slinging out some raw, enthralling sounds. The lead singer/guitarist had a voice made of whiskey and gravel, it clawed its way out of her throat and fell over our writhing bodies. The drummer, whose hair looked like cotton candy fire reminded me of a human rendition of Animal the Muppet. My eyes were glued on the flurry she became as she beat the drums into a pulpy oblivion.
The Black Angels came on strong with their perception altering projections setting the stage for their otherworldly songs. They concentrated on their breakout record Phosphene Dream. My favorite song of the set was “Entrance Song”, which threw the crowd into a frenzy with its rolling melodies and jarring organ notes. Definitely the most tripped out set of the psych filled festival, with the heavy dreamy songs and seizure inducing projections.
I went from being second row to first for a set I’d been waiting to see for 10 years. SPOON. Britt Daniels came on stage with his magnetic presence and knew exactly how to work the crowd into a raging fury. Spoon used the whole stage while taking turns playing to each other and jumping off platforms. I have photographic evidence of the Rock God himself, Mr. Daniels, after loudly professing my love for him, pointing at me and saying (in a low and sexy voice) “I’ll touch you later”. That will go down in my ever growing rock history as one of the greatest hits. As for the music, my mind got blown pretty early on. My favorite Spoon song “Don’t Evah” bled into the “Way We Get By” which became “Got Nuffin”. Way to slay the audience Spoon.
I had realized during Black Angels and then again with Spoon, that these people I had loved for so long were older than I had realized. This event, with that realization and the news of Leah’s illness, made me look hard at mortality. Even Rock Gods can’t live forever, unless of course you have the zombie genes of the Rolling Stones. As always, the young take over where the legends left off. Thanks Moon Block for giving me that epiphanous moment to truly appreciate the magic of bands and the way they share their souls with the world.
Photos by: Brandon Marks