Even though we have a backlog of 13 performances to share with you, we felt that a review of some of the Popped Festival performances and
festival concert ongoings would be a more timely choice.
Promising to be a formidable event, we looked forward to it with great anticipation. An outdoor show at FDR park set to the backdrop of the lakes, pretty stone structures and old trees sounded like an amazing oasis from the norm. Add to this food trucks, multiple stages of performers, comedy and the excitement ballooned. Sadly, as all balloons eventually do, this one deflated. Even sadder, it did so before the concert even took place.
We typically avoid shows in stadiums. A non-intimate setting, poor reverberating sound, immature crowds make it an unappealing option. Not to mention LPC prefers to review lesser known acts in small venues as those that have gotten to the stage of stadium performances generally do not need any more assistance in gaining recognition. All that said, the show was moved due to safety concerns to the Liacouras center – a brave move on the part of the concert organizers to save damage to the park and injury to concert goers in the rain logged park. A concert held is worth two concerts potentially held in a bush so we went. LPC was on hand for the second day of performances at the basketball stadium on Temple’s campus. Here is a review of what was seen:
Reluctantly, we missed some of the first bands to avoid being trapped inside the dome all day. It was a shame because had the concert been outside, the approach taken would have been completely different. This is probably the case for many and so lots did not see bands they might otherwise would have. Just another indication the festival experience had been crushed and that this was just a long all-day concert instead.
Inside the venue, it was definitely a raucous atmosphere. Smoke hovered in the hallways which was particularly amusing. A basketball gym rarely sees such things. Vendors and sponsors hawked merchandise and SWAG to people as they moved throughout the crowded corridors. A two-by-two system was initiated for those wanting to smoke or enter the floor through the center staircase. Kids, new to drinking and perhaps concerts themselves, gallivanted around. Aided by the fact that the one beer policy was not being enforced (a fact which we relished) we were able to numb ourselves to the dismantlement a bit. Other people who were more experienced which such events co-mingled and the crowd grew as the night went on. It apexed around the time of Girl Talk’s set culminating in a vibrant sea of humanity dancing to Gregg Gillis’s catchy mash-ups.
All in all, it was an interesting experience. Rakim played a set which was classic but mired by inept sound techs and a semi-unappreciative and ignorant audience. Cults set was fantastic yet few had yet to arrive. Foster the People were everything for which we had hoped. Titus Andronicus was very energetic and dynamic. Girl Talk brought down the house and Pretty Lights lit the rubble ablaze. Never-the-less. for us, the show being materially altered from what was initially billed was a let down and created an experience that, honestly, would have been avoided if this was what was intended. It was still nice to see what we saw and experience the same. Given the alternatives, there was not much that could be done and live music is why we are here. Check out some videos from our experience and perhaps catch some video that you missed!
** A few other videos from Foster the People and Rakim from this show can be found on our YouTube channel.