For a while upon arriving at Kutsher's Country Club in Monticello NY for this year's installment of the ATP fest (see my preview from yesterday's G), I was bitter at Hartford. Its glut of traffic gave us all sorts of Connecticut-style trouble -- which is a dull brand of trouble at best -- and we arrived on the grounds in time to miss half of the fest's "Don't Look Back" night -- in which bands who the organizers fancy are poked and pleaded with to reunite and perform seminal albums in their entirety. And with feeling!
The bad news is that Hartford's incessant existing caused my cohort and I to miss Perth proto-post-punk legends The Scientists, revived to perform their landmark 1983 album Blood Red River, as well as the enduringly underrated alsoran of 90s grunge, Mudhoney, performing their 1988 EP Superfuzz Bigmuff, along with a host of rarely heard (let alone played) early singles. Oh, boo, Hartford, boo.
The good news is that the mindmeltingly still-hasn't-set-in-yet good set thrown down by Iggy and the Stooges (a romp through their roaring 1973 realization of their might, Raw Power, plus a host of assorted other goodies) was the very first thing we heard. It's been at least 18 years since my first time hearing Raw Power, and even then it was interrupted by my having to flip the tape. Tonight's set destroyed. Seriously: Iggy trashed a mic stand, nearly sent a massive speaker stack plummeting, lurched and jumped and sweat and spat and dealt some proverbial crack (if you catch my drift) and left tiny pieces of detonated rock-fan-brains all over the Stardust Ballroom. The title track was ferocious and feral; "Search and Destroy" was an intense reanimation of the classic (check back here for my attempt at Flipcamming it in the midst of a surging mob); and a handful of tracks from Fun House ("1970" and "L.A. Blues"!) didn't just set the bar high for the rest of the weekend. There is no longer a bar. Iggy broke it.
A quick recovery stop-off in the sleepy (for now) comforts of the Deep End Bar (literally at the deep end of Kutsher's indoor pool) reminds me just how much I love this place. The bar itself is one mid-century imagining the next and getting a little too excited in the process. No one's complaining though. See those red chairs? And that view of the pool? And the lonely flashing lights barely hung over the dance floor? They will make you miss shows. I'll have more from this room after tomorrow night's wee-hour dance parties.
My pictures of reunited proto-stoner-metalscapists Sleep (who performed their 1992 sophomore-splosion, Holy Mountain) didn't come out nearly as awesome as the billowing smoke, projected flames and tilting shafts of crimson light deserve. So I will keep it verbal and just say a bunch of stuff that I couldn't write because I was rattling too much from the bass: Epic, long, loud, glacial, tectonic, mammoth, time-erasingly tense, surface-shaking, molten metal that I can still hear -- deep, deep in my earholes -- right now. (Which is probably why I'm blogging this at 3:05 folks. Can I go to sleep now?)
Tune in tomorrow for updates on Sian Alice Group, Fursaxa, Sleepy Sun, Beak> (the new band from Geoff Barrow of Portishead), The Books, a band whose name we can't say but that also involves buttons, The Breeders and Sonic Youth. Oh my.
About Sound Effects
ContributorsSarah Rodman is a staff music critic for the Boston Globe.
James Reed is a staff music critic for the Boston Globe.
Jonathan Perry is the Globe's Scene & Heard columnist, covering local music.
Michael Brodeur is the assistant arts editor for the Boston Globe, covering pop music, TV, and nightlife.
Julian Benbow is a staff writer at the Boston Globe, covering sports and music.
Katie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.
Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.
Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer at Boston.com.