Friday, June 13, 2008
City Stages Festival in Birmingham. We'd never heard of this festival before, but turns out that this was their 20th year! Who knew?
Bonnaroo or New Orleans Jazzfest or even Memphis's Beale Street Festival, City Stages is set up right in the middle of downtown. Seven stages and dozens of vendors (food, beer, etc) are set up throughout 9 city blocks.
To be honest, though, we didn't find Birmingham to be anywhere near our top 50 places in the U.S. For one, much of downtown Birmingham is just plain decrepit. Large ugly abandoned buildings with faded and crumbling facades abound, and just a few blocks from the festival, the area has a feeling of worn down despair. Even worse, it's probably one of the least culturally progressive big cities we've been to.
Unfortunately, Galactic was only given a one-hour slot, so we didn't get to hear much of the classic mind-bending instrumental stuff that defines the band. In fact, most of the instrumental songs were repeats from the Galactic show we saw a couple months ago in Oxford. Nevertheless, they put on a very solid performance that left no doubt about their abilities. Here's what they played:
Bongo the Dog
@ Comin' Thru
@ What's Golden
@ Lock Shit Down
@ Think Back
@ Step Your Game Up ->
@ Get Focused ->
@ these songs had Chali 2NA and Laidlaw on vocals
Overall, we had a great time at the fest, thanks to Galactic and The Roots - two band we'd go see anywhere in the world!
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