Fest-O-Mania Wrap-Up

Photo by Jack GouldSo were those 120 hours from Thursday, June 29, through Monday, July 3, the biggest, most mega five days in OC rock history? Sure, why not? And even if they weren't, we'll just say they were! Inevitably, with such mammoth aural overload, our LowBall AssChatter spies couldn't possibly remember everything noteworthy about that lost, long-ass weekend. Not musically, anyway, for no matter how great were Weezer or the Reverend Horton Heat or Built to Spill or De La Soul, their sets will have long faded from our memories by the time we're 80 or so, leaving us not to indulge our grandkids with tales of this or that great set, but instead to recount the thrilling sight of the synchronized male duo we glimpsed puking in the Pond parking lot. LowBall hereby presents some footnotes from OC Fest-O-Mania '00:

WARPED TOUR: One of the most disturbing bands on the lineup was also one of the best: Texas Terri N the Stiff Ones. They were scary and ugly but damn fun, and, while not the kind of people you'd want to meet on a country road if your car takes a shit on you, they sure put on a good show, especially when Terri, their emaciated female singer, decided to play her lead guitarist's axe with her tits—now that's punk rock. Terri endeared herself from the beginning, when she beckoned to the crowd, 'Get over here you fuckers! No pussy shit on this stage!' which may or may not have been a slam at OC's Lefty, who had just finished up on the stage next door. We love Terri—she once pasted OC Weekly stickers onto her nipples at a gig. . . . The W3G's, who stunk up the Ernie Ball stage before the Killingtons' set, made a strong case in their obvious quest to be The Worst Band to Ever Exist in Human History. “FUCK YOU,” exclaimed the back of the guitarist's T-shirt (my, now that's original), and their doofus lead screecher was so hyper-ANGREEEE!!! (my, nobody's doing that anymore) and so flamboyantly over-the-top that he had to have been faking it all. They were quaint. . . . Vaguely Buddhist post-Warped thought: nothing can kill one's quest for uniqueness like going to an event where everybody looks exactly like you do. . . . Rising rock star spotted in the crowd: At the Drive-In vocalist Cedric Bixler, he of the unforgettably poofy Epstein 'do.

HOOTENANNY: Near the end of the Knitters' set on Stage A, a bunch of people went up on Stage B next door and started throwing T-shirts and what looked like condoms out to the crowd. Noticing that the audience's attention was being diverted to the opposite stage, Exene pointed over that way in the middle of their Knitterized “Born to Be Wild” cover. John Doe immediately handed her his guitar, ran across the stage, leapt over a barrier and confronted the offending swag-flingers. We couldn't see what transpired because our view was blocked by a stack of amps, but Doe soon returned, and—as if to punish the audience—played a third identical verse of 'Born to be Wild.' Then they played one more song and left. They looked kinda pissed. . . . Rising rock star spotted in the crowd: At the Drive-In vocalist Cedric Bixler, he of the unforgettably poofy Epstein 'do.

THIS AIN'T NO PICNIC: Sure seemed like the side-stage bands got screwed, like alterna-country's Sadies, who began their too-short set as we entered the front gate; by the time we reached them, they were already saying goodbye. And the Pressure got only about 20 minutes, but it felt like 20 seconds. Side-stage bands had to be brief or were edited—witness what happened to the Radar Brothers when their singer stepped to the mic and said, “We got two more songs for you” as the sound guy just up and walked away from the board; apparently they didn't have two more songs after all. . . . What was up with Bob Forrest's erratic behavior? The Bicycle Thief/ex-Thelonious Monster man spent a lot of his band's set rambling incoherently and flubbing lines (bet we know what you're thinking; we're thinking it, too) and ended things by flinging what must have been the entire stash of Bicycle Thief T-shirts into the crowd. . . . Shannon Wright, Yo La Tengo drummer Georgia Hubley and the Pressure's Dana James were the sole female presences on the bill, proving that the Picnic—at least this year—was as chauvinistic as the KROQ Weenie Roast. Sleater-Kinney, wherefore art thou? . . . Rising rock star spotted in the crowd (and onstage, natch): At the Drive-In vocalist Cedric Bixler, he of the unforgettably poofy Epstein 'do.

LIVE AT THE BBQ: Hindered by late-starting sets (everyone apparently running on hip-hop time, meaning they'll play when they damn well feel like it) and sudden schedule changes (Ugly Duckling's time kept getting bumped back—did they ever play?), but definitely a success—any hip-hop fest that doesn't get cancelled several days before is a success. Little police presence, too: a positive sign. And, unlike the Picnic, where many a jaded, impatient indie kid split after catching their fave band, the BBQ crowds kept growing—by the time De La Soul hit, there looked to be about twice as many bodies on the lawn as there were for Beck just 24 hours before. . . . Where was the BBQ, anyway? We wanted ribs, but all we got was the Pepsi Fucking Challenge. . . . Dug the MC who hollered, “Thanks to all the parents for bringing their kids out to this shit!” . . . Most annoying were the people at both sides of the stage during Common's set, who waved big signs reminding us that THE NEW ALBUM WAS IN STORES NOW, and Pharoahe Monch, who just had to blurt, “Wave your hands in the air, and wave 'em like you just don't care!” for the 42,493,901,882 time in hip-hop history. . . . Rising rock star spotted in the crowd: At the Drive-In vocalist Cedric Bixler, he of the unforgettably poofy Epstein 'do. Damn, that boy gets around.

Contributors: Joel Beers, Matt Coker, Rich Kane and Jeremy Scherer

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