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The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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What happens in Vegas gets talked about in the Chrony

By Clayton Norlen and Alexandra Gregory

Harder, better, faster, stronger.

Nothing screams costumes and devil worshipping quite as a massive light pyramid and floating condom balloons and nowhere do these items scream louder or longer than the two-day Vegoose Music Festival.

Held at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas Sam Boyd Stadium on Halloween weekend, this year’s Vegoose boasted a lineup of 28 bands on three stages, some legendary and others who had recently shed their musical training wheels.

For those who weren’t tuckered out after the intense pair of 11-hour days packed full of rock, electronica and hip-hop, Vegoose 2007 also offered night shows in downtown Vegas featuring specific festival artists.

Clay: Ally…Let’s talk about the muuuuuusiiic.

Ally: With headlining acts as impressive as Daft Punk and Rage Against the Machine, this festival felt epic. For many, this was their first time seeing these prophets of cultural revolution. The crowd transformed into rolling waves of angst as the lights went out, welcoming Rage to the stage. From then on, it was fight or flight mode for everyone in the audience.

Clay: I don’t even have words to describe Rage’s performance. My only qualm is that they cut their set short by 35 minutes and 15 seconds.

Ally: My only qualm is that there wasn’t a riot after that.

Clay: Queens of the Stone Age and Muse played as if they were the Olympian Gods of rock themselves. They pumped energy from the speaker stacks that breathed life itself into the crowd. Now I understand why parents warn their kids that rock is of the devil?it DOES possess you.

Ally: The near-spiritual orgasm of the senses climaxed during Daft Punk’s Saturday night performance. Closer to a psychedelic LCD light show, the two French musicians were dressed in light-up robot suits and housed in their renowned temple of light.

Clay: QOTSA’s feel good hit of the summer did that for me. You know, like all that about the senses and whatever you said. Oh, yeah! And Josh Homme promising everyone in the crowd they would get laid that night if we followed their recipe for success. That was uplifting and motivational.

Ally: Two of the lesser-known bands on the bill that impressed me most were STS9 and Ghostland Observatory. A fusion of live rock with electronic backbeats, STS9 was a cacophony of noise and boasted a drummer good enough to have a kit encompassing both acoustic and electric drums — and a face cute enough to take to the Vegoose Wedding Chapel.

Clay: God! Ghostland Observatory was moving. Their beats could make a body shake and groove more than an infestation of fire ants. Ah, and the singer’s dance moves gave the crowd hints on how to look sexy. Justin Timberlake molested and mutilated sexy, but Ghostland Observatory brought it back in space age style.

Ally: Lupe Fiasco brought hip-hop to the main stage Saturday morning and did an impressive job of working the crowd as one of the afternoon’s openers, but Cypress Hill got everyone much higher with its enigmatic energy and serious hits, not to mention its giant inflatable skeleton king and the not-so-unexpected cameo appearance of their friend “Mary Jane.”

Clay: The illicit drug use on stage made me very uncomfortable. They told the crowd to smoke pot. Don’t they know the United States is currently at war with drugs? Their performance was treasonous. As an American citizen, I was offended and accosted. At least Blonde Redhead sang catchy transient melodies to put me in the right groove — legally, too.

The two days of mayhem and music were underscored with festival attendees rocking out in their best Halloween get-ups, from douchebag to dick-in-a-box. Vegoose gives music lovers a rare opportunity to see their favorite bands while dressing up as whatever the hell they want.

Ally: I’d say my favorites were the group efforts: the Legends of the Hidden contestant crew and “The Life Aquatic’s” Team Zissou. Then again, watching Blonde Redhead from behind the tall plastic hats of Devo was pretty rad, too.

Clay: They were all cool, but I couldn’t even count all the Alices from Wonderland or politically incorrect second-grade-Halloween-party-Indian-costumes I saw. The acts of creativity that awed me were the people who became their costumes, like the neon-orange rat character with a glowing tail who ran about the crowds screeching and scrambling about.

Ally: Wow, I did not see that. Are you sure that wasn’t your imagination running wild on you, Clay?

Clay: (awkward pause)

Ally: Clay?

Clay: I’d bet my life on the Rat Man’s existence.

Ally. OK. Did you see the cult following of Daft Punk robots wandering the festival once the sun went down? I felt as though I missed a memo or something.

Clay: Well, are you on the Daft Punk cult’s mailing list? If not, I know why you missed that memo. They tried, I’ll give them that, but Daft Punk members were the only robots that made me swoon last weekend.

Ally: Costumes aside, Vegoose offered bonus festival fun with various booths and tents to entertain and inform attendees. From Trojan’s promotion of safe sex with free condoms being distributed throughout the day to hippie gear being sold in vendor tents, the festival had everything fans needed to have a good time.

Clay: And for lovers looking for meaningless commitment, there was the Vegoose Wedding Chapel with sermons performed by various celebrities such as Mr. T. and Elvis. For people who forgot their costumes or needed some touch-ups, Vegoose offered a Dollhouse Salon and Costume Shoppe that offered prosthetic limbs and endless amounts of fake blood.

Ally: Riding the Ferris wheel during Michael Franti and Spearhead’s set was too cool. Where else can you get an aerial view of a big crowd that you were just a part of?

Clay: Yeah. The Ferris wheel f***in’ rocked.

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