Day two at Pentaport was just as packed with big acts, and the crowd filled out as weekend punters flocked in to soak up the sounds and the sun.
I started my day with very high hopes for At the Drive-In, five Texans who first gained real prominence in 2000 before abruptly splitting up and going on to create The Mars Volta and Sparta. At the Drive-In did not disappoint, offering up a thrilling display of pure rock ‘n’ roll.
Turning out seven songs from their final landmark album, “Relationship of Command,” they performed with an intensity that matched their distinctive brand of noisy post-hardcore. By the second song, which began with the greeting of “Good morning, Korea!” vocalist Cedric Bixler had already smashed the mic stand in two. Bouncing off anything he could find, he sang “Enfilade” while crowd surfing and proved that fire extinguisher spray is indeed heavier than air during “Cosmonaut.”(Note: I hope the young woman who caught the microphone tossed into the sky with her head was okay.)
Bixler went on to share some great news with the crowd by informing everyone that At the Drive-In were going to be recording new tracks in Seoul during their stay!
And as amazing as At the Drive-In were, there was lots more fun to be had throughout the day. Korean electronica three-piece Idiotape were typically awesome, blasting out live crescendoing drum fills that gave way to bob along chorus beats. From the crowd pleasing tracks from their award-winning “11111101” 2011 debut album to the newer “Don’t Go” from this spring’s “Re” EP, they had the crowd packed with a train of people revolving in and out of the Dream Stage tent as they gasped for air. A party band that can lure even the stiffest necks into bending, their visual show – rife with political innuendo ahead of Liberation Day – had everyone entranced.
The inflatable swimming pool, which I may or may not have snuck into only to discover it was actually open to the public, provided a refreshing cool down before the night’s headliner. I share this as a note to future fest-goers who should come prepared to get wet.
A fest can never go wrong closing out its main stage with a performance by Weezer. While a little more static than I’d hoped, there wasn’t a moment when they let the crowd slip out of their grasp. Kicking off their set with the sunny “California Kids” from their eponymous album that came out this spring, the alt-rock superstars played a total of 18 tracks including mash-up medleys and even a Kim Kwang-seok cover! The concert was like a giant college party sing-a-long as we all embraced our inner geeks by strumming air guitar and shouting along to the encore of “Buddy Holly.”