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Rock the Bells - NYC
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Strange Famous Forum > Old Shows. Come meet the ghost of performance past.

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spike2057



Joined: 24 Jul 2005
Posts: 97
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Harpsichord wrote:
yeah, first time I saw Converge, I've never been more bruised after a show, and my shorts wore torn down the front. Good thing I wasn't wearing women's underwear like I normally do.

also, in the middle of "The Saddest Day", both the bassist and drummer dove off the stage, and the drummer gave this girl I know a concussion and knocked her out. videozzz: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhNsUnVGhGc


Judging from the video, I've been to "rowdier" shows; then again, the video can be and probably is deceptive.


Anyway, Rock the Bells... I went on both Saturday and Sunday because I wanted to catch everything. In my eyes, it was worth the cash.

I spent most of my time on Saturday at the Paid Dues stage. I was really impressed by Lucky I am (I knew him from LL, but still... he held down a set on his own pretty well) and Blueprint was really good. I went to the other stage to catch Immortal (nice to see Tone and Pack) and Monch, and then thought I made the tough decision of picking Lif over EPMD. Turns out because the Paid Dues stage was running mega fast, I missed both. Lame.
Anyway, Cage was awesome (nice to see Yak there). Ali and Sage's sets really suffered from the other stage's sound. Mos and Kweli dwarfed Ali (who, besides that, had a nice set) and PE dwarfed Sage. The first half of Sage's set was great... but PE's sound (and the fact I was missing PE when I was planning to see them) hurt the 2nd half, which sucks, but I guess was expected considering all the other bonehead moves the organizers made. Felt and the Living Legends held things down... really impressive sets you usually don't get a chance to see.

[Sage, how did you change things up on Sunday to battle the sound?]

On Sunday, I was basically up front on the main stage for most the day. I really dug Boot Camp Click and Monch (because I was closer and the Styles P appearance). Blackstar was nice though completely unorganized. Seeing Rakim and Public Enemy live was amazing; Rakim is just so talented, and PE brought so much energy with so many classics. I wasn't as high on Cypress Hill and their giant funky Buddha (no pun intended). I left after PE to catch Doom, who was nice for the short amount of time I caught him.

Wu was nice on Saturday, though honestly not incredibly. Rage on the other hand, was the best set on both nights, in my eyes. I was all the way up front on Saturday and stood all the way in the back on Sunday... different perspectives on their show, both equally enjoyable in different ways.

In general, the crowd was pretty lame and the event was poorly organized; still, these things honestly didnít detract from my experience too much. All in all, these were two of the best shows Iíve ever attended. Really great experience.
Post Mon Jul 30, 2007 11:21 pm
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21602
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Sunday I went with all hard beats rather than toying with non-drum stuff
Post Mon Jul 30, 2007 11:49 pm
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tommi teardrop



Joined: 12 Apr 2007
Posts: 2216
Location: Las Vegas
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I love everybodys' fratboy comments about Rage's fans.

The last time I saw Rage was at the first Coachella with Tool. Ben Harper went on before Rage, and halfway through his set, I was more scared than I have ever been at a concert in my entire life. My feet did not touch the ground for about 45 minutes. It was a wave of people pushing as hard as they could, and it is safe to say that it was not fratboys.

It was maniac mexican americans who were more into the experience of the show than any audience of any hardcore show I have ever been to. And then Rage went on, and Maynard came out for Know Your Enemy. I was rescued by a saint with a jug of water. And as crazy as the crowd was, it was good spirited.

The difference between a Rage show and a Converge or Earth Crisis show is that, if you want to, you can choose to not deal with the idiots at the Converge/Earth Crisis show. You can stand in the back of the 300 to 1000 person venue and escape the insanity.

At a festival, if you have committed yourself to being anywhere close to the stage, you have subjected yourself to physical torture. I could never take the weed picking, kung fu, hardcore audiences seriously in the first place.
Post Tue Jul 31, 2007 2:59 am
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m hanora
Holy Mary Mother of Pwn.


Joined: 04 Feb 2006
Posts: 1235
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tommi teardrop wrote:
was a wave of people pushing as hard as they could, and it is safe to say that it was not fratboys.

It was maniac mexican americans who were more into the experience of the show than any audience of any hardcore show I have ever been to.


I think the spirit and intentions of the crowd totally depends on venue and it's not fair to say "all rage fans are ____." I'm just observing the vibe I experienced.

As a tangential side note: I also think that as dope as Rage is, and as much political commentary and poetics and powerful critiques that they produce, of course not all of that is picked up on by every listener. I have no doubt about the cultural and spiritual necessity of having their version of release carried out at shows regardless of what people take from the lyrics, but that being politically groundbreaking is a another story. What I'm talking about is the limitations of "political art."

I was watching this documentary called "Public Enemy" about the Panthers and Nile Rogers was in it. No idea he was a Black Panther. He was talking about, he expressly left his politics OUT of his music because they were so clear in the rest of his life. But he wondered if that meant he was "tap dancing" in order to get put on, to get paid, to be marketable. But then you have Rage, who say CRAZY shit and it's repeated so much on such a large scale you wonder if it has meaning at all? "Rollin down Rodeo with a shotgun haven't seen a brown skinned man since their grandparents bought one" becomes catchy rather than inflamatory. And speaking of that, watching the crowd on the screen was a sea of white arms...I'm not saying that white people can't be fans of rage or ANYTHING like that, I'm just talking about who got to experience the show versus who had to work the show? Because most of the staff was people of color.

Rogers told a very interesting story that in apartheid South Africa, no music recorded by black artists could be played on the radio, but his song "We Are Family" got mad airtime because they didn't realize Sister Sledge was black. He talked about meeting Mandela and Mandela telling him about being locked up and knowing that song was sung and played by black musicians and how subversive it was to hear it. I wonder than, what are the terms that something is poltical and what does it mean to have power...it's clearly not always direct and overt through lyrics..

I'm just thinking about it because I have no idea how much Rage has had an impact on me. I had no idea what Bulls on Parade meant when I was younger. But maybe it led me in a certain direction- maybe not. Maybe it gave me energy when I knew what was up. But all this being said, I was thinking about the differences between "Battle of Mexico City" and "Battle of Rock the Bells" while I was at the show.
Post Tue Jul 31, 2007 7:35 am
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crash



Joined: 07 Aug 2003
Posts: 5456
Location: the chocolate city with a marshmallow center and a graham cracker crust of corruption
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rock the bells was a complete disappointment.

there was no point in watching anyone on the main stage because the sound was so muffled. i'm not sure why they divided the field like they did but it made moving up to the front such a hassle. i mostly stayed in the back by the paid dues stage. sage put on a decent show, ali was good, i was especially impressed with murs and slug. i left after that. i didn't feel like dealing with all the bullshit to get close to the main stage and sitting in the back to watch it on the screen wasn't any better.

i really don't think hip hop translates to such a large venue. the beats sound like shit and the lyrics become incomprehensible.

mizterie wrote:
i'm pissed i missed monch

yeah, me too.
Post Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:17 am
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seandaley
passive aggressifist


Joined: 13 Jan 2003
Posts: 1609
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i enjoy reading the things people say about rage.
especially when they talk about the message.
go zack, get busy.

i put my chips on tom.
Post Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:56 am
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m hanora
Holy Mary Mother of Pwn.


Joined: 04 Feb 2006
Posts: 1235
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arm the homeless
Post Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:58 am
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futuristxen



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 19374
Location: Tighten Your Bible Belt
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m hanora wrote:
tommi teardrop wrote:
was a wave of people pushing as hard as they could, and it is safe to say that it was not fratboys.

It was maniac mexican americans who were more into the experience of the show than any audience of any hardcore show I have ever been to.


I think the spirit and intentions of the crowd totally depends on venue and it's not fair to say "all rage fans are ____." I'm just observing the vibe I experienced.

As a tangential side note: I also think that as dope as Rage is, and as much political commentary and poetics and powerful critiques that they produce, of course not all of that is picked up on by every listener. I have no doubt about the cultural and spiritual necessity of having their version of release carried out at shows regardless of what people take from the lyrics, but that being politically groundbreaking is a another story. What I'm talking about is the limitations of "political art."

I was watching this documentary called "Public Enemy" about the Panthers and Nile Rogers was in it. No idea he was a Black Panther. He was talking about, he expressly left his politics OUT of his music because they were so clear in the rest of his life. But he wondered if that meant he was "tap dancing" in order to get put on, to get paid, to be marketable. But then you have Rage, who say CRAZY shit and it's repeated so much on such a large scale you wonder if it has meaning at all? "Rollin down Rodeo with a shotgun haven't seen a brown skinned man since their grandparents bought one" becomes catchy rather than inflamatory. And speaking of that, watching the crowd on the screen was a sea of white arms...I'm not saying that white people can't be fans of rage or ANYTHING like that, I'm just talking about who got to experience the show versus who had to work the show? Because most of the staff was people of color.

Rogers told a very interesting story that in apartheid South Africa, no music recorded by black artists could be played on the radio, but his song "We Are Family" got mad airtime because they didn't realize Sister Sledge was black. He talked about meeting Mandela and Mandela telling him about being locked up and knowing that song was sung and played by black musicians and how subversive it was to hear it. I wonder than, what are the terms that something is poltical and what does it mean to have power...it's clearly not always direct and overt through lyrics..

I'm just thinking about it because I have no idea how much Rage has had an impact on me. I had no idea what Bulls on Parade meant when I was younger. But maybe it led me in a certain direction- maybe not. Maybe it gave me energy when I knew what was up. But all this being said, I was thinking about the differences between "Battle of Mexico City" and "Battle of Rock the Bells" while I was at the show.


Good post. Enjoyed reading it. It bears repeating.
Post Tue Jul 31, 2007 9:37 am
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eddiehaskill



Joined: 11 Dec 2002
Posts: 413
Location: Bustaflow, NY www.myspace.com/ eddiehaskill
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I attended the show on Sunday and for the most part had a great time. I was the only one of my friends who brought a poncho so they were all pretty pissed off but it was all good.

I saw Jedi, Imortal, Boot Camp, Pharoahe and Blackstar all from the front of the main stage. I then switched to Brother Ali, Sage, Felt, Living Legends, and MF Doom at the Indy stage and then kind of just chilled for the rest of Wu tang and Rage.

Overall, I think the rain was a blessing in disguise because, while it was wet and muddy, I didn't have to worry about the heat, staying dydrated, or even peeing throughout the day. I stayed in the front of the Indy stage for 4.5 hours.

Brother Ali murdered his set. One of the best performances all day. Sage killed it as always. Felt did a good job as well. I'm not really a Living Legends fan so an hour of their music didn't please me much but since i was front row at that point i wasn't moving. I'm a huge fan of MF Doom but his set was a disappointment. He only went on for half of his allotted time and didn't have much energy. The hype guys were going crazy and he was just kind of chilling. I had heard that about him live. It was dope that Talib Kweli came out to perform "Old School" though. Then the sounds got messed up and they all exited the stage and that was that.

The food situation was just ridiculous. The lines were hundreds of feet back in wet muddy conditions and at the end you found out they were charging almost double what you'd expect at a festival even. They really had you by the balls but i got away with only purchasing two spring rolls and an ice cream.

Overall, it was a great show and great experience. I look forward to going back next year. There were a lot more sage fans than i expected there. I heard a lot of heads singing along, even to the more obscure tracks. Hearing "Re-Write" was just amazing. The first kid I saw when i walked in had a Xaul Zan basketball jersey on. crazy. hopefully, I'll get a chance to post some pictures soon
Post Tue Jul 31, 2007 9:49 am
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note1



Joined: 10 Jul 2002
Posts: 1260
Location: providence
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Quote:

The first kid I saw when i walked in had a Xaul Zan basketball jersey on. crazy



haha...I saw that kid too....wondered if he posts here.
Post Tue Jul 31, 2007 10:47 am
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BKGSP



Joined: 09 Jul 2002
Posts: 2354
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Im glad Eraku Badu and David Banner were no-shows....although I am not that familiar with their work, I dont think I could stand another 90-120 minutes of their sets

I thought, overall, Rock The Bells was an enjoyable experience...a number of the sets were good but shorter than usual, which was understandable considering the amount of artists performing...but it was still disappointing to see a short Rakim set, a short Wu set, a short PE set and whatnot....it was still great performances but nothing like the shows or tours with the artist headlining....nothing beats a Wu headlined show or a Rakim headlined show or a PE headlined show because their sets are longer and thorough...I felt unfulfilled on Sunday but im sure for the majority of people, they loved it....but I would always recommend to people, if available, to see a normal show instead of going to a music "festival"
Post Tue Jul 31, 2007 2:50 pm
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tom inhaler
me too!


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 4398
Location: providence
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seandaley wrote:
i put my chips on tom.


i put my chips in dip.
Post Tue Jul 31, 2007 4:24 pm
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Stumbleweed



Joined: 09 Mar 2005
Posts: 9740
Location: Denver
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How was Monch? Seemed like most people missed him and those that saw him didn't talk about it...
Post Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:12 pm
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MessiahCarey



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 10924
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I dip my chip in Tom.
Post Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:14 pm
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note1



Joined: 10 Jul 2002
Posts: 1260
Location: providence
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Akrobatik has a little piece on rockthebells..

I respect the inventiveness with the poker chips...also pennies and bottle caps work well if no real chips are around.


Quote:

So, my time in New York started off... Well... Ok, the first night in New York I found myself playing poker with Slug from Atmosphere and Sage Francis, using multi-colored tic-tacs for chips. The fourth guy, Danny, beat us all.

Anywho...

Rock the Bells was insane. I don't even know where to start. In addition to all the Paid Dues artists, the festival of over 40,000 people had performances by Public Enemy, Pharoah Monch, Rage Against the Machine, Black Star, Cypress Hill, the legendary Wu-Tang Clan, EpMD, and so many more. This weekend, we were part of hip-hop history. Before this, I had never seen anything of this magnitude outside of Europe. Truly unbelievable experience. And then, to see so many friends and acquaintances from the biz there, too.. Crazy

http://blogs.hiphopdx.com/akrobatik/2007/07/31/tour-blog-rock-the-bells-.html

also some of the mud wrestling

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1IKkacGYKU
Post Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:32 pm
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