80/35 2012 day two blog
80/35 2012 day two blog
The first day of 80/35 was a more compact experience, with only a half day of music. Saturday was a full eleven hours of music, giving the music a bit more room to breathe. A lot of that breathing room was dedicated to local acts, with more than half of the 27 acts having Iowa origins.
The day seemed to have a real sense of community, with a number of acts collaborating and sharing the stage with each other. Christopher the Conquered, an early performer on the main stage, brought up an all star cast of musicians to perform a cover of a Lesbian Poetry song (I’m having a hard time finding the title, but the lyrics include a repeated “I Never Did Before I Met You” refrain). Members of Mumford’s, Poison Control Center, Trouble Lights, Leslie & The Ly’s, the Des Moines Social Club, Lesbian Poetry himself (Elliot Burke) and others joined the Conquered on stage to perform the song.
That wasn’t the only local band covering another local song of the day. Mumford’s brought Poison Control Center members Patrick Fleming and Devin Frank up on stage for a cover of PCC’s “It’s a Surprise.” The two covers made me think that a cover band that only covers local music could be a great idea. Someone needs to put that together, at least for one show.
Mumford’s Nate Logsdon performed with Christopher the Conquered, Little Ruckus and his own band, Mumford’s, in pretty short order, running back and forth between the stages. Sharika Soal of Ladysoal joined Mumford’s on stage a song. I’m sure there was another crossover or two that I’ve just lost in my notes.
Maxilla Blue was a good prelude to Atmosphere, performing shortly before the main stage act on the Hy-Vee Triathlon Stage. Group member Aeon Grey was absent, though the vocal burden has always fallen on Asphate Woodhavit’s shoulders. A crew of b-boys performed out in the audience.
Atmosphere got a huge crowd, with the Minneapolis hip hop group commanding the crowd to put its hands up, wave them and generally go crazy. Frontman Slug also gave a shout out to the 515. It’s nice to know our neighbors to the north know some details about Des Moines.
Jason Isbell gave the afternoon some alt. country, while Greensky Bluegrass and Leftover Salmon drew in the jam fans and gave 80/35 one of its stronger jam showings so far.
Leslie & The Ly’s conjured up images of Tupac, with frontwoman Leslie Hall apologizing that she couldn’t be here today, so they had to send “A sexy hologram” in her place. Des Moines is probably a few years away from hologram performers, if they ever truly spread beyond Coachella. Hall did distribute fans with her faces, and they were pretty sought after commodities on such a hot day.
The day started off seemingly as hot as yesterday, but by the evening things cooled off (a bit) and there were even some breezes.
Organizers said Saturday was the biggest day of any 80/35 to date, and headliner Death Cab for Cutie had the biggest crowd. I was writing for deadline at the beginning of their set, so I missed the first few songs. I got into the main stage area just in time for “I Will Possess Your Heart.” Did I miss much before that?
Frontman Ben Gibbard chatted with the crowd off and on, starting out by referencing a Raygun shirt: “What’s going on Des Moines? Or as someone pointed out to me, French for The Moines.”
While The Avett Brothers were a little more raw, Death Cab had a much more polished show. This is a band right on the verge of arenas, with a spectacular light show and great stage presence. It’s been a few years since Death Cab would have fit in one of Des Moines 2000ish venues, with probably a few years to go before they’re Wells Fargo Arena level. 80/35 landed them at the perfect time.
“You guys are troopers for hanging out in this heat,” Gibbard said. “We’re from Seattle, we can’t handle this shit.”
All together Death Cab played for about an hour and 45 minutes, including a three song encore that included “A Movie Script Ending,” “Soul Meets Body” and closing the show with “Transatlanticism.” It’s a somber number, that built to an explosive finish. That seems fitting for a Death Cab show.
“If we had known what this was like we would have been coming here the whole time,” Gibbard said. “We’ll see you soon.”
I’m sure a number of fans will be quite pleased with that possibility.