Despite what has to be one of the most terribly thought-out venue transportation systems ever V-fest (at least the first day) proved to be truely spectacular. We arrived around 4:00pm after having miscalculated the enormous line-up of people waiting for the ferry, and using our smarts and feminine wiles to procure a more advantageous position.
As soon as we set foot on the island it was a race to the Virgin stage and MIA. I love this woman. Not only is she all sorts of hot and crazy energy, she just makes me want to move my feet and ass. The crowd was dissappointingly lacking in energy and movement. Only a handful of people were rocking out, well at least until the 3rd to last song when MIA invited people to rush the stage for Boyz. (Too bad the security, in typical jerkish fashion, was only allowing people to trickle in on one side of the stage).
Standing in for Amy Winehouse in the TBA spot was Kid Koala. I have not seen him perform for a very long time (despite the fact that he comes to Vancouver every year, and resides in Montreal). The heat was making his records sweat and subsequently skip but he managed to put a smile on my face nonetheless. Without fail Kid Koala always delivers. We lounged underneath a large tree and soaked up the beautiful day while listening to records that were the perfect accompaniment.
After his set we were going to see princess superstar on the blive stage but didn't want to leave our bags outside the stage entrance and so took to wandering the park instead. We ate funnel cake with the works, took a free trainride around "centreville" and doled out relationship advice to one of the employees. Then we settled in for the end of arctic monkeys (I really don't understand their popularity) and Interpol. The crowd for interpol, just like the crowd for MIA except with even less enthusiasm and this was despite and engaging performance, was ridiculously still and offered only polite applause and muffled cries of joy after each song. I felt embarrassed each time the camera panned out to the masses. People were definately into the set but couldn't bring themselves to MOVE, this is an outdoor music/rock festival, but seemed close to a contemplative meditation.
Then came the Icelandic Queen of Weird and Cute, Bjork, and her colour army (er, I mean band). Infront of colourful banners of birds, fish and reptiles and a full band, including an entire brass section, a percussionist, a dj, a keyboardist, a grand piano and about 4 back-up singers she presided over her court. Creating mass hysteria at about her 4th song, Army of Me. Dressed in an outfit that was part metallic doily, part terrible '80's prom dress with an electric green headband and barefeet she pranced, shook, and curtseyed until her particular brand of frenetic charisma had touched on every member of the crowd. Even the slightly jockish college boys were trembling and bobbing around from the spectacle. She didn't talk much, aside from introducing the band before the encore, a sprightly "tank-ou" or "merci bien" was all she uttered, but she sang almost continuously, effortlessly floating from one song to the next and offering distinct interpretations of a few of her older hits and never loosing that reverberating quality in her beautiful voice. So, just incase this review hasn't made it clear, I was entranced. She alone was worth the entire price of admission.