LIVE AND DIRECT: All Points West


EDITOR’S NOTE: Phawker concert reviewer dynamic duo Kylee Messner and Dianca Potts will be sending in live first person dispatches from APW all weekend.


Kylee: The alarm went off, it was 4am Friday morning. “Damn,” I said to myself, groaning all the way to the bathroom. After weeks of planning, stressing, and arranging, the day had finally come for All Points West.  Dianca had me in a panic as usual, driving from the burbs to Philadelphia to take my ass to Jersey City. We had two hours ahead of us on the open road, three days of music our only motivation. (With a pit stop at our safe haven, Urban Outfitters, one of Manhattan’s many.) The traffic went on for miles, and we hadn’t even reached the halfway point to our destination. We stopped at a Mc D’s, relieved our bladders, and took an egg McMuffin sans meat back with us to the car. After about an hour of cursing and horn honking, we finally reached the tunnel that would take us to our hotel. Finally, we were one step closer to our destination. We dropped off our bags, roamed the streets to see the sights, and left for All Points West. We were about to get lucky again, with a series of lightning and thunderstorms to top off 2 hour traffic.  Upon spotting Lady Liberty, we knew we were approaching Liberty State Park. “Finally,” we both sighed with relief.

Dianca: After relentless hours of inching through traffic and intolerable talk radio, Kylee and I arrived at our destination anxious to abandon the car. Sitting in the parking lot of Liberty Park and peeking at pedestrians, I soon realized that I was unprepared and inadequately dressed for the imminent All Points West. Joining fellow festival goers in a procession towards the ticket booth, I muttered expletives at the weather while squinting at the rain. Without a poncho, trash bag, or a pair of Wellingtons, the treacherous journey to the Blue Comet stage for the most part felt totally absurd. By the time we reached the stage, I began to forget why I had looked forward to this. Well, at least until Vampire Weekend’s “A-punk” filled my ears. Nearly giddy but still soggy, I swayed under my umbrella signing along till the song’s end. Encouraging their public to shout along, EzraKoenig, channeling his inner Islander, crooned out “Blake’s Got A New Face” (also known as “One”) before belting out “Oxford Comma.” Coupled with Chris Tomson’s clean-cut precise drumming and Rostam Batmanglij’s many talents, “Oxford Comma,” much like the rest of their set, played out identical to its recorded predecessor featured on their buzzworthy ‘08 debut. Distracted by the Manhattan skyline and the passing storm, I watched a quasi-elderly couple sing along to “Walcott” while a group of barefoot and beaming 20-somethings danced in the mud. Clearly thinking of New Jersey, Koenig and his band mate’s finale came off with sheer exuberance, ending with a promise to see everyone soon. Soon after his heartfelt farewell the foursome of Ivy Leaguers left the stage to Karen O’s bizarre wardrobe and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Kylee: The mud and rain couldn’t stop the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O from lightening up All Points West go’ers, with her famous questionable wardrobe and adoration for the crowd making the show worthwhile.  The band opened up with “Heads Will Roll,” a track of their latest album It’s Blitz! Mummified from head to toe, Karen O hypnotized the crowd with her body, swaying about the stage. Never fear YYY fans, by the second song Karen removed the wrap across her eyes, giving way to that famous blue eye shadow she’s been sporting since ’03.  Also attached to Miss O’s arm was a wristband that read, “Get Well MCA,” a tribute to Beastie Boy Adam Yauch for not being able to attend the festival due to a cancer diagnosis. “Jersey, yeah yeah yeah,” the singer chanted, much to the crowd’s delight. Throughout the band’s set, crowd goers had another source of entertainment to focus their attention on—a group of girl’s covered in mud from the waist down, playfully splashing about without a care in the world.  Amusing, to say the least, I couldn’t help but keep my focus on these girls between earfuls of hits like “Turn Into,” a hit off the band’s sophomore album Show Your Bones. As soon as “Y control” began to blare from the speakers, fans like myself began to remember why they had fallen in love with Karen O’s eccentric dance moves and high pitched screams. The night just wouldn’t have felt quite right without homage to the band’s first record release, Fever To Tell. I had a “Date with the Night,” and I’d be damned if Karen O didn’t tell me how to do it right.

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