The highlight of day one was being head butted during the No Age show. So day two could only get better. I arrived at the festival later in the day, mostly looking forward to the headliners.
I walked to the Blue Stage first to hear Portland electronic-band Chromatics. They sounded spot on, a good portion of the crowd swaying along to the dreamy electronic beats. The music seems best suited for driving in a car with Ryan Gosling and lots of neon lights, though. I’m not sure if Chromatics is really a memorable festival act.
After taking a much needed snack and bathroom break, we sat down to listen to a small portion of Television’s set. The band maintained some of the punk rock sound that made them famous in the `70s, and many of the bands there must’ve been excited to play on the same bill as seminal New York rockers. Bradford Cox of Deerhunter chatted excitedly before his set about using the same amp as Television, and finally one of the sets we’d been waiting for all weekend had arrived.
Cox took the stage in normal clothes (he is known to wear a dress on occasion). The whole set was the band just having fun and jamming. I was happy to hear “Revival” and “Desire Lines,” and the closing with “Back to the Middle” was all a super Deerhunter fan could ask for. We figured there would be a small exodus away from the stage since Deerhunter and M.I.A. fans don’t exactly overlap completely. We managed to push ourselves closer to the stage in anticipation of Fun Fun Fun Fest’s pop princess.
After a short wait and some set changes, M.I.A. took the stage. The bass shook our entire bodies from the ground up. The lights flashed and she danced and rapped about in glittering gold. There seemed to be some sound issues, and it was hard to hear her singing during the show. A dozen or so audience members were brought on stage twice, once during “Bad Girls.” At some point near the end, M.I.A. and her dancers started throwing small objects at the crowd. We had no idea what it was until they exploded all over us in bright colors. The crowd surged forward for Paper Planes, covered in colored paper and ecstatically happy.