THE BAMBOOZLE 2008 was an unforgettable experience this time around. Once in a life time sets by legendary acts such as Snoop Dogg, Jimmy Eat World, Coheed & Cambria, and even special performances such as Vinny from The Movielife were my top picks for this year’s festival. As a rare festival attendee, I got to witness some performances I will not see again for a long time.
Despite unfavorable weather on Saturday, I think it was my favorite day of the weekend. It was a long day full of hard synning but well worth it in the end. I was able to do a meet and greet with one of my favorite bands of all time, Say Anything (really rad dudes besides their socially awkward lead singer and genius, Max Bemis). It’s never a dull experience meeting that band or watching them perform live. My first performance I witnessed was Vinny doing a special Movielife set with Set Your Goals. I’m really glad and grateful I got to see first hand this set because I’ve never seen The Movielife live when they were still around and I never thought Vinny would put himself out there and take a risk by playing those songs. It was also really awesome to be part of such hardcore, dedicated Movie Life fans in the crowd. I don’t think there was a single person not singing along or throwing down and it was definitely a sight to see. The set included fan favorites like “Hand Grenade,” “Pinky Swear,” “This Time Next Year,” “Hey,” and closer, “Jamestown.” Sporting old school bright retro sunglasses, Vinny kept a smile on his face and seemed humbled by the crowd’s enthusiasm. I don’t think the set could have been more perfect and it was nothing but cheers when he left the stage.
Next, I passed by the Less than Jake performance. Though I’m not a ska fan, you can’t deny how great these guys are on stage. I’ve seen them a few times at these festivals and each time it’s been a riot. This time for Bamboozle, the entire band performed in cop uniforms and proceeded to throw boxes of donuts into the crowd. The crowd was having a ball with their free donuts as well as the energy LTJ gave into their set. Definitely a classic moment for ska fans this weekend.
One of my favorite Syndicate activities this past weekend was the spray paint t-shirts. Kids gathered from far and wide to get a custom spray painted t-shirt by synners for the bands, Be Your Own Pet, Forever the Sickest Kids, and Between the Trees. Neon colors were in the air and it was awesome to see how excited kids got just being able to sport the tee’s. Some fans even gave their own clothing to be spray painted to show their dedication to the bands. It was very exciting to see what creative ideas the Syn can come up with at these types of events.
Another favorite set of mine was Saves the Day. They are among my top 5 favorite bands of all time and I think they captured the attention of everyone, not only festival goers, but vendors near the stage working the booths, and professionals from the industry who gathered on stage to watch them perform live. Chris was in a cheerful mood and wouldn’t stop saying “I love you” to fans out in the crowd. They played old and new songs including one of my personal favorites, “You Vandal,” “The End,” “Firefly,” “Head for the Hills” and they closed with “At Your Funeral.” I expected them to play songs only off their latest 2 albums, so to be able to see them play oldies was an awesome treat. Whoever didn’t catch this set definitely missed out.
If you got tired of rocking out to punk bands like The Movielife and Saves the Day, then you should have joined the Saturday night dance party provided by Men Women And Children. The band couldn’t have come on at a better time, the sun was setting, the night was young, and a big dance party is just what everyone needed to get their moods high. If you haven’t seen MWC live yet, I highly suggest you do so. They bring high energy and I dare you not to dance to their music. They played a fantastic set including two new songs, and to say that the crowd was having a good time would be an understatement. People were running to the Rebel Youth stage to join the party and the crowd was completely off their feet dancing up a storm. Being so cold and tired from the day’s festivities took a back seat as I got to dance the night away with these guys. One of the most fun sets I saw all weekend.
Saturday night concluded with equally amazing performances by Jimmy Eat World and the one and only, Snoop Dogg. Both of these headliners was a once in a life time opportunity that did not go unnoticed. Jimmy Eat World by far was the best sounding band of the festival. Their instruments came through the speakers without a flaw, the vocals were great, and their performance was just in sync. Not one criticism can be said about their performance. JEW did some of their classic songs like “In the Middle” and “Sweetness,” as well as hits of their newest albums. Fans of all ages crowded the NowWhat.com stage to witness this performance. Immediately following JEW was hip hop legend, Snoop Dogg. I think the entire festival crowd was present during this performance. Introduced by none other than gun shots through the speakers, Snoop Dogg rightfully so claimed ownership of fans of all ages as he performed classic hits like “PIMP,” “Murder was the Case that they Gave Me,” “Gin and Juice” (in which he asked fans to drink with him), “I Wanna Love You,” “Nothin But a G-Thang,” “Beautiful” which he dedicated to the ladies, and recent hit single, “Sexual Eruption.” Staying for the entire set was a must on everyone’s to-do list, no matter how tired or cold you were. What other time would you be able to see Snoop live? Exactly.
Saturday at Bamboozle was nothing short of epic. Being able to see so many legendary acts in one day was something unexpected and exciting. Although my body was in so much pain it was hard just standing, I wouldn’t take back any of it because my experience from that day was incredible. I’d like to see how next year’s festival will top this.