7.12.2011

Joining the Oxegentry

I am not a hipster. I don't wear fedoras, have multiple pierced appendages, or walk around with massive headphones on my ears listening to pitchfork's latest playlist. I didn't own a pair of skinny jeans until I moved to LA, and even now, I prefer to wear them with my cowboy boots and off-the-shoulder, powder-blue peasant top. And I still don't own a pair of Converse. Before moving to California, my knowledge of techno music did not extend beyond "Sandstorm," and my idea of a music festival was the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (I'm not knockin' the rodeo. It rocks). I am as Texan as they get, and though my style, in both clothing and music taste, has made a turn for the Cali in the past 2 years, I will never stop wearing my pearl earrings or listening to my country music. I told y'all these facts of life as a little precursor to the rest of this post just so y'all know that I am fully aware that I am not hipster music festival aficionado. My taste in music is eclectic, ranging from country to rap to alternative to techno and beyond, but I am in no way qualified to make bold assertions or judgments about indie band performances. I know this. And I'm totally okay with it. All that being said, I adore music and my music taste, especially as of the past 2 years, isn't all that terrible. If you disagree, it's alright. I'll still be friends with you. I might talk shit behind your back, but I'll still act like I like you to your face. I like good songs, and when it comes to festivals, I like good performances. I'm not hard to please, and if the music is conducive to dancing and/or fist-pumping (as painful as that is to type), and/or singing along, and/or crying tears of joy, I'm a happy camper (not literally--more on that later). ANYWAYS, let's get right to it, shall we?

Oxegen. Here goes. It was nothing short of magical. I've had some pretty frickin' incredible weekends this summer, but this one just might take the cake. And at the risk of offending some pretty hardcore coachellers out there, I have to say, I think I liked Oxegen better than Coachella. Before you get all hot and bothered, let me explain myself. I LOVED Coachella. It was my first festival experience (aside from ACL circa 2002 when I hadn't heard of 96% of the bands performing), and it was everything I had hoped for and more. But Oxegen was too--plus even more than that. I think the primary reason for this was just the whole European vibe in general. By now, I've made it extremely clear to y'all (unless you're living under a stupid rock...boys will be girls, anyone?) that I'm madly in love with Europe and Europeans, especially the Irish. And lucky for me, Oxegen was packed with the Irish and brimming with European pizzazz. Being an American girl in the presence of about a zillion cute Irish guys never gets old. Coming back to America, and LA especially, where hot American girls are as plentiful as Starbucks and where we don't have cute foreign accents anymore is going to be an unwelcome reality check. But that's beside the point. So, the people at Oxegen, for the most part at least, were a barrel of laughs. Literally. Everyone was just down to party all. the. time. The sense of camaraderie was palpable, and we made Irish best friends every single day.

Now, since this was a music festival and all, let's talk music. This is where the whole Coachella/Oxegen comparison gets really tricky, because with festivals of that size, you can't really use the WHOLE lineup as a comparison. No matter how many incredible artists are on the lineup, it is impossible to see everyone you want to in just 3 days. Plus, there is always overlap between artists you want to see; so sacrifices must be made. Not human sacrifices (since I know you were thinking that), but musical sacrifices. There were definitely groups that I would have liked to see at Coachella that we didn't (Mumford & Sons, Bloody Beetroots) just as there were groups at Oxegen that I wanted to see but didn't (The Naked and Famous, Bright Eyes). It sucks, but you just gotta accept it and focus on all the incredible groups you DID see (ALL OF THEM). That's also why it's not fair to compare the entire lineup of Coachella and Oxegen. The whole lineup of Coachella was probably a little better than Oxegen, but the acts that I saw at Oxegen were better, at least in my opinion.

Let's start with day 1. I was already beyond stoked because my high-school luhvah Parker was here and it was beyond surreal to be casually kickin' it with her at this insane music festival in the middle of the Irish countryside.
lovely view of porta potties in the background <3

sippin on drank under a tree
Soooo Parker and I pregamed relaxed and engaged in intelligent conversation for a while before meeting up with the rest of our friday crew and heading over to Weezer. I've always been a big Weezer fan, but I forgot how many epically awesome songs they sing. Undone? Say it ain't so? Buddy Holly? The Good Life? Memories? Island in the Sun?! Beverly Hills??!! I know. And lucky for us, they decided to essentially perform the sure-to-be chart-topping album Weezer: Greatest Hits of Your Angsty Preteen Years. It was thrilling. I took a video.
video

Yeah, I guess I was more concerned with documenting the lively company than actually filming any of Weezer. I also took some photos. Try not to get jealous of how good I look in the first photo. I was so lucky that it started raining because I got to bust out my sexy leopard-print poncho. Hoods really flatter my face.

"you look like a homeless cheetah"
not as attractive 
friends are fun
weezer party animals
Sooo post-Weezer, we made our way over to Tinie Tempah, which was both insanely fun and absolutely terrifying. Parker and I got separated from the group and decided that we would take advantage of this opportunity to push and shove our way to the front of the (extremely raucous) crowd. This was both the best and worst idea of our lives. It was the best because I've never had so much fun in a packed crowd in my life. Tinie is QUITE the performer, and the crowd was just eating it up and loving every minute. But it was the worst idea because towards the end of the concert, when we had finally made our way right to the front and center of the crowd, Tinie announced that for his next and final song, appropriately entitle "Mosh Pit," he would not stop singing (or rather, chanting "mosh pit" over and over and over again) until he saw the "biggest and rowdiest mosh pit the world has ever f*ckin seen!!!" Let's just say, I'm extremely thankful that we both made it out of there alive. I think I was airborne for a solid 10 minutes, and I'm pretty sure I made at least 4 people bleed trying to claw my way out of there. In hindsight, it was awesome, and I don't regret it in the slightest.

After Tinie Tempah, we attempted to find the Naked & Famous, but somehow we got distracted by mini bottles of wine and a ferris wheel. Totally understandable.
romantic
behold: OXEGEN
spotted: empty wine bottle, stage left
life was so good at this moment
After our little date, it was time for The Strokes. Friends, the Strokes were everything we ever wanted and more. I had seen (and loved) them at Coachella, but I think they were even better the second time around at Oxegen. To be fair, at Coachella, I saw them the very end of the last day when the breath of life had all but been sucked out of me and it was all I could manage to keep my eyes open and stand on my own two feet. But regardless of my physical condition, they were and are amazing. I took another vid!
video

I also took a bunch of photos, but it had been pouring down rain earlier anddd we had stayed out until 5 am the night before, so we were getting really tired. Thus, we both look like soaking wet crackheads in the pics. I'll spare you.  

So after the amazingness of the Strokes, we miraculously ran into our crew just in time for Swedish House Mafia. Wow. My mind was blown. I was reallyyyy struggling at this point since I had hardly slept the night before, was starting to get sick (more on that later), and had been on my feet dancing and walking for virtually 10 hours straight, but lo and behold, as soon as Swedish House came on with their crazy lightshow and all, I was rejuvenated. They were awesome. When Miami 2 Ibiza came on, I nearly had a heart attack. Ever since I booked my trip to Ibiza, that song just gets me so pumped. God I can't wait for that trip. Anyways, after partying hard for the majority of the show, our exhaustion finally got the best of us and Parker and I threw in the towel for the night. We had decided last minute that considering the rain and cold, camping might not be the best idea for us high-maintenance girls, especially since our apartments were just a 45 minute bus ride from the venue. Best. Decision. Ever. Parker and I were literally laughing hysterically all the way home at the thought of camping. My warm bed and shower were the most blissful experiences of my life. That might have been a slight exaggeration, but they were amazing. I did the whole camping thing at Coachella, and yes, it was an incredible experience, but I think I like being clean and rested a little more. Call me a wimp, at least I'll smell nice. 

So after the most amazing night sleep, it was day two. Now, there was a little bit of a damper on the whole weekend because as I alluded to earlier, I got sick. I woke up with a sore throat on Thursday, and it only got worse as the weekend progressed. By Saturday, it felt like knives to swallow, and I'm fairly certain I had a fever. I chose to disregard this little impediment. Plus, lucky for me, Irish medicine is extremely potent, so after taking a few Irish "advil" and consuming cough drops like candy, my throat was tolerable and my fever was not (as) noticeable. Okay, pity party over. 

We were in especially high spirits today because a. we were SO much more rested and b. jennie joined us! We hopped right off the bus and literally sprinted to Two Door Cinema Club. I am 100% in love with them. My loves the Beightler sisters (shoutout! miss yall!) introduced me to them last semester AND we saw them at Coachella. They are soooooooooooo goooooooooooood. If you don't know them, call em up for a chat (bad joke), and if you don't like them, I don't like you. I know I keep saying this, and it very well might be because Oxegen is fresh in my mind, but I think they were even better than they were at Coachella. After all, they ARE Irish, so they were probably just so happy to be back in their homeland. I took a video, but the whole time you can hear me singing obnoxiously loud and saying annoying things like "this is my favorite song!!" so I'm not posting it. BUT I will post a youtube video of them for those of you who haven't yet discovered their glory. Dees is my favorite song:


Andddd some photos:
be still, my heart

up-close and personal, lovin life

MY GINGE LOVER!!!
UGH the lead singer is the cutest little ginger with sideswept hair. I want to marry him, but I think Leslie might beat me to the punch. Oh one more note about TDCC: they are one of the few bands that sound just as good if not better live as they do recorded. The ginge is just brimming with natural talent and precious colorful cardigans. Be mine.

Okayyy soooo then Parker and I set off for the RedBull Electric Ballroom to meet up with Jennie and the rest of the crew at Steve Aoki. This stage was awesome because unlike all the other outdoor stages, it was completely indoors, covered with this massive tent. It housed a lot of the crazy techno artists, which was great because from the outside, you couldn't see at all what was going on inside, but when you walked in, it was just this huge raging party. Steve Aoki was SOOO much fun. And that was that.

Then we joined up with Jennie, and set out for some adventures in the form of ROLLER COASTERS. Yes, another reason why I liked Oxegen over Coachella was that Oxegen sported dozens of crazy roller coasters, allowing us to indulge in some 5-year-old fun in between shows. I think Jennie and I rode this one called "Xtreme" literally upwards of 15 times. It was one of those crazy, flippy ones where you are thrown all over the place and kinda feel sick afterwards but is SO much fun that it's worth it. Considering the fact that I was already sick to begin with and Jennie had just broken her collarbone like 2 months ago, it might not have been the most intelligent of decisions. But this was not a weekend of intelligence. It was a weekend of fun. And fun was had all around.

literally 15 times

5 year old bffs

who are these gentlemen?! a rugby team or something?
We evidently made some friends who I think were some sort of sports team. They enjoyed our accents. We enjoyed theirs.
Before we knew it, it was time for Deadmau5 (to the parents out there, it's pronounced "dead mouse"). Wow. Deadmau5 may have been my favorite act of all of Oxegen. This was my first time seeing him, and I was completely blown away. The whole performance was mesmerizing, and Deadmau5 is so mysterious and elusive with that huge mouse mask. I loved it. When the light show and music was raging all around him and he was just standing there in the middle, with his huge ears and all, it felt like he was controlling the world. Powerful shit. Here are some vids and pix:
video


video

deadmau5 almighty
He played for nearly 2 hours and even after another day of non-stop activity, we stayed for the whole thing, loving every minute. Our insurmountable, inexplicable energy even lasted for the bus ride home when we met some new friends ("willy nilly" and "tricky dicky") and treated them to a delightful, full-volume rendition of "save a horse, ride a cowboy." They loved us. But really though. They got our number and invited us to a party this week. I'm gonna miss being exotic.

So, before we knew it, it was day 3. Parker sadly had to go, buuuuut I had a new guest! Remember this loser from London?
Oh wait...I haven't done my London post yet...my bad. Anyways, Catherine Cohen came to Dublin!!!!
For y'all that haven't had the delight of meeting this little gem, we were bffs circa 1st grade--now. Soi fun, and soi random.

sunshiney bffls
I'll have to say, I'm pretty proud of myself for rallying and making it out this day. I woke up feeling like death. My throat ACHED, and I was positive I had fever. I'm sure my mom is cringing right now reading this (sorry madre), but I had paid for my ticket and sunday had debatably the best lineup. I HAD to go. After some serious pep talks from my friends, a few gallons of water, some delightfully potent Irish advil, a "flu-buster" smoothie, and 500 throat lozenges, I felt better! Honestly, it was all in the attitude. And once I arrived back at Oxegen, my new home for the weekend, I forgot all about being sick. We arrived that day just in time to hear the delightful musical stylings of Kesha performing the end of her brilliant tune "Tik Tok." It was beautiful. But seriously, what the eff was Kesha doing at Oxegen? Who invited her? I secretly was hoping to run into her at the bar or something, but they didn't sell any liquor--just beer and wine--so I'm sure that was a long shot. Afterwards, we had about an hour to kill before anyone we wanted to see, so what did we do? Ride roller coasters, obviously. This time however, genius Catherine taught us how to ride it once and then covertly stay in the ride area and get on again without paying for another token. It totally worked and we got a free ride...um, SCORE. I may have spent 200 euro on my tickets, but I made 5 euro cheating the roller coaster line!!! #worthit

After our delinquent shenanigans, it was time for a much-anticipated band...JIMMY EAT WORLD!!! Now, I have to say, I saw them at Coachella and was a leeeetle bit disappointed. But now looking back, I realize it was probably just because we were all exhausted and dying of heat stroke and spent the whole concert sitting on the ground suuuuper far back. At Oxegen however, we were in the VERY front and fully alive to dance and sing the whole time. It was spectacular. So many teenage memories. Ahhh I loved them! Good ole Jimmy was SO into it and I swear we made eye contact. Plus he was rocking a baby blue, short sleeve button down that I just loved.
in love

blissful jennie

video

After the joys of JEW (funny acronym), it was time for Beyonce. Oh yes. I was NOT going to miss that. This is where my non-hipster aura came into full swing. Now, to be honest, Beyonce wasn't one of the acts I was most excited about. At least not according to what I told people. We went because it's freakin BEYONCE and she's like the superwoman goddess of America. We weren't expecting to fall in love with her, but lo and behold, we did. I actually think I turned into a lesbian for the half hour that we watched Beyonce. She's just SO beautiful, has the most bangin bod, is such a good dancer, is an incredible singer, and still somehow manages to stay humble. I'm proud to come from her hometown!! (htown represent). It was especially rad because she debuted with a fabulous selection of throwback songs from the days of middle school dance parties when we had just started "grinding" with guys. As soon as "Crazy in Love" came on, I was transported right back to that middle school gym, wearing a pink and black tube-top dress, a middle part, and kitten heels (ew), standing in a circle of girls awkwardly bouncing around, trying to pretend like we weren't all just desperately waiting for some brace-faced guy to approach us and ask us to dance. Ahh, those were the days. It was awesome. Oh man and then she played "Naughty Boy," always a favorite, and when we first heard the "oh, oh, oh, oh, oh...'s" of "Single Ladies," you better believe our hands were up in the air flippin' that ring finger.
video

 It wasn't long however before we got a little fed-up with the crowd, which consisted largely of rude 15 year old Irish punks, and headed over to The National. I wasn't cool enough to know who they were before Oxegen, but luckily, Catherine is. Sooo she took us there, and they were really good! Download their stuff. It rocks.
amy winehands

omg soi funnn

lovin life
Post National, it was AFROJACK TIME. My favorite time. Ahhh I'm so in love with Afrojack! Though they might not have been my favorite act musically, I DEFINITELY had the most fun at Afrojack--at both Oxegen and Coachella! They were in the Red Bull Electric Ballroom, and it was literally one huge party in there. I've never danced/jumped around so much in my life. I probably burned like 4000 calories just from that concert alone, which totally isn't true but is fun to exaggerate anyway. After the madness of Afrojack, it was time for the final concert of the night: Coldplay. We spent so much time raging our faces off at Afrojack that we missed the first half of Coldplay, but I'm totally fine with that because we caught my favorite song--Fix You. Okay, I totally agree that it's 100% cheesy, but it's also 100% amazing and powerful, no matter how many times I hear it. What is it about that song that makes it so emotional?! God, it gets me every time. Oh and then there were fireworks. FIREWORKS. I had chills. (PS, if any of my high school friends who were at hilary's house before sr girls circa freshman year are reading this right now...I still think of that night every time I hear this song haha).
video

And that my friends was Oxegen for ya. I'm basically in depression now that it's over.

I know this post was epically long, so if you made it this far, I commend you. I still feel like I have so much more to say about it, but I'm sure you're sick of hearing my (metaphorical) voice right now, so I'll just leave it at that.

Oh, I got an exciting piece of news at work today: my boss is giving me the go-ahead to write my first magazine piece, as in actually published in the printed magazine!!! Thus far, I've only written for the website so I'm beyond stoked to actually be able to SEE my writing in print! Rad.

Only 2 more days of work and then our last weekend in Dublin!!! Next weekend we'll be in Ibiza/Barcelona, so I'm not like, broken up about it, BUT I am broken up about the fact that in just 3 short weeks, my time here will be over. But that's a sad song for another day.

For now, I'm off to transfer my laundry to the dryer (for 6 effing euros) and catch up on the bachelorette. Great evening.

Later y'all,

LB



4 comments:

  1. that was a really great way to live vicariously through the two of you...soo jealous it all sounds amazing!!

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  2. seriously beautiful.
    just reading that made me...happy. i commend your life carpe-ing skills

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  3. ahh thanks guys!!! reading your comments makes me happy. mizzz yalll!!

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