Here's my review from the entire weekend. Enjoy, and look out for a very special rant at the end.
Woke up bright and early at 5:30 to a text from Nou, letting me know that DJFreaq wouldn't be able to make it. Headed down to Tacoma at about 7, boarded the train at 9:30.
We met a crazy, drunk Swede on the way there. I first noticed him when he was walking up and down the lounge car. Eventually, he noticed that Nou and I were kind of bored, so began talking with us, or rather, to us. He seemed alright at first; talked about various programming languages, how Google was absolutely pointless and that IE was amazing. Nou ended up getting a phone call from his friend and left me with the Swede. By the end of him talking to me, I was a "Baseball-Playing-Gay-Conservative-who-Should-Have-Nothing-to-do-With-Music-Because-He's-Never-Listened-to-an-Entire-Beatles-Album." Throughout the next few hours he increasingly smelt worse and worse of alcohol. Amtrak kicked him off at Eugene, and his original destination was San Diego.
Arrive in Emeryville at about 8AM, having not slept at all thanks to lovely, uncomfortable coach seating. Took the bus over to San Francisco, got to the Hilton and relaxed for the day. We went shopping a bit, I bought Digweed's 'GU14:Hong Kong,' Thievery Corporation's 'The Richest Man in Babylon' and Underworld's '1992-2002.' Nou bought some shoes. Met up with a friend that night and caught a showing of Crank, which not-surprisingly wasn't that great.
Right, this is where the review starts getting long. We headed out to the TA meet, which was considerably smaller than last year's. Met Boomers for the first time, saw Psiweaver and the guy from New York (well, he was from NY last year) again. Met henryv and two other people, who's TA names I forget. Sorry. Met Fuzzychicken later on.
The parade felt far more organized than last year, and I had a lot more fun this time around. It was cool to see all of the little kids who were getting into it, from the ones in the Spundae truck, to one dressed in pink alongside Grandpa, to the one on her dad's shoulders waving at everybody and clapping her hands. Kinda heartwarming.
Getting into the parade grounds was less of a clusterfuck this year, as well. Once in, I spent most of my time wandering between the Pink Mammoth, Take Me to Bed and Spundae. The one issue that I think really, really, really needs to be addressed next year is letting people know the timeslots for each float. It's not hard to print-up a couple of notices and tape them to the float.
Before we headed back to the hotel and rest, we saw that greased-up near-naked guy start jerking off in the middle of the square while some other guy recorded it.
When we got back to the festival grounds, I headed over to the Pink Mammoth. Pole Folder was on, and I think was just starting (again, lack of timeslots). Two tracks in, and one of his CDJs fails. Then suddenly, the entire float goes dead. The whole crowd clears out, save for five or six people counting myself. The float comes back on and he starts tearing it up. Unfortunately, the crowd never came back and stayed under 15 people. The float dies again, and I'm the only one in the crowd who's been there the entire time. Pole Folder was happy about that, and gave me a CD chock-full of a bunch of sets of his. Badass. I headed over to Take Me to Bed hoping that Hybrid would've been on, but it was Grandmaster Flash. Did anyone else notice that the high-end frequencies seemed to die on their system?
Headed over to the Afterparty line (see the rant at the end). When we finally got in, we scrambled to figure out where a couple of things were (again, see rant). I had to make the choice between Glaude and Lawrence (by the way, why didn't they hand out timeslots like last year?). I chose Glaude, and he tore the fucking roof off. God, easily one of the best sets I've heard all year. The energy he had was just nuts. Headed over to check out Junkie, who was pretty good. Oakey was okay. Some of his mixing was actually on beat, some of it wasn't. He played a couple of classics that went over nicely. Out of the three times I've seen him, that's probably the best he's done. Above & Beyond were good. No real comment there.
Slept-in, headed over to Hayward to say hi to my aunt and uncle, then came back and slept some more.
Checked-out at noon, and because our train didn't leave until the evening we spent the day wandering around the city. We walked down Market, down Embarcadero to Fisherman's Wharf, grabbed some food, headed up to Coit Tower (if it's the last thing I do, I'm going to buy a place to live on that hill), headed down through Chinatown, back to the Metreon and killed some more time by checking out Jackass 2. Headed back to Virgin and purchased Banco de Gaia's '10 Years,' Emerson's 'GU15:Uruguay,' and a mix CD by Kruder and Dorfmeister.
We upgraded to a sleeper car, and our train was delayed from 9 to 11. We hit a 2.5 hour delay overnight because of some problem with a bridge, and a couple of other smaller delays because of Union Pacific maintenance. We finally arrived tonight at 11, and now I'm here, writing this.
Excellent, excellent weekend. We worked out the kinks from last year's event and everything, aside from being down one person, went smoothly. The size of the parade was incredible, and it's great to see that the name change really didn't do anything. We'll be back next year.
|Originally posted by SKILLS |
This has been a problem on our last two big events, namely last year's AFTER PARTY and the 9th Annual ETD POP!
In short, with more and more people taking advantage of the convenience of purchasing online tickets, especially out of area party goers, we were just not prepared to handle this growth. With a computer crash here, and one there, things got way backed up, to say the least.
We can go on record and say this....IT WILL NOT HAPPEN AT THIS YEAR'S AFTER PARTY or any of our future shows. We will have 6-8 online ticket processors, vs. 2 to 3 in the past.
Well, you were right. Computers didn't crash. However, the one thing that I believe did crash was "common sense" related to event planning.
I arrived at the entrance at 7:30, and there was no box office open or anything. I saw someone in a suit working on something and asked him where the VIP entrance would be. He told me to stand at this one spot. That turned out to not be the case, because he didn't tell me that I needed to obtain my lanyard and "goodie-bag" first. So, I hopped into the VIP/Guestlist/Artist line. I was about the seventh person in line.
8:15 roles around and I see not a single person from event staff out front to coordinate the lines. Not one person from either the Bill Graham Civic Center nor the Spundae/Skills crew. By this time the box office line is incredibly out of hand, and my seventh place in line has rapidly become the 25th.
8:30, the doors haven't opened, the line gets worse. 8:45 and it looks like a massive clusterfuck; I have it on video, if you'd like me to cite proof. It's approximately 9:00 and the doors are open now, giving way to a massive push/shove clusterfuck. General admission line is getting in faster than we are. Wait, what's that?
Yes. The sole reason I spent the extra money was so that I didn't have to wait in a horrible line like last year's event. I spent all of that money to stand in a group, not a line, and watch general admission get in before I did.
I guess by now, you're thinking, "Hey, he's just bitching, he's not going to add anything constructive to this." And you're right on one part, I am bitching. I will, however, be constructive...
1.) Event staff, be it BGCC or Spundae/Skills should've been out there like white on rice at 7:30, maybe even 7:00 in an effort to coordinate the crowd
2.) You needed to rope-off the VIP/Guestlis/Artist line(s), because that place was FUBAR
3.) See the quote below...
|Originally posted by SKILLS |
The box office will be open at 1PM, the day of the show. You can purchase tickets, upgrade to VIP, and claim your will call tickets & VIP bags at this time. Again, the box office will be open directly in front of the Bill Graham at 1PM.
Umm, I talked to multiple people and they said that they were turned away. My point here is that you need to keep your promises.
Seriously, you guys failed and you failed hard. The only other aspect of my VIP "privilege" was the free water that ran out by the beginning of Junkie's set.
USC is to Seattle's massives like Skills is to San Francisco's. However, where one lacks the other is better; USC doesn't do too much fancy indoor decorations, while Skills has some incredible setups. USC may open their doors late, but their lines, from my experiences, have never been fucked, while each Skills party I've been to have always had fucked up lines.
In 19 years I've been to concert after concert, club after club, massive after massive and I have never, ever seen entrance to an event so unorganized, clusterfucked, confused, and seemingly far-less-than-half-assed as I have that night.
|Originally posted by SKILLS |
THANKS FOR THE CONTINUED SUPPORT!
Unfortunately, you've lost damn near all of mine.
Photos and videos will arrive tomorrow.