Download Festival @ Shoreline Amphitheatre

We arrived just in time to catch Yeasayer's set and simply put: This band won't exist within two years. They are dreadful. Next came Cut // Copy who were decent, but I spent the 35 minutes or so reading a book. Mutemath followed and I nearly picked up our blanket and walked in front of a bus. They were that bad. Next was Brand New which led to the following line by my girlfriend, "This is the worst band I've ever seen live." And she was right. Good god, how do these bands have fans.

After this plethora of garbage, we finally got to see Gang of Four followed by Jesus & Mary Chain. Both were quite good, and despite there only being about 400 folks in attendance at this point, the $40 (plus $15 to park in a barren lot) spent on tickets finally felt somewhat worthwhile.

But the real story behind this absolutely atrocity of a "festival" was the lack of thinking of the folks behind booking and organizing this event. Whomever had the final say in the choice of acts should never, ever have the responsibility of booking a dinner party, let alone a massive music festival. For one, the acts overall were quite weak. I mean, Tapes n' Tapes? But the biggest failing was having absolutely no understanding of creating a list of bands that would reach the greatest number of people, and keep a steady flow going throughout the day. The aforementioned basura, Brand New, had a pretty vocal crowd, but once they departed, so did the 1,500 or so high school chaps in Ray Bans. Did the promoters really think that they'd stick around for Gang of Four? These kids didn't know the difference between Gang of Four and the Four Tops.

The Shoreline Amphitheatre maxes out at approximately 22,000. I can't imagine that this festival sold more than 3,000 tickets. It was an absolute embarrassment and I can only imagine that the music industry will, once again, be a few men short. Unlike similar downsizing throughout the industry, this time the cuts are justified.