Above, a brilliant new cut from the legendary ORBITAL who we had the pleasure to interview back in the day. ROCK ON.
The Cruel World Festival announced an abbreviated follow up show for Sunday, May 21st, to their event from last Saturday. Performing Sunday were; Gary Numan at 6pm until 6:45, Iggy Pop from 7pm until 8pm, and Siouxsie from 8:20pm until 9:50pm. The Club House dance floor was also happening, running from 5 to 6pm. Free Parking was given, with all attendees parking in or near the “F” section. Most food vendors were also back. The VIP section was still featured. The press area was closed, with no media photography permitted for press. All entry was free for those who had tickets to yesterday’s date.
This was a great move by promoter Goldenvoice, who has gone above and beyond the call to do right by the fans.
The early cancellation last night was the fault of the City of Pasadena which owns the Rose Bowl. The cancellation was NOT the fault of Goldenvoice or any of the bands.
The Rose Bowl venue is allegedy in debt, despite reportedly making millions of dollars each year renting the venue out 13 times a year for concerts, plus renting it out for other events in addition to the 13 including weddings, flea markets, and more. There is no logical reason the Rose Bowl or its adjacent venue of Brookside should be in debt. This just goes to show you–as if you needed any more proof–that government is corrupt, worthless, and incompetent. And anything government touches turns to crap.
Rose Bowl owned by The City of Pasadena wouldn’t exist without promoters like AEG and Goldevoice, who had stepped in to clean up the mess the city has made of things, yet again.
Many were laughing at each other in the parking lot this night, attempting to document the location of where their car was parked, after we all experienced the hell that was the parking lot situation here the night before. More on that later.
Sunday’s event surprisingly saw a huge number of people return, numbering in the tens of thousands. We unfortunately missed Gary Numan’s second night here tonight, but saw him Saturday night and he was of course great.
We saw lots more Iggy, which was totally worth dropping everything and rushing to the festival for. Iggy Pop was in top form physically, and vocally, sounded great. He played some excellent classic cuts from The Stooges including “Death Trip,” “Gimme Danger,” and “Now I Wanna’ Be Your Dog,” which saw him getting down on his knees with his arms extended and flopping his hands down like a puppy. He ended up dropping down on the ground and gyrating on the stage floor a bit, and earlier in the set, pulling the side of his pants down on a couple of occassions.
Iggy’s band sounded amazing this night–even better than the night before, in the end, creating a beautiful wall of music and sound that blended together in a sonic wave of harmonic bliss. The sound was perfect for this set, with every horn, every guitar, and every vocal delivery miked and produced well.
Aside from Billy Idol when I was 12 years old, “Raw Power” by Iggy and the Stooges was the first punk album I ever bought at 15. It blew me away and changed my life, with a sound as powerful and great as anything I had ever heard before. It was a true honor to see this legend.
Siouxsie came on around 20 minutes later, starting with a slow vibe, then taking a moment to discuss last night. “Can you believe it?” She said to the crowd, referring to the City of Pasadena cutting the night early last night. She went on to deride the Pasadena Fire Department who evidently forced Iggy to stop last night, and preventing her from even performing, all due to a tiny few flashes of heat lightning someone saw during a nearly cloudless, sunny day. She thanked all of us for returning, joking about what’s one more night to wait for her, after we had waited 15 years.
She launched into “Spellbound,” “Kiss Them For Me,” “Dear Prudence,” and other classics, which everyone seemed to love. Musically, the bass was turned up too high, with the soundman evidently hardly adjusting it–if at all–after Iggy Pop. Musical instruments had very little distiniction, mostly muffled together in a low bass tone too deep for some of the songs. Vocally, Siouxsie sounded as warm and beautiful as always. Her range however, has noticably diminished, which can easily happen if one does not sing regularly. Despite this, she is still a pro, and never tried to hit notes she was no longer capable of. Sound wise, the volume was too low for Siouxsie.
Despite these criticisms however, it was a dream come true seeing her after all these years, and after falling in love with her music also when I was just a 15 year old kid first getting into punk and new wave. And like Chemical Method I chatted with here Saturday night told me, “That’s what this is about. It’s about feeding that inner child, and having that feeing again with all of these bands we’ve all loved since we were kids.”
The Cruel World Festival was amazing, with so many great artists, and a massive amount of beautiful, cool, great people in attendance that alone–many of whom were all exciting to see.
Cruel World Festival commenced just at around 10:30pm liast night It started at 12 noon. Someone saw a little flash of lightning, and so according to some, the Pasadena Police ordered Iggy Pop to stop singing. He reportedly didn’t, so they cut the sound to his mic. It came on again for a few seconds when he sang more, then it cut again. Finally, Iggy reportedly announced they were forcing everyone to evacuate the venue of the Rose Bowl. Iggy had barely played around 20 minutes, and the other main headliner at the bigger of the 3 stages–Siouxsie–was totally cancelled. Human League also had their set cut short.
Needless to say, this was a total jerk move by the coppers, and totally unnecessary. Do they even know how many people are even killed by lightning? 28 people are killed on average by lightning per year in the entire United States. Do you know how many people are killed by the police each year? An average of one thousand people are murdered by the cops in the U.S. every year. (source: world population review) So tell me–WHAT needs shut down? A concert under a cool summer night with perfect weather–which it was? Or some bastards on a power trip that have nothing better to do?
These Pasadena cops started looming around like a dark shadow during Billy Idol’s set, with some reports allegeding that they even threatened to pull the plug on his performance.
Despite this travesty in the history of rock’n’roll, and despite this festival being held at The Rose Bowl–which subnormal magazine votes as the absolute worst venue in the city of LA, this was still–thanks to the promoters GoldenVoice who pulled it off, and thanks to the amazing bands they booked–a great day and night.
We at least got to see Iggy Pop, the so-called godfather of punk rock, perform “Raw Power,” and a number of other classic cuts. Iggy still has a limp from a fall he reportedly took off an amp years back. He still plays shirtless, and despite his body finally showing some age, his face has aged like a fine wine, with a profile as handsome and classic as ever. Vocally, his sound was excellent. His band–tight. Despite a few jocks and a floppy haired kid smashing into me far away from the stage, the crowd was extremely cool. A young female guitar player with Iggy’s new band–although looking really awkward on camera, did well, as did the oustanding player on horn.
Prior to this, I caught Love and Rockets at the same stage, who basically dominated the night with musical expertise, psychedic brilliance, and a hallucinatory tri-screen video show that easily made up for anyone not able to see the band so far away. Love and Rockets are simply a stunning band in the studio, and equally brilliant live.
Before Love and Rockets who I saw back in the day, I of course had to see Billy Idol, who was actually the biggest star here of them all, who surprisingly did not headline. Billy Idol not only sounded great, having kept his voice in top shape, but he also looks great. Soon into his set he peeled of his leather jacket and shirt, putting the jacket back on as the crowd went wild. Billy Idol is one of the few from the punk scene who crossed over into the pop world, and remained cool and true to himself all the way. His songs are just timeless classics, and everybody on the planet knows who he is, and most everyone from every generation loves or ast least likes some of his music–understadably. Beyond that, Billy Idol is just iconic. He is a masterful performer and great entertainer,and it was an honor to see him live.
Before Billy Idol, I had to split my time seeing Molchat Doma to see Gang of Four, who sounded absolutely fantastic. The crowd went wild when they played their biggest club hit, “I Love a Man in a Uniform,” among more.
Echo and the Bunnymen, who I had seen multiple times before–back in the day, just gets better and better live. A truly masterful, brillant, great band with countless classic hits from “Sugar Kisses,” to “Bring on the Dancing Horses,” and more, they sounded amazing.
Adam Ant who I was really excited to see, cancelled for some reason, with his team stating he hoped to be back next year. Squeeze replaced him, who I didn’t see.
Gary Numan played concurrently. Gary Numan, whose biggest hit single was “Cars,” is still making new music, and is greatly loved in the scene, with fans including Ogre from Skinny Puppy citing the electronic pioneer as an influence, among others.
Molchat Dolma played before this, putting on a strong show.
Prior to them, Modern English dominated the main stage, sounding oustanding. They ended their set with a crowd participatory sing-a-long of “I’ll Melt With You,” which-under the scorching sun at this time, felt perfect, adding some needed love vibe to the sprawling cruel fest.
Soft Moon played during Modern English’s set. I’m ready to see Soft Moon while I can hopefully soon, in a small venue. Their sound is shockingly powerful and truly great.
The Vapors rocked before this, getting alot of fan excitement with their classic hit “Turning Japanese” a crowd pleaser.
Twin Tribes are another excellent darkwave band that have been touring the world lately, playing before the Vapors.
Ella Minus is doing some really unique electronic experimentation, and played prior to Twin Tribes.
I’d seen Berlin before, who played during Ella’s set, and of course, are amazing, with such classics as “Metro,” “Take my Breath Away,” “No More Words,” “Sex…I’m a…” and more.
These were all the bands I caught, unfortunately missing out on Animotion, Glass Spells, Gvllow, Riki, Twin Tribes, Urban Heat, and Aurat.
I did get the chance to meet and chat briefly with Urban Heat, who seem totally cool, who will be speaking with here soon for an exclusive interview.
I did make time to venture in to the Club Doom area hosted by Wax Trax Records, which was a fun break, where I danced on a checkered dance floor on a golf course amidst some smoke machines and speakers to “Fascination Street” by the Cure, along with some other dancers.
Crowd wise, the festival ranged on the side of age 40 and up, with a lot of old school folks from the scene who just let themselves go, and gave up trying to dress cool. Most of them all caught Squeeze.
The rest of the crowd ranged from hipsters who dressed cool, to a small percent of 20 to 30 range crowd who actually looked punk or deathrock, which was great to see.
We saw one cute girl in a tight white t-shirt without a bra on showing her nipples, going behind a tree with some other chick, and then the other chick stuffing something down her pants. We then saw the braless girl back again with a different chick, going through the same routine. Considering pot is legal in LA, we can safely assume she was not dealing in weed. I guess she read our report below and took our line of drug buying seriously! “She doesn’t look like a major druggie!” I told my friend. “Give her ten years!” She said. Touche.’
A very special thanks to GoldenVoice for making this happen, and the legendary opportunity.
And thank you to Goldenvoice for adding the second night, tonight Sunday!
Stay tuned here tomorrow for more updates on the festival, photos, and our extended review of the Rose Bowl venue itself.
And now below, for some more updates from the past few weeks…
Our exclusive interview with CLOCK DVA will be rolling out here next week. Stay tuned. We will also be taking this rag here to a whole other level very soon, when you least expect it.
Check out our exclusive interviews here with the lovely and talented Kaelan Mikla, director Rachel Amodeo, Harsh Symmetry, The Chameleons, Bloody Mess, Reagan Youth, Cumgirl8, and more. Scroll down, and pop in your headphones.
Personally, we hate most festivals, but some are just too good to pass up. Substance was one, and now Cruel World is of course another. Check it out here:
Is this killer or what?! As of today Wednesday May 17th, we hear that The Motels will no longer be performing. That’s fine. They are a great band, but there is already more bands than anyone will have the time to see. Unless you just see half a set and then try running back and forth like a maniac.
Fans are already spazzing out over having to choose between Love and Rockets or Iggy Pop, and other conflicts. Here’s some advice of how to handle this, or, as we like to call it…
How to Survive The Cruel World Festival without Feeling Like a Dumbass
1, YouTube the band live. If they sucked live within the past year? See the other band.
2, Did they dress like some old dude that works at Ralphs instead of a rock star? See the other band.
3, Still can’t decide? Does their voice sound like Andrew Eldritch sounds like now? See the other band!
4, Still confused? Easy. Are they older than your Mommy and Daddy? See them–just in case they croak before another tour.
Now, here’s some other rules to know before you go go…
1, set your alarm if you are actually so masochistic that you are going to try get there at noon
2, use your navigator, check the time it takes to get there, then triple the time to allow for traffic, parking, walking, and general confusion when that acid flashback kicks in
3, leave your drugs at home, you will be required to buy them only on festival grounds-just kidding
4, rules of the venue (Rose Bowl) say you can bring a plastic bottle, but no water in it
5, You are going to be forced to starve or buy food from a truck. Unless you smuggle food in a body cavity, which we do not suggest, try not to starve
6, Not from the area? You are still in LA. Just because it’s bright and sunny and looks like Disneyland, doesn’t mean everyone here will be nice. It’s Cruel, remember? Keep your guard up and watch out for the kids your parents warned you about. Oh, wait, we ARE all the kids their parents warned them about! Oh well, you get the idea.
7, Don’t hold your phone up in the air like an idiot.
8, Don’t clap as a musical instrument to the beat of a song. This isn’t Kid Rock.
9, Don’t do sing a-longs. No one paid to hear you try to sing Now I Wanna Be Your Dog. Save it for the bedroom.
10, Be cool.
11, Avoid face masks unless you are about ready to barf. They cut off oxygen to the brain–duh.
12, Bring some sunscreen, unless you want to want your friends to start telling sunburned goth jokes about you the next day
13, bring bug spray in a tube–which we think is allowed but it’s not on the list–we never used to have a problem with them in LA, but since right after the plandemic, Bill Gates and other bastards are releasing GMO mosquitos and other weird shit over here now, and they are ferocious
14, wear a hat, it will be around 80 degrees most of the day
15, don’t get so wasted you don’t know what you are doing
16, don’t hold up lines in your car or otherwise. Figure out where you are going before you block anyone, do your thing, and move!
17, assuming they have that pervy bathroom shit going on here like is the new trend in deviant LA, if you feel like or look like a chick but are really a dude, don’t go in the ladies restroom unless you are not a flasher, and not a total douchebag
18, don’t crowd up near the stage unless you are going to dance your ass off or at least headbang and not just take up space
19, bring some pro earplugs unless unless you want to feel drunk from decibel abuse after multiple hours
20, be safe, and be cool! See you there!
* * *
Mareux played tonight. We missed em, but assume it was a great show at Glass House in Pamona, which is a place we heard of thanks to Tim from Pamona (Maximum RNR) back in the day. Weird we now actually go there to see bands.
YOE will be at El Cid Monday. Ziggy Marley will be at the Disney Hall Tuesday. Disney Hall has killer sound. This is also the same night as the BMI pop awards–like we give a damn.
Just Like Heaven festival (gee, that’s an original name–with no Cure) happens May 13th with a good lineup, but one that makes no sense, with Yeah Yeah Yeah’s totally out of place with a bunch of older–yet awesome–electro bands from the 2000’s including MGMT, Empire of the Sun, the Walkmen, and more.
Sisters of Mercy hits the Palladium Monday the 15th, and then the 20th will be the Life Sucks and then you Die Festival, otherwise known as Cruel World, with a freaking killer lineup that is almost too good sounding to be true, and will actually be like heaven on Earth if there ever was one. Iggy Pop, Siouxsie, Adam Ant, Billy Idol, Echo and the Bunnymen, Love and Rockets, and many more. Are you serious?! Crazy! And thank gods we will be there. And also, thanks to you know who–you rule.
Keith Haring: Art is for Everybody show opens May 27 at the Broad. We met Keith back in the day who was an awesome guy. So sad he’s gone.
Until next time–rock on.