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View Full Version : My 'not-so-indepth' review of ROCK THE BELLS NYC



thinnerair
07-29-2007, 11:18 AM
I went to Rock The Bells yesterday and let me say that it was the worst organized festival I have been to, but there were certain cool parts to it.

There was a shuttle bus that came from the subway that brought you right up to the ticket windows. That was cool.
The lines to get in were insane (the show was sold out) and security was either super strict or just tapped your pockets and let you in.

The concessions were located terribly and they spit the field up into two sections. They had an area in front of the main stage, which was gated off from the second stage. This prevented you from roaming freely from one stage to the other. The other thing is that the main stage area had only two entrances, so you had to wait in line to get into the front area. That front area only had 2 food sections, so people waited literally an hour and a half to get a $10 burrito (salsa/beans/cheese?!)

The festival ran out of water by 2:30!!! The festival (sponsored by Heineken) ran out of Heineken by 6:30!!! It was disastrous.

As for the bands....

I didn't get to roam to the second stage as I had my ankle sprain, so I stayed near the main stage and tried to tough it out.

We missed IMMORTAL TECHNIQUE and I was disappointed but we did manage to catch PHARAOHE MONCHE. His band was tight and their levels were good. He had great presence and energy and was a really good kickoff for the day...most people were walking in as he was on. 7/10

EPMD came on and did a bunch of medley type stuff. I forgot that they were even performing. Nothing outstanding. They kept promoting their new record. Nobody cares about EPMD anymore. 5/10

Talib Kweli came on and just ripped through the hits. He was spittin' fire and running across the stage. Most energetic I have ever seen him. He killed it and added little freestyles between lots of tracks. 8/10

Mos Def came out to join Talib and they ripped through Black Star classics. They then did some freestyles and some old classics. They really got the crowd amped!! 8/10

Mos Def then did a set of solo material that was good, but at this point I got distracted and needed to find a place to sit down. 7/10

At this point, I had found a handicap platform that I was allowed to stand on due to my cast, which was a great spot to watch the show. I then brought my friends up and we watched from an elevated platform for the rest of the show. It was awesome.

Public Enemy came out and just went nuts. They busted into BRING THE NOISE and brought out Scott Ian from ANTHRAX on guitar. Their levels were terrible and didn't get it right until the end of the track. It was great to see Scott Ian out there. They ripped through some great gems and then Flavor Flav bright his kids out on stage to talk to the crowd. Flav then went on and on about how the people made him Number 1 in cable history...but it went on and on for waaay too long. They played their last song and Flav begged to get behind the drums and end the set with a drum solo. Weirdo. 6/10

The Roots came on and I am convinced that I have no more interest in seeing The Roots in a festival setting. It seems as though they use their festival slots to jam out on medleys with the occasional classic joint thrown in. Not interested. 6/10

Cypress Hill came on and did the Cypress Hill stuff 6/10


Wu-Tang Clan rolled out and though they had some serious technical difficulties due to so many mics on stage, they ripped it up. Method Man was going apeshit and crowdsurfing through most of the show, choosing to vibe with the crowd over actually spitting his lines. They did a good solid set of tracks, including some ODB tracks. I was expecting more solo spotlights, highlighting each of their solo careers. Redman came out with Method Man and they did 'Da Rockwilda' together. . 9/10

At 9pm on the dot, the lights went out and a big red star illuminated on the backdrop. It looked great! Black backdrop with this fading red star. Rage takes the stage and tear the shit out of 'TESTIFY' as the opener. The band was super tight. Way tighter than their Coachella set. Zack's energy was fierce. He was going apeshit throughout the set and the band held it down.
The only lowpoint in their set was their playing "CALM LIKE A BOMB" which was the only point where the band's energy dropped a bit.
They went into an extended version of "WAKE UP" in which Zack called out FOX NETWORKS for taking his words from Coachella out of context and accusing him of wanting to asassinate.
They took a breather and did an encore of "FREEDOM" and "KILLING IN THE NAME OF" and the crowd went nuts. While watching Rage, I had the sudden urge to drop out of school and hate my parents....all over again. Thanks Rage. 12/10

marooko
07-29-2007, 11:22 AM
nice

whynotsmile99
07-29-2007, 11:35 AM
cool thanks for the report. Dissapointed they still seem to run such a poorly organized festival.


How was the crowd situation? I believe over 70 thousand tickets were sold for the SF show. Which blows my fucking mind. If Coachella is 60 a day spread over all those stages, 70 thousand across two in a parking lot will be nuts

ewiggy
07-29-2007, 11:36 AM
i hope they get their shit together by next weekend!

menikmati
07-29-2007, 11:47 AM
i hope a bootleg surfaces. Fuck FOX news.

Wheres the beef?
07-29-2007, 11:50 AM
I am worried about this SF show then.

superfiction
07-29-2007, 11:55 AM
i hope a bootleg surfaces. Fuck FOX news.

true dat

scoop49er
07-29-2007, 12:11 PM
yeah im going to the sf show and hip/hop shows have been notorious of having poorly run shows, especially if live nation or a experience festival organizer is not involved. im not getting my hopes up for sf cuz it is at a spot that has never had a festival before and i think guerrila union might be a rookie at this part so hopefully they get their shit straight and run a solid show. thye have the sf show ending at 940pm. so im assuminh they wil stop the alcohol flow by 630 as well. lets understand this they didnt run out of beer cuz they are stupid. they ran out for a reason! rage+ hip hop crowd+ perception= stop serving beer! sad but true. trust me i used to work at concert sites and rules are different for country and hip hop shows..

betao
07-29-2007, 12:49 PM
so was the RATM setlist pretty much the same as their coachella performance?

and glad to hear good things about Wu-Tang and Black Star, but disappointed to hear that Public Enemy werent on top of their game.

thinnerair
07-29-2007, 01:30 PM
yeah im going to the sf show and hip/hop shows have been notorious of having poorly run shows, especially if live nation or a experience festival organizer is not involved. im not getting my hopes up for sf cuz it is at a spot that has never had a festival before and i think guerrila union might be a rookie at this part so hopefully they get their shit straight and run a solid show. thye have the sf show ending at 940pm. so im assuminh they wil stop the alcohol flow by 630 as well. lets understand this they didnt run out of beer cuz they are stupid. they ran out for a reason! rage+ hip hop crowd+ perception= stop serving beer! sad but true. trust me i used to work at concert sites and rules are different for country and hip hop shows..
LIVENATION was involved in running this show.
The show was over by 10:10. Their running out of water is simply unacceptable and also if people are lined up waiting for half an hour for a beer, it is stupid for them to cut off any sale for any reason, ESPECIALLY if they do have the supply to serve these people who are willing to pay 7.50 for a cup of beer!


Public Enemy were cool, but it just wasn't as entertaining as the rest of the sets. They had tons of level issues throughout and Flav really started trying to make it all about him. He brought his kids out on stage to say hi to the crowd and went on and on about being number 1 in cable history. The addition of Scott Ian was excellent.


Rage Against The Machine's set was intense! They didn't play 'Bombtrack' but included 'Calm Like a Bomb' and also didn't play 'Renegade of Funk' (sorta accurate):

TESTIFY
BULLS ON PARADE
PEOPLE OF THE SUN
BULLET IN THE HEAD
GUERILLA RADIO
SLEEP NOW IN THE FIRE
CALM LIKE A BOMB
WAKE UP
*encore*
FREEDOM
KILLING IN THE NAME

ewiggy
07-29-2007, 01:47 PM
lets understand this they didnt run out of beer cuz they are stupid. they ran out for a reason! rage+ hip hop crowd+ perception= stop serving beer! sad but true. trust me i used to work at concert sites and rules are different for country and hip hop shows..

seems to me like this type of crowd would be more prone to flipping out/rioting when someone denied them another beer than if they just had too much to drink.

gmoneyak
07-29-2007, 01:48 PM
Mos Def came out to join Talib and they ripped through Black Star classics. They then did some freestyles and some old classics. They really got the crowd amped!! 8/10





This definitely puts a smile on my face... 3 more weeks til San Francisco..Niiiice!

menikmati
07-29-2007, 02:26 PM
TESTIFY
BULLS ON PARADE
PEOPLE OF THE SUN
BULLET IN THE HEAD
GUERILLA RADIO
SLEEP NOW IN THE FIRE
CALM LIKE A BOMB
WAKE UP
*encore*
FREEDOM
KILLING IN THE NAME

They also played Vietnow, and Tire Me...

menikmati
07-29-2007, 02:30 PM
setlist according to vietnow.org forum guy (though I don't think the order is right the way he has it listed, especially the last two songs):

Testiy (first)
Bulls on Parade (second)
calm like a bomb
guerrilla radio
sleep now in the fire
people of the sun
VIETNOW***
down rodeo
tire me
know your enemy
bullet in the head
wake up (last song before encore)
killing in the name (last song)
freedom (encore)

superfiction
07-29-2007, 02:31 PM
vietnow would be sickkk

marooko
07-29-2007, 02:37 PM
yeah im going to the sf show and hip/hop shows have been notorious of having poorly run shows, especially if live nation or a experience festival organizer is not involved. im not getting my hopes up for sf cuz it is at a spot that has never had a festival before and i think guerrila union might be a rookie at this part so hopefully they get their shit straight and run a solid show. thye have the sf show ending at 940pm. so im assuminh they wil stop the alcohol flow by 630 as well. lets understand this they didnt run out of beer cuz they are stupid. they ran out for a reason! rage+ hip hop crowd+ perception= stop serving beer! sad but true. trust me i used to work at concert sites and rules are different for country and hip hop shows..

the 1st love parade was in this parking lot. not as many people but it was a lot of fun.

crazzz2007
07-30-2007, 12:13 AM
lets understand this they didnt run out of beer cuz they are stupid. they ran out for a reason! rage+ hip hop crowd+ perception= stop serving beer! sad but true.

this would make sense, except they also ran out of water. seems like poor organization to me.

thinnerair
07-30-2007, 05:57 AM
they also ran out of food or at least food options were limited later on in the day.
A friend went to get me a burrito, and after waiting on line for an hour, she was handed a tortilla, asked for $10 and told to basically make it herself using whatever was left. Oh and this was next to the booth that had a huge sign that said 'OFFICAL MERCHANDISE'

what a bunch of tards.

yes. they did play Tire Me but Calm Like a Bomb was maybe a song or two before 'Wake Up'

not like it really matters anymore.

Tylerdurden31
07-30-2007, 06:55 AM
I was driving across the Triboro Bridge last night during Wu-Tang's set and heard it from the FDR. They sounded pretty tight. They actually caused a traffic jam on the FDR.

thinnerair
07-30-2007, 07:46 AM
Fortunately, the front area of the main stage is all concrete, so all that awful rain from last night didn't affect it too much....though i bet ankles were a-poppin' during Rage. Nothing like circle pits on wet pavement. Yikes.

xbnmx
07-30-2007, 08:04 AM
Watching everyone go nuts over Rage is letting me experience all the people who don't do EDM felt when Daft Punk came back.

marooko
07-30-2007, 08:05 AM
fuck daft punk.

J~$$$
07-30-2007, 08:46 AM
Were you able to take it backpacks nando?

thinnerair
07-30-2007, 08:49 AM
yeah.
in fact, they barely checked mine.
I pulled up my pantleg and said "hey. be careful. Im a cripple." and he just tapped my pockets, opened my back, looked in, shook it a bit, and gave it back to me. I didnt have much in my bag.
A hoodie
A Rain poncho
cigarettes
Motrin
extra ACE bandages
dead baby
thats about it.

J~$$$
07-30-2007, 08:52 AM
Thank you the dead baby was my next question.

J~$$$
07-30-2007, 08:59 AM
EPMD came on and did a bunch of medley type stuff. I forgot that they were even performing. Nothing outstanding. They kept promoting their new record. Nobody cares about EPMD anymore. 5/10

This makes me sad cuz I kind of care.

thinnerair
07-30-2007, 09:02 AM
no...you really don't care.
They were fairly generic.
I expected more.
Their DJ did a little highlight, and while he was impressive as a DJ, his choice ot tunes to showcase his abilities were a bit weak. He used that super "lets get white kids to dance!" track "If you got a twenty dollar bill throw your hands up. If you got a ten dollar bill throw your hands up..." That track makes me cringe, but I know its a good party starter, but not at 3 in the afternoon in Africa heat.

J~$$$
07-30-2007, 09:11 AM
damn! throw ur hands up is mah jam!......That sucks really. Im not expecting much when I head out to the SF show. I don't think I have ever been to a hip-hop sow that blew me away though. For as much presence hip-hoppers have in their videos, most live shows make me believe they drive a broke ass 82 cutlass and live in they mommas bassment.

"but not at 3 in the afternoon in Africa heat."

*giggles*

bug on your lip
07-30-2007, 09:12 AM
they trucked in African heat ?

thinnerair
07-30-2007, 09:16 AM
Yea. They piped in real African heat just to make this party totally legit...and sweaty. Nothing like a bunch of white kids in backpacks as far as the eye can see basking in real African heat. Spicy!


I wish I wouldve gone yesterday because Rakim and Erykah Badu were on the lineup for Sunday and i thought I read that MF Doom was gonna be there too. I didnt even go near the second stage because of the inconvenience of waiting in line to get back into the main area....and hanging out on the cripple platform was so good. I didn't want to leave.

bug on your lip
07-30-2007, 09:19 AM
wait

r u a white kid (w/ backpack) wannabe ?

thinnerair
07-30-2007, 09:21 AM
wait

r u a white kid (w/ backpack) wannabe ?

sometimes.

menikmati
07-31-2007, 08:23 PM
Wake Up speech

mMuWTsEZRLo

Wheres the beef?
07-31-2007, 08:27 PM
lets understand this they didnt run out of beer cuz they are stupid. they ran out for a reason! rage+ hip hop crowd+ perception= stop serving beer! sad but true. trust me i used to work at concert sites and rules are different for country and hip hop shows..

are you saying a "hip hop crowd" would be more prone to violence when under the influence?