Day one of the festival featured The Beastie Boys, The Blue Man Group, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, Queens of the
Stone Age, Blur, The Hives, N*E*R*D*, Idlewild, The Donnas and The Mooney Suzuki, among others...
gates opening promptly (on time) there was just time enough to stroll by the art exhibits (mostly being set up at the time)
before Particle had the unenviable task of being the first band on the outdoor stage & kicking off the
entire festival. The black clad New York City outfit, The Mooney
Suzuki passed out foam rubber giant fingers to the sparse crowd, then took the stage putting on an entertaining
The big stage
is hard to fill, especially when the majority of the crowd is still outside as The Donnas discovered when they took the stage at 2:30pm. At one point lead singer Donna A
(Brett Anderson), offered a Donna F guitar pick to the loudest fan... which she threw out,
even though no one really deserved it!
Most of the neo "punk" crowd that caught The Donnas' set then filled the Gobi tent where Ian
MacKaye had a Q&A putting to rest any rumor of a Minor Threat reunion. "Why mess up what was
a good thing, I couldn't do that," he said. He seemed to get annoyed that many of the questions revolved around his "straight
edge" lifestyle. He also had the first anti-war message of the day stating that, "anyone who has a chance to get in front
of a microphone and say they're against the war, should do so."
door to the Gobi tent, sound was spilling over from the swampy Mojave tent which was packed with curiosity seekers checking
out Idlewild. Most of the predominantly American audience became aware of this band for the first time after
purchasing Pearl Jam tickets & seeing them listed as the opening act for Eddie and company's American
summer tour. Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads fame was working the sound board for Idlewild somewhat anonomously.
Next up on
the main stage were N*E*R*D* who generously donated half of their alloted time to their backing band Spymob.
Pharrel Williams and company made the most of their remaining time doing three songs, with Williams performing
off the stage and in the crowd the majority of the time. For a finale of sorts, he introduced Kelly Osbourne
and Black Eyed Peas' Will.I.Am for a version of "Rock Star." Osbourne passed
on the rock star duties however, first summoning a friend to the stage, dancing for a minute then running off laughing, seemingly
their performance alone would be worth the ticket price, lead singer Pelle Almqvist and the rest of the sharply
dressed Hives provided the most fun set of the day. Almqvist goaded the crowd the entire
time at one point asking, "Are you hot?". When everyone, including the men responded with an enthusiastic, "yes," he smiled
sheepishly declaring, "So then, what you are saying is I make you hot... is that right?" The Hives drew the first big crowd of the day, playing the dinner time slot that The
Strokes occupied last year.