Another summer of amazing free concerts and outdoor events is sadly coming to a close. After the city decided to turn the old, depression-era pool pit in McCarren Park back into a functional public pool at the end of last summer, hipsters everywhere were glum at the loss of their cultural mecca. After all, last summer had a pretty good lineup including shows by: MIA, the Black Keys, MGMT, Deerhunter, Panther, Matt and Kim, Yo La Tengo, Blonde Redhead, and many more. But things worked out pretty well, I’d say. The new space this summer at the waterfront is spacious, comfy, and breezy… and there’s nice plush, green grass. (1)
These shows are typically good not only for the music, but also for people watching. For five hours, it was like watching a parade go by. So many attractive, well-dressed people. Some of the fashion choices were quite interesting, and the attempts to dance were even better. (They had a couple of DJs spinning records in between sets, so there was at least some dance-able music.) One guy even imitated the blue blow-up dancing man seen in the above photo. It was pretty great.
Today’s acts? Vega, Beach House, and Grizzly Bear. Beach House was kind of mediocre live as usual. Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love Devotion, and ‘Gila‘ is still stuck in my head now, but they really lack the energy and charisma to pull of a decent live show. Grizzly Bear, on the other hand, is fantastic. Sure, there music may be on the slower or more chill end of the spectrum, but you can feel the energy in their performance, and you can hear all the nuances of their multi-layered music. They are also spot-on as far as vocals go. Plus they’re Brooklyn boys, so extra points for that. Overall, it was a good time had by all. (2) I’m eager to see what the lineup for the waterfront shows for next summer will look like…
(1) Typically, I work on Sundays, but at the prospect of seeing Beach House and Grizzly Bear play for free, I switched my schedule around and made a day of it.
(2) Looks like I wasn’t the only one who had a good time. Jay-Z, Beyonce, and NY Senator Chuck Schumer were also in attendance. Go here for evidence. I saw Schumer walking around, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t see Beyonce.