Stereophonics

After all the excitement of Day One, it was hard to imagine the second day topping the first, but the crowd’s energy was definitely more jubilant and excited for day two. I started with The Weakerthans and, to be honest, didn’t expect much from what I’d seen of them at a show a few years earlier. I was pleasantly surprised at their amazingly darling set, which was comprised of charm and unpretentious college rock. Seeing as they went on early, I didn’t expect many people, but they turned up in droves for the Winnipeg band.

The Silversun Pickups, though not my cup of tea, did manage to rock hard with one of the only female performers in the entire festival — Nikki Monninger. The tense rock was very yelly, but Nikki managed to have a great time onstage. Meanwhile, back at the Bacardi tent, UK DJ Lee Burridge (who I later asked to take a picture of me and a friend - he happily obliged) tore up the floor with many electronic fans dancing it up. Again, the DJ was a welcome breath of fresh air.

The Stereophonics were up next and played to the last bit of sunlight. Though they, like The Foo Fighters and Oasis, are old hat at the festival circuit and did have a bit of a canned performance, they were true professionals and played a tight set. They rocked the guitar solos, but not to egotistic proportions. In a word, they’re awesome. (As an aside, the band drew a notably bigger crowd than Bloc Party.) We ran back to the DJ tent to catch the tail end of Deadmau5’s set, where hardcore fans sidled up to the stage. Deadmau5 seemed to enjoy the set as much as the fans did.

And on to the headliner at the DJ tent – Moby, who was basically the most unpretentious celeb I’ve ever had the chance to lay eyes upon. He stood shoulder to shoulder with the press and seemed unaffected by our awe. Sometimes during DJ sets, it’s hard to tell if it’s the DJ or the crowd that make the party, but in this case it was both. About 1,500 people packed themselves into the tent to watch Moby spin and didn’t seem to mind missing ex-Jam bandleader Paul Weller.

Actually, there were two reasons to miss Paul Weller: Moby and young band, The Pigeon Detectives, my favourite discovery of the whole festival. They had great confidence for such a green band and the audience lapped up their set. Frontman Matt Bowman was personable and humble, thanking the crowd for sticking with them as some people left to secure their spots to catch Oasis. Their set was energetic and poppy — definitely a band to watch out for in the coming year.

And, last but certainly not least, Oasis headlined the festival. While Oasis fans crowded the park, the brothers Gallagher definitely seemed unimpressed. Noel wasn’t very energetic and the band opened with about five of their lesser-known songs. Near the end of the concert, a concert-goer somehow got past security, rushed onstage and attacked Noel Gallagher! Though everyone seemed to be all right, Noel was taken to hospital after the show and may have a cracked rib! Now there’s something to write home about. Check out YouTube.com for a clip of the strange occurrence.

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