Thursday, July 31, 2008

Mos Jef Does Dfest

That's Mos Jef in the middle.

Well, it seems the planners of Tulsa’s seventh annual Diversafest did exactly what some people thought they would not be able to do – top last year. Dfest went from five years of obscurity to “the festival that brought out The Flaming Lips” last year. Despite how great The Lips were last year, as a whole this year was much better.

Remembering how long I waited in line for a bracelet last year, I went downtown in the early afternoon to get mine. I briefly stopped into McNellie’s to get a beer and I was reminded that, despite our big city music festival being setup out the window, Tulsa is still just a great big small town. I was upstairs with 3 other people. One guy was the bartender with whom I played little league baseball. Another guy I happened to meet at Big Splash two weeks earlier. The third guy I recognized as dating one of my ex-girlfriends.

I left downtown for a while and returned to catch the last part of moe. They put on a good show, but Dfest made for the third time I’ve seen moe. perform. The band that played immediately after them blew me away though. Ghostland Observatory is a two-man band that falls somewhere between dance pop and glam rock. I’d never heard of this Austin-based duo before, but I was thoroughly impressed by their music and particularly their stage show. I know many people were there to see the headlining Disco Biscuits, but I think Ghostland Observatory stole the show Friday night.

Ghostland Observatory

Saturday night I was convinced that DIVERSafest lived up to its name. I saw the first half of Helmet. Yes, Helmet. I haven’t seen a concert attract that many shirtless drunk white guys into a mosh pit since I was in junior high. I had no desire to smash around and dance like a chicken in front of a large audience, but I did enjoy watching it all go down. A short walk later, I was at Zappa Plays Zappa. The most violent thing happening here was glow sticks and beach balls being tossed around. The music was outstanding. Being a Frank Zappa fan, I didn’t know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised. Once Zappa ended, I was getting pretty excited about The Roots. I view The Roots as a very significant band. Years from now, I think they will be viewed as one of the great hip-hop groups of the day. They did not disappoint. Rather than playing from their allotted time of midnight to 1:45AM, they played until 2:40. I left exhausted from the dancing.

Zappa Plays Zappa

The Roots

The Roots

Overall I would have to give an A+ to Dfest this year. I think last year The Flaming Lips opened up the opportunity for this festival to grow. This year having The Roots will further legitimize Dfest as a big music festival. I can’t wait to see what is going down next year.

Wooooo! Mosh pit

The crowd

The crowd and downtown Tulsa

Other accounts of Dfest: This Tulsa
Urban Tulsa's G.K. Hizer

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