At numerous points the All Points West Festival seemed like an ongoing parody of the epic mudbath of Woodstock '69: a bad, bad joke without the life-changing lineup. Nevertheless, hoards of concertgoers stayed optimistic, tromping through Jersey City's Liberty State Park for three consecutive days to see their favorite indie-rock stars.
I had been on festival grounds for five minutes, and already decided to throw out my jellies.
The National played a gorgeous silvery and black set full of numbers that warmed the heart of every city kid in the crowd.
Ever-enigmatic Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontman Karen O brought the love at sunset by giving "Get Well Soon" shoutouts to the Beastie Boys, who cancelled their APW festival performance due to Adam Yauch's recent throat cancer diagnosis. She then spit out water like a badass rock-star whale, and the band did an awesome cover of the Cramps' "Human Fly."
Hippie fever surged as the fields grew even muddier and the sun came down.
The 10-minute countdown to Jay-Z's set began!
Jay-Z owned the stage when he opened with a cover of the Beastie Boys' "No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn," and he later played the Jackson Five's "ABC."
St. Vincent's Annie Clark, backed by a full band, played song from Marry Me and this year's Actor, no doubt making everyone in the crowd want to marry her.
Last year, My Bloody Valentine returned to America for their first performance in almost two decades. For anybody who had missed the reunion show, they returned...again: unchanged in their shoegazing prowess, closing with their epic 17-minute sonic blizzard, "You Made Me Realize."
Tool has always been an arena band, but in the last decade they have given most festival promoters a huge part of the draw. Toolheads flocked to the stage, belting along to Maynard James Keenan as he lurched in front of the projection screens boasting Tool album artwork.
The day started out with buckets of rain, but thankfully it had subsided by the time Echo & the Bunnymen were up. Ian McCulloch didn't display the same vocal range he used to possess, but that was probably due to all the cigarettes he was smoking onstage during the performance.
Coldplay's set was most anticipated by the time the weekend came to a close. And it was worth it, mudbaths and all, just to watch the giant yellow balloons parachuting over the crowd as Chris Martin sang "Yellow."