September 5, 2002

Summer Concert Diary

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Area2 Tour

By Brett Rosenthal

This summer’s concert season was congested with lame-ass corporate radio station festivals and bullshit commercial tour packages that catered solely to a single music genre. Even though it was far from perfect, Moby’s Area2 tour was a welcome sigh of relief for eclectic music lovers in the Philadelphia region when it came through Camden, NJ on July 30.

With five disparate acts on the main stage and an air-conditioned dance tent where star DJs like Carl Cox and John Digweed spun their blazing sets, Area2 was all over the musical map. Northern Ireland’s Ash opened the show and unfortunately played to an empty amphitheater. However, their mildly catchy yet ultimately forgettable pop-punk warranted the undesirable time slot. Blue Man Group fared better as their goofy mix of tribal beats, vaudeville, rock guitars, and plastic tubes acting as percussion instruments wooed the crowd. Busta Rhymes energized the concertgoers while happily promoting his new album on one hand and his crappy Halloween: Resurrection film on the other.

The highlight of the show was the one-two punch of David Bowie and Moby. While Bowie gave a professionally mannered and gracious performance of his legendary hits and a number of mediocre new tunes, Moby was like a hyperactive child on an hour-and-a-half sugar high. He didn’t stand still for a second as he ran from one end of the stage to the other without any rhyme or reason, tapping a note on a keyboard here, playing the bongos for a few seconds there. Luckily, his backing band remained stationary and allowed the songs from Play and 18 to sound like faithful studio renditions. Despite the hit-or-miss performances, Moby and his cohorts delivered a memorable festival that wasn’t afraid to mesh diverse musical boundaries. Let’s hope for Area3 next summer.

Vans Warped Tour

By Dan Schiff

At some point in the last decade I stopped being a seventh-grade, Mossimo-clad, Green Day-listening, can’t-skate-for-shit skate punk.