My Four Favorite Things I Saw at Siren (And One Thing I, Uh, Missed)


Monotonix’s frontman got some crowd-surf-drumming in, too.

So Siren ’09 is in the books. Thanks for dropping by if you did, which we hope you did, as the weather was excellent (much less brutally hot than in previous years, which also cut down on ill-advised Coney Island boardwalk half-nudity) and the good times plentiful. Here, then, are four highlights and one regret. (Just one. Avoided the chili dogs this year, you see.)

1. Something tells me Camille will have a great deal more to say about Monotonix, but rest assured the chaotic Israeli cock-rockers had the most delightfully bizarre set of the fest, holding court as usual on the floor in the midst of the enormous crowd, and thus visible to most patrons only when they were crowd-surfing, which, thankfully, was quite often. It was a glorious moment, when folks started holding up pieces of not-Borat’s drum kit, slowly and awkwardly assembling them into aerial and yet playable form, and then, as if in a dream, not-Borat himself gracefully appears, ascending on a sea of hands, a supremely satisfied look on his face, and, carefully and precariously seated on his overturned, held-aloft kick-drum, starts raucously banging on them. I don’t think “beautiful” is overselling it.

2. Micachu and the Shapes doing the splendid, swinging noise-pop jam “Golden Phone,” which I arrived just in time to see after a great deal of no-F-train calamity — expertly ramshackle, painstakingly nonchalant, overpoweringly addictive.

3. Japandroids, two nice, earnest, very excitable boys (this about sums it up) who spent their whole set awed at the size of both the assembled crowd and the stage from which they regarded that crowd. “Just keep looking at me,” one murmured to the other. Then they sang about those sunshine girls.

4. The crew of head-bangers, fist-pumpers, and general rabble-rousers pushed up against the barrier and screaming right back at wantonly screaming aggro-rockers Future of the Left, who threw out both insults and free candy; in fact, hyperactive bassist Kelson Mathias concluded the set by throwing himself, leaping offstage, over the VIP barricade, and directly into the throng of his fan club for some screaming/backslapping/faux-mosh-pit antics. Very egalitarian.

As for the thing I missed: Well, Spank Rock sure got up to some shit both on and off-site, now didn’t they.