From the fifth to the ninth in October the big VIA Festival happened in Pittsburgh. Surprisingly I don't have a single picture from it.
The first day was on the Southside and featured a lot of stuff that was kind of boring to me. Most of it was dance stuff with visuals that were kind of cool (mostly like polygons spinning around like strands of DNA). I wanted to see Wolf Eyes but missed them, though I did get to see Battles who played for a long time and were not as interesting as I thought. I wish Battles would have been heavier and less dance, but I did like their visuals a lot (ice cream mountains and people talking). I only paid $12 or so to get in so it was still worth it.
Day two, and the rest of the days, were in East Liberty. I spent some of the time distributing fliers ineffectively so that I could go free. I missed Extreme Animals, who I wanted to see a lot, but got to see Light Asylum who were amazing. They were gothic, new-wave kind of stuff with only two members; the vocalist was intense. Araabmusik was impressive, but he got pretty boring after a while. There is only so much loud music consisting of a guy hitting electronic drum pads with his fingers that I can take. He also had a hype man who just stood around 90% of the time.
Saturday, day three, was the best day. I got in for free because I won a ticket on WPTS. The festival was like 12 hours, but it was great. Centipede E'est was in a much different form (or at least a different sound) than when I had seen them previously. They were like a more world music based later-era Sonic Youth. Raw Blow was kind of cheesy and went on for too long, but it was interesting how they had adapted the blues to the 21st century. Using samplers and older song lyrics is a lot like how old blues musicians would adapt the songs of others as their own. Peanut Butter Wolf was really energetic and fun; some little kids got up to dance with him. Zombi was awesome and Underground Resistance ended the night with political fury (it could have been a little shorter).
VIA was over all pretty cool. There were also some cool things for sale like a weird hallucinating visor and a kit to make a pencil theremin; again there was free vitaminwater. We also got to watch some weird short films that looped forever. Even with all of this stuff I really don't think that it would have been worth it to pay for the whole thing. The music was pretty cool, but I think that I would enjoy it a lot more if it was not in a concert setting. I don't know if I'll be going next year.