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Arrived in time to see Cat Power open the festival. Had yet to hear her cover Creedence’s “Fortunate Son”, which ably captured the fury of the original. The Dirty Delta Blues Band (consisting of briefly-in-D.C. group the Delta 72’s guitarist Gregg Foreman) backed Ms. Marshall well, sounding like a groovier Drive-By Truckers.
Gogol Bordello did not disappoint by delivering a frenetic, crowd-pleasing set. They also ensured that the Virgin Festival’s A/V Department went overbudget by laying waste to every microphone and mic stand in sight.
The power of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings‘ live performance has been well documented, and they were no slouches during Saturday’s set. The Dap Kings took the stage first and warmed the crowd with some muscular funk workouts. When Sharon Jones did take the stage, she was a ball of dancing thunder. I wish, however, that folks would stop saying the Dap Kings are Amy Winehouse’s backing band. It’s the other way around.
The venue grew crowded for Lupe Fiasco’s set, though the stage screens did an admirable job of capturing the action. Lupe’s set started slow with sound problems, but he rallied and dished out solid jams on Food and Liquor‘s “Kick, Push”, and The Cool‘s “Hip Hop Saved My Life” and “Go Go Gadget Flow”.
Wilco, as is their wont, turned up the sonic architecture for their appearance at the Virgin Festival. Nels Cline seemed to effortlessly conjure melodic yet unique guitar lines. The song selection enhanced the set’s sound by coupling grander efforts like Summerteeth’s “Shot in the Arm” with quieter far like Sky Blue Sky’s “Either Way”.
And while some debated the merits of pitting Jack Johnson against the Foo Fighters in the same time slot, after a day in the sun quaffing $9 Stellas, the smooth island stylings of Mr. Johnson were a fitting finale.