Sun God Festival 2008

May 27, 2008 at 3:15 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )

This year’s edition of the University of California- San Diego’s Sun God Festival offered a new twist on the age-old tradition of getting drunk and feeling awkward at UCSD.

The format of the festival was different this year. Last year, Rimac Arena (a large outdoor field on campus) had side to side stages to allow for concert goers to stay in one place and see both stages. What a great way to play on our low attention spans, I love it! This format, which I prefer, was flushed for the 2008 edition of Sun God. This year the festival played more like a traditional music festival, with one main-stage and a smaller side stage off in the distance. There was also an additional stage for comedians, which really was a great touch.

Matt Costa

Matt Costa provided a sun-soaked, chill out session complete with slide guitar and a non-existent rhythm section. Matt Costa’s music is perfect for standing and socializing, which much of the crowd was doing.

After Costa’s set, I checked out the side stage. Unfortunately, there were only about 10 other people rocking to to Modlins with me. The Modlins are a local, throwback rock group with Beatles haircuts and (if memory serves right) the classic Hofner bass. They were very appropriate for the sidestage, but lacked a catchyness to their melodies. I’m not saying all songs need a giddy chorus, but I felt that the Modlins sound was a hit and miss without it.

The Living Legends

The Living Legends are my new favorite hip-hop troop. Murs (a member of the group) is a star in his own right, with a real buzz. Eligh’s speed rhymes made me wish I could slow down time and analyze each of his cadenced lines, nevertheless very crowd pleasing.

And then there was Say Anything. Poor choice UCSD. These guys sounded like a prepackaged, preteen combination of Simple Plan and the Jonas Brothers. Their brightly colored shirts and boring powerchords seemed appropriate for anyone who doesn’t like rock and roll, or fashion, or guitar.

Sean Kingston was an improvement over Say Anything, but that doesn’t say much for either artist. My favorite part of Kingston’s set is when he yells “jump!, jump!” instead of singing his lyrics. Not bad for a kid from the ghettos of Jamaica. I think he “sang” one of his song’s (Me Love) three times. Wait, how to do spell repertoire?

Coheed and Cambria

Coheed and Cambria headlined this year’s show. These guys have more talent than they know what to do with. Compare this to Sean Kingston, and you see the bipolarity of the Sun God Festival. Anyone who would find Sean Kingston entertaining probably wouldn’t understand the complexities of Chris Pennie’s drumming, formerly of the Dillinger Escape Plan. Call it diversity in taste, but Sean Kingston’s set completely lacked any music subtleties while Coheed’s set provided a musical trip to another planet. Too bad the crowd dwindled during their set.

During Coheed’s set, I noticed a group of students dancing near one of the food booth’s. Upon investigation, they were bouncing to Lil Wayne’s smash Lollipop being blasted over someone’s PA. This proves Dane Cook right, sometimes you just gotta dance.

While Sun God had a diverse lineup, it lacked any sense of cohesion. Perhaps a reflection of what life might be like at UCSD, culturally diverse but not culturally powerful. Fun (or $30) !


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