I was sick over the weekend. Still sick, actually.
And while most people suffering with cold symptoms opt to stay in bed, sip tea and take meds, I decided to head on over to The Yards Park for the All Things Go Fall Classic outdoor music festival.
The forecast for the day wasn’t looking promising for Saturday, Oct. 8 (there was about an 80 percent chance of rain all afternoon), but there was no way I was going to miss performances by Passion Pit and Empire of the Sun.
So, here’s a play-by-play of an All Things Go experience from a cold, wet, sick girl’s perspective:
I arrive at the Yards with some friends.
I really wanted to get there earlier, but was set back by sickly exhaustion as a result of the Neon Indian concert from the night before. Regardless, things were looking good. I took two Alka Seltzer heavy duty cold pills before I left College Park and bundled up with a flannel and rain coat. The sky was overcast, but at least the ground wasn’t too muddy.
As my friends and I started walking around the outdoor venue, POP ETC could be heard in the distance, a decent crowd of fans already gathered in front of the stage.
My love for food brought me right over to the “Festival Eats,” which featured vendors from restaurants like Shake Shack, Timber Pizza Co., TaKorean and Beefsteak, amongst others.
In the center of the venue stood three massive letters forming “ATG” sponsored by Heineken for guests to spray paint and decorate as a community artwork project. I took the liberty of spray painting a white star on the ‘A,’ though the paint ran a little bit with the rain.
Bishop Briggs took the stage as the ground progressively became more muddy and my low top Vans turned from black to brown.
Briggs was an amazing performer. To say the least, she was a badass, her hair pulled back into two space buns, adorning a spiked choker necklace and camouflage jacket. She went through her set passionately singing and (and occasionally screaming) hits “Wild Horses,” “Pray (Empty Gun)” and “River.”
The power in her voice was one of a kind: it was moving, almost seducing. She was visibly shaking at times while holding the mic. I was getting chills, and not from the weather conditions.
Her set was just barely 30 minutes, which was disappointing, but left me waiting for what Briggs has to offer fans in the future.
Call me dramatic, but at this point I had forgotten what it felt like to be dry.
My fingers began to resemble raisins, my hair was plastered to my face and my socks were becoming damp.
Luckily, All Things Go allowed guests re-entry, so I took full advantage and headed across the street to Starbucks to warm up and dry off.
This particular Starbucks apparently closes at 5 p.m. on weekends, so we abandoned our table to head back to the festival. To our surprise, it actually stopped raining. This didn’t last long, however.
We caught the end of Christine and the Queens’ set, and there were significantly more people in the pit and significantly more mud.
We joined the pit for Sylvan Esso.
The rain began to sprinkle yet again, but the concert was so appealing that I barely noticed.
Lead singer Amelia Meath and her counterpart Nick Sanborn exchanged accidental dirty jokes and genuine laughs on stage while mixing beats that surged energy through the Yards, all of which were pleasing to the ear. The passion and joy these two exuded from playing their music was indisputable, a feeling that translated directly to their listeners.
The scene was set for Passion Pit, and I wiped my nose with a soggy Kleenex.
Immediately following Sylvan Esso’s performance, we fought the crowd to be at the front row for Passion Pit.
Not much happened this hour besides standing, sniffling, aching knees and congestion. I think I may have developed a cough.
The rain stopped just in time for Passion Pit to take the stage and every person in attendance to get wild. The comfortable space I had between my neighbors was instantly diminished, but all in good spirit.
Michael Angelakos took the stage by storm, instantly amping up energy to the point that his back was drenched with sweat by the end of the set. Angelakos jumped and danced in wide circles all across the stage as he progressed from “Little Secrets” to “Lifted Up (1985)” with the bright, pastel lights and eery fog whirled behind him.
He had his audience at every word, literal tears just barely brimming on their eyelids, voices being lost for days to come with screaming. They knew a performance like this was a rarity and meant to be cherished, as Angelakos acknowledged mid-set.
When all was said and done, my ear drums were so numb with ringing that I couldn’t even feel how congested I was. Music does wonders.
This is where things got weird. But I mean, what else did I expect from Empire of the Sun.
The group dramatically took the stage, adorned in metallic costumes, elaborate headdresses and light up tridents—clearly from another galaxy.
The thick fog, neon lighting and hypnotic scenes portrayed on the background screens left us all dazed and confused, the electronic beats taking us on an intellectual, and perhaps spiritual, journey as the music faded in with “DNA” to kick off the set.
The duo put on a larger-than-life performance more-so than just a concert, complete with costume changes, backup dancers and props to accent their electronic mixes and synthesizers, making even those who were sober wonder if what they were seeing was hallucination or reality.
Empire of the Sun proceeded to carry their audience’s minds, bodies and souls through “Half Mast,” and the rest of the set could very well have been a galactical, hypnotic blur until “Walking On A Dream.”
What I noticed most about the crowd of 10,000 plus attendees was that neither the rain nor the mud stopped anyone from dancing; rain ponchos and galoshes took nothing away from the vibe; the water-logged hair styles and running makeup drained not even an ounce of joy from anyone’s faces.
All Things Go was a success, as far as I could see—even if I did wake up the next day with a worse cold than I started.
Photos from the event can be viewed here.
Featured Photo Credit: The Empire of the Sun performance relied heavily on bright explosions of color and dancers in unique, vivid costumes. (Julia Lerner/Bloc Photographer)
Jordan Stovka is a sophomore journalism major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.