The Underground Garage Festival Randall's Island, New York NY - August 14, 2004
Published Sep 01, 2004Little Steven Van Zandt has kindled a renewed interested in some of the forgotten bands of the garage movement due to his widely popular syndicated radio show The Underground Garage. Taking the movement one step further, Little Steven organised a huge all-day outdoor festival that featured both new and old bands of the genre. With over 40 bands scheduled to play and the smaller second stage breaking down early in the day, the production team for the event had to accommodate most bands playing two-song sets on the same stage. This was particularly disappointing for fans of the Raveonettes and Mooney Suzuki, who both played brilliantly but whose sets were cut short. The day was also a crash course in garage history, with special performances by the Pete Best Band (featuring the forgotten Beatle), the Fuzztones and the Electric Prunes. Nancy Sinatra lit up the stage with a multi-piece horn band and showcased new songs written by Morrissey and Thurston Moore. Bo Diddley made the crowd dance with his signature guitar style and groundbreaking songs, playing to both new and familiarised ears. The New York Dolls' anticipated return was only dampened by the arrival of the remnants of Hurricane Charley and the band's very rock'n'roll stalling tactics before taking the stage. The Strokes were surprisingly hilarious onstage: bratty, deadpan but still absolutely amazing musically. It was kind of hard to admit that their set may have been more enjoyable than the Dolls' but it was. The night, however, belonged to Iggy Pop, who after his performance at the festival, could convince even non-believers that he is the true grandfather of punk. He writhed so manically onstage that you actually thought he was going to explode. The Stooges were also in fine form, intensely performing two amazing renditions of "I Wanna Be Your Dog."