I’d say probably the hardest – and most fun – I went to while I was in Denver for the DNC was Unconventional 08. After another long day at The Big Tent ending with Joe Biden’s speech – and a bomb scare outside the garage where my car was parked – I finally got to head over towards the concert at the Manifest Hope Gallery with a VIP ticket a friend had given me earlier in the week.
Luckily I had the Mustang we rented for the week because the Gallery, which was an amazing venue for the event, was definitely not within walking distance of the rest of the convention activities. Unfortunately, by the time I got there, post-explosion event, the bouncers for the event had a small riot on their hands. If there was a line to get in in it was replaced with everyone and their brother clawing to get in – and apparently everyone had a VIP ticket. The only people getting in were politicians and people who had someone connected on the inside able to get them on the list and press. Well, after running back to the car for my press pass I was able to get in after a little patience and some convincing – and in just enough time to squeeze in before Sarah Silverman started warming up the crowd for the main act and run into Lucas O’Conner from over at Calitics.
(lots of pics below the fold)
Her lines drew tones of laughs from the left-leaning crowd on McCain and others. Then Mayor Newsom took the stage to introduce the band and throw out a one liner himself further firing up the room before Ben Gibbard, Jenny Lewis, Johnathan Rice, Zooey Deschanel, and Matthew Caws took the stage (h/t to I Am Fuel, You Are Friends for compiling these links).
The show, despite being slightly overcrowded, was absolutely awesome. The five artists took turns playing each others songs – such as Brand New Colony – on acoustic guitars and a piano in the corner. Sometimes they all would sing, sometimes they’d play a duet – like Jonathan Rice & Jenny Lewis’s cover of Nazareth’s Love Hurts.
While I’ll admit that I’ve been a bigger fan of Gibbard before the show and was really into really into it when they were singing The Sound of Settling and when he took over on the piano – my new favorite is definitely Zooey Deschanel. When I got back to DC last week I started grabbing all the She & Him I could find and have been listening to it nonstop – I had heard Why Do You Let Me Stay Here before but hadn’t really gotten into it before, but now songs like This Is Not A Test and her ridiculously good covers are at the top of my playist. I Am Fuel, You Are Friends has a picture up of the entire playlist here.
After the set, which lasted about an hour, the show turned into a crazy liberal dance party (video). Remixes of Yes We Can blasted while Dems break danced, did the limbo, danced with hula-hoops and other assorted craziness.
While seeing NERD and Fall Out Boy at the Rock the Vote concert on Monday, and hitting the after party with Nick Cannon dj’ing, was definitely awesome – Unconventional 08 was definitely the best concert of the week. NERD and Fall Out Boy both killed it over at the larger venue – but the five singers sharing the smaller more-exclusive stage was ridiculous. Here are a few more pics from the show:
Zooey Deschanel (who I am currently in love with)
Ben Gibbard on piano:
Jonathan Rice & Jenny Lewis
I just thought this was worth taking a picture of:
Obama happy dj guy upstairs:
And this is me – who sadly has now become the suit at the party full of alts…