Live Review

Siren Festival 2010

An enormous amount of fun and completely unforgettable.

In spite (or maybe because) of an extreme heat advisory today, Coney Island is packed. From the moment you step off the subway and onto Ocean Avenue, the street swarms with people headed to the beach or to the outdoor Siren Festival. Starting at noon, the festival is quite a busy one; there are two stages, the main one at 10th Avenue, and one on Stillwell Avenue, appropriately called the Stillwell stage.

One of the highlights of the festival are Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, with a sound that fits perfectly with the salty sea air blowing over the crowd; poppy and bittersweet while at the same time cacophonous and restless. Keyboardist Peggy Wang remarks that she was at the first ever Siren Festival back in 2001, and is psyched to be playing it now, especially with the likes of Ted Leo & The Pharmacists and Matt & Kim.

This feeling of gratitude pervades the festival. Maybe it is because of the history of performing or just because the festival itself is situated perfectly and is uber cool. Either way, everyone is really happy to be in the sweltering heat, next to the sea, listening to live music.

Ted Leo & The Pharmacists win the title of ‘loudest and most rocking act’. With an intense and loving fan base, they seem in their element, adding an injection of punk rock fervor, guitarist James Canty, noting the screams that sound in regular intervals from the Cyclone, asks if anyone had ever ridden it. Cries of affirmation rise from the crowd, to which he replies: ‘That is a fucked up experience. Glad you survived.’ As a truly punk rock note to end on, Marissa Paternoster, the lead singer of Screaming Females joins them for the finale of their set.

However, the true stars of the festival are Matt & Kim. If you’ve never seen them live; go. They are infectious and so fucking thrilled to be on stage, playing, that you can’t help but fall in love with them. They came on stage to the Beastie Boy’s ‘No Sleep Till Brooklyn’, just the beginning of a show entirely dedicated to Brooklyn. Both of them repeatedly say what an honor it is to be playing here at Siren, in front of so many people. Coming up in basements in Bushwick and kitchens in Clinton Hill, they hold in their hearts an undying love for Brooklyn. Kim is even sporting a Brooklyn t-shirt.

The show itself is incredibly well played, an enormous amount of fun and completely unforgettable. Theirs is a show that sticks with you, from Kim booty dancing in the crowd, held aloft by the crazed fans up front, to the acrobatic nature of them playing their instruments. That silly grin you acquire at the show immediately returns as you sit on the subway and hear in the distance a fan whistling ‘Daylight’.

Read More

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Stay Updated!

Get the best of DIY to your inbox each week.

Latest Issue

April 2024

With Bob Vylan, St Vincent, girl in red, Lizzy McAlpine and more.

Read Now Buy Now Subscribe to DIY