Last Stop has come and gone. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t perfect, but it definitely can’t be called a failure. Despite several technical and logistical difficulties, all four acts performed to a crowd that dwarfed that of any of this spring’s other festivals.
Pitchfork favorites Titus Andronicus took the stage first just before 9 p.m., two hours after they were supposed to. A lack of manpower had delayed setup, which pushed the entire schedule back. As for Titus Andronicus’ performance, I was somewhat disappointed. The band didn’t have much stage presence to speak of, and there was a noticeable difference between the band’s live and album sounds. Parts of their performance went past “unpolished” and “raw” and into “out of tune” and “bad” territory.
Matt & Kim took the stage next. They seemed far more comfortable onstage and played a high-energy set that had half of the crowd going wild. Unfortunately, the other half had been expecting Fabolous to go on next and were not as excited to hear the dance-punk duo perform. This group of the crowd also did not seem to enjoy the rest of the crowd’s dancing, and I saw more than one fight break out between the two groups. I know it’s too much to expect everyone to love Matt & Kim’s performance as much as I did, but I find it unfortunate that some people were unwilling to let others enjoy themselves. On the other hand, I think Matt & Kim did gain some new fans, winning over some of the more stubborn audience members with covers of “Better Off Alone” and “The Final Countdown” mixed in with their own songs.
After another long break, State Radio went on at their originally scheduled time, though not as the final act. Once again, it was obvious the crowd was split on their opinions, though things didn’t get quite as intense as they had with Matt & Kim. The one downside of having such a diverse festival is that you can’t please everyone there with every act.
Fabolous finally made it to the stage around midnight. I’ll say up front, I wasn’t really into it, but most of the crowd who was left on the HUB lawn would probably disagree with me. If having an act with a draw as large has Fabolous’ was responsible for Last Stop’s turnout, I can’t really say I have a problem with that. While the University Park Undergraduate Association and the rest of the Last Stop organizers got more funds for their festival than any other group, they also got a substantially larger number of students to show up. Just see for yourself.
[Photo Credit: Chase Tralka]