Monday, August 20, 2007
Exit... Stage serbia (part deux)
We toured around Novi Sad and Alexandra pointed out the major sites. Most interesting though, was talking to her. I couldn’t determine whether she was having trouble with her English or she was just uninterested in what we had to say. We would try to respond to her and at least half the time she would cut in and start talking about something else. She was involved in the artist scene in Novi Sad but it sounded like she was more of an organizer than an artist. We did get an interesting view of the rest of Europe from her. She thought that the locals were unfriendly compared to the rest of Europe. Well, compared to western EU. She mentioned that the Croatians were ‘evil’ with an unsettlingly casual racism. She didn’t like ‘hippies’ as she called most of the festival goers but she was into tarot and seemed to appreciate the hippy ideals if not the hippies themselves. Despite these odd points, she was nice enough to take us on a locals tour of the area, showed us the outside of here house and her dogs and spent the afternoon hanging out. That definitely seems friendlier than most of the other Europeans I have met. We parted ways to go to the festival and she mentioned that her friend would want to meet us so we set up to meet the next day.
We headed back for a nap before the show and then headed in for the night.
Lauryn Hill was first up on the main stage. In what was apparently her modus operandi this summer, she fucked up the whole stage. She didn’t come on until nearly 2 hours too late. As I hear it, she wasn’t even there. I hear rumors of her in other shows this summer refusing to play because some of the backstage staff had the audacity to talk to her and other such nonsense. When do you cross that line as a performer and become completely divorced from reality?
Basement Jaxx apologized for coming on so late with something like “.. we would like to apologize, the previous performer held up, nah, the reason we are on is b/c we have been waiting 2 hours for Lauryn Hill. We are sorry and here we go.”
Basement Jaxx had a good show. I didn’t realize he had become a band. He used to be a DJ. The first half of his show was a full on show with him basically being drums and keyboard (from the dj booth). The show lost some momentum in the middle when he switched over to his classic DJ stuff.
We wandered a bit and saw some other shows before heading back to see Snoop Dogg. The main stage was way to small to hold the crowd and we were forever away. Ever since he split with Dre, Snoop just ain’t Snoop so we didn’t even stay for the whole show.
Spent the next day in the park throwing a Frisbee around and reading. Met up with Alexandra and her friend Marianne. We chatted a bit, her friend was more interested in the ‘mainstream’ culture and seemed a bit more open minded. Alexandra told our fortunes with playing cards but she didn’t have her books so she couldn’t read all the cards. I think she got mine backwards and told my past instead.
We made our way into the concert to see WuTang. The sound wasn’t so good and by this time we were pretty low energy. 4 days of this was beginning to get to us. Sunday night was the night for the locals though, complete with fireworks.. Most of the foreigners had left so the mix was much different on this night. We finished off our drink tokens and wandered. Found a cool café at the Happy Novi Sad stage.
We headed back around 2 to try to get some sleep before our early departure the next day. It was a bit tough, the locals were really partying. We had two competing brass bands on either side of us with the locals hooting and hollering. In a way the hooting reminded me of a Mexican fiesta.
We roused ourselves around 7 am to find a cab. The locals were just starting to leave, they do know how to party. We were getting a cab to the bus station but we had some extra dirhams and decided to have the guy take us all the way to Belgrade. Nice countryside. One more adventure on the books.