2 Days Later: All Points West Fest, Nokia and Radiohead.

by Emon Hassan on August 12, 2008

The journey itself to a festival is never talked about. It is in itself an event. When you go, who you go with, how you get there, what you experience while you’re trying to get there and when you get there. This is my first music festival so I am bound to describe it as more than just an outdoor concert, which this was not. Six of us went to APW. Donna and Steph from WOM World and three other NY participants just like moi. We chatted over brunch, compared differences in terminology between the US and the UK, and shared our disdain towards flying these days. We then hopped on the Light Rail from Essex Street and landed in Liberty State Park stop. We were not alone.

Hundreds walked with us toward the park. And we walked. And we walked. And we walked some more. It started getting hot, and not in any fun way. We got VIP bracelets that needed a second person’s help to tie; later that night if you’d seen me trying to take that damn thing off, you’d have thought I was trying to take off those plastic thingy handcuffs. There weren’t too many people in there yet. Maybe just a few hundred here and there, in front of each of the 3 stages placed so the sound coming out of one would interfere with the other’s territory. Business was in full bloom. You couldn’t take outside food so the food stands and booths made dough like a mofo…I’m sure.

Was I interested in any of the other bands? No, just the one who happened to be slotted for 8:30 pm. That’s good, because I can’t be distracted into listening to music while I try to take pictures. Makes no fucking sense, I know, this was a music fest after all. Oh yes, an art festival too. As in – ‘Can I have an art festival, please, and yes – hold the art stuff.” We made our way to the Nokia booth. It was more like a plastic igloo, complete with air-conditioning and laptops and fun stuff stuffed inside. Here we were trying to create images and content with a Nokia 5310 and the folks inside Nokia Productions all were equipped with an N95. Well…their booth, their rules.

Good thing about going into festivals and such as VIPs is…VIP area!! Trailer bathrooms and air-conditioned dining areas; chairs under tents and giant millipede shaped balloons. Did I mention burgers sold for $4 by people wearing shirts that said ‘Pig in, or Pig Out’? Just did. Drinks didn’t complain. They sold for the same price as well. WOM World took very good care of us in that regard. Love them! There was a VIP gallery made for people (VIPs) like us to sit and watch. If you’re like me and always seem to be pushed to a spot, right behind that 8-foot dude, you’d love the seats. Unfortunately, it’s as exciting a place to watch a concert as it is to watch a chess game from a moshpit.

The phone…yes. Nokia 5310 maybe a nice phone that makes calls on a 3G network, slick looking, thin, sexy and all. But its camera is awful. I say that not comparing it to the N95 I’d tried out before but my own Samsung 510 which has a 2MP camera as well. Difference is image quality and size. I’m not quite sure how any of the video footage or images one would shoot with this would compete with stuff shot with an N95 or other Nokia phones for the Nokia Productions thing with Spike Lee. Certainly no videos. By the way, you don’t have to own a Nokia phone to take part in this film production. Now T-Mobile has joined as the sponsor for this project. Nokia is getting ready for the final film as well.

Images…that was challenging. I didn’t think I’d be doing wide shots anyway. A phone cam that can handle light is important. I resisted going the heavy experimental route with these photos and haven’t cropped them or done any post processing like I’ve done with the other phones, except for a crop or two and mostly adjusting levels and saturation on Lightroom. Wont’ lie to you. We had to go and upload some of our images at the booth to show Nokia Productions that we are actually working. They had to be uploaded on JumpCut and tagged appropriately. I made a mistake by uploading them all and not keeping copies on my phone. Because I realized later that JumpCut has no editing option that are actually useful. No image rotation? Come on now…it’s the same company that owns Flickr. I’m stuck with several photos that are upside down or sideways. I made sure that didn’t happen with the second batch.  I uploaded a second set on my Flickr. If you know me at all you know that in large events I’m less interested in what’s going on stage than what’s going on around the stage. With a camera phone like this it made it easier to grab the angles I got.

Looking at the slideshow, I think this second batch met the day’s purpose.  The camera on this phone has a long way to go. It takes a good couple of seconds to process and save an image after you take a shot. That’s all I have to say about the camera on this phone. Check out the slideshow and let me know what you think. If you’d like to take a look at all the pics on JumpCut, go here.

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

I’ll keep the Radiohead ‘review’ simple. Watching them live, experiencing rather, I now understand why fans follow them city to city. Their live performance kicks ass. Songs from ‘In Rainbows’ esp. Reckoner [music video], which they started the show with. Got to see the Thom Yorke’s famous dance moves during the opening minutes of ’15 Steps.’ The video projection was very cool and loved how each frame caught just a portion of them. After a few songs, I decided to move out of the front of the stage (not quite up front – more like 20 to 30 feet away) because some of the girls were getting angry for not being able to see the stage. After a couple of ‘fuck off…my spot!’ coming from different directions, I knew it wasn’t safe.

In short, waiting a whole day to see this band perform was worth it. I’d go see them again. If you’re a fan, go have that experience. Listening to the same albums you always do will seem boring after you see them perform. I wish I had the better camera with me for the night shots and during the day. I wish I had passes so I could take pics up close. I wish I had backstage passes. The following video was taken with my cellphone because there was no point in attempting that with 5310. I’m showing you this for no other reason than to brag. Look closely and you’ll notice the Yorke dance during the 15 Steps intro. The third section is the stage lights, seen from very far away.

That’s it, my peeps. Ciao ciao!

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