All Points West Hangover: What We Learned from Liberty City

All Points West, and all of its muddy, stylish, musical glory, has ended. What’s left of Liberty City can only be described as a term Chris Martin coined during his closing set: “a mud jacuzzi.” It’s only the second year for the young festival, and already we’ve witnessed vast improvements, including more booze options, interesting sponsor gimmicks, and a continued growth in lineup quality. I could sit here and wax poetic on the Rita’s Italian Ices, Twix breaks, the H & M golf ball shaped tent, feeling at one with nature (and whatever else was in the sludge) and basic spiritual awakenings, but I’ll let other concert goers who also got down and dirty, do the dirty work.

Ben Barna Who were you most excited to see? Jay-Z. Best performance? Jay-Z. Perks to having a VIP ticket? I didn’t have a VIP ticket, but the media pass got me backstage, partly I think, because security just didn’t care enough to stop me. Most memorable part of the festival? Eating Karen O’s leftover salad. Beers. Food. Reasonably priced? No. $6 for a slice of pizza and $7 for a small cup of bud is in no way reasonable. Thankfully, $7 for a pint of Smirnoff is. Worst thing about commuting to the park? Nothing. The ferry ride was much cheaper this year and very convenient. What needs to improve for next year? Just the lineup!

Eiseley Tauginas Who were you most excited to see? Arctic Monkeys. Best performance? The Ting Tings. Worst performance? My Bloody Valentine. The sound system sucked on the main stage for this performance. I think I busted an eardrum and I wasn’t even relatively close to the stage. Most memorable part of the festival? People went nuts during Tokyo Police. Great crowd response. Also, people watching. More goth freaks this year. Strangest festival fare? Butterfly Fries. They were not fries at all! It was a giant plate of potato chips. Best festival food? Chicken fingers. I’m a traditionalist. Worst thing about commuting? The ferry line on the way back (but we skipped, because I was backstage like a baller). Did go out after? Tried to go to Frying Pan, to keep the “I’m on a boat” energy- post-ferry, but almost fell asleep at the bar. What they improved on from last year? Beers! Seven beers rather than five like last year. Also, it was easier to locate APW volunteers and staffers to ask questions. Last year I walked around for what seemed like hours wondering, “Who works here?” What needs to improve before next year? The “designated drinking area”. Ridiculous.

Cayte Grieve Who were you most excited to see? Jay-Z. Best performance? Coldplay. I felt like I really connected with the audience, and I felt like the band really connected with us. Surprisingly good show? Silver Sun Pickups. Their show was great, but the mosh pit that broke out for them made it especially wonderful. It set the mood for the rest of the day. What surprised you overall about the festival? That it was even better in the rain. It was way too hot on Saturday. Friday was just a muddy shit show. Sunday was a nice mix. Beers. Food. Reasonably priced? I sussed out some good deals. The vegetarian lo-mein was only $4. But then again, who eats Chinese food at an outdoor festival? Meanwhile, I expected the beers to be more expensive than $7. Perks to buying a VIP ticket? When I arrived solo on Sunday, there was a 45 minute wait to get in. With the black wristband, I got to breeze right in. Most memorable part of the festival? Karen O. She’s just magic to watch. I rocked out harder than I did for anything else. Also, Coldplay’s cover of Billie Jean, and Jay-Z’s freestlye. Worst thing about the commute? Does the ferry have to be so expensive every day? They should sell a 3 day pack. Did you do anything before? Baogette Did you do anything after? The novelty of being covered in mud was just too much fun, so we decided to go to fancy places. We had a martini at Delmonico’s although it was pretty much closed. One night we went to Hudson Bar and Books. What needs to improve before next year? More sponsors. I found the free Twix, free American Spirits, and the cool H & M tents to be a refreshing way to break up the day- and it made the products memorable.

New York: All Points West Music Fest Top Eats & Drinks

For the second year in a row, All Points West will take over Liberty State Park in Jersey City this weekend. For most Manhattan dwellers, the thought of crossing that river is daunting — but with a location just across the Hudson River from lower Manhattan, the commute is surprisingly easy and filled with great pit stops. Meet your friends for a pint or a bite at one of these fantastic bars and restaurants near your departure point, and enjoy Jay-Z, Coldplay, Vampire Weekend, The Ting Tings, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs on a full stomach. With a seven-beer maximum and lengthy festival lines, you’ll need the pre-party.

Ferry Service (Lower Manhattan) Enjoy the sights and bites of lower Manhattan before catching the Ferry at Battery Park Pier, just south of Castle Clinton. The ferry is $20 if you buy this week; otherwise it’s $25 on the day of the show. Prior to cruising by the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, fill up at these lower Manhattan favorites. ● Burger Shoppe – So close to the bottom of Manhattan you can feel the mist off the river. Crowd is largely lunch-breakers and FiDi residents; near empty on the weekends, which means you can pack in you and your posse pre-Silversun Pickups. Nothing really under $10 as far as food fare, but you’ll be spending the same on street meat and beer at the festival anyway. Best of all, it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump from your ferry.

Gigino – Get into the outdoor mode at this overpriced picnic spot just north of the Castle Clinton National Monument. Rustic Italian food to OD on carbs for your all night dance-a-thon. ● Cordato’s Deli – Guessing that your festival garb borders on grunge, NYC’s most suspicious deli might be your best bet. Dark and dank — how the MI5 might run a deli, but a perfect meet-up spot, as it’s near all of the subways. ● John Street Bar & Grill – Just as grimy as your Nike Dunks will be after an extended MSTRKRFT dance set. Like parallel to an outdoor festival, the elements in this bar are saved by the music — in this case, a quality juke. Greasy bar bites are a great way to start off the day. ● Delmonico’s – For the refined concertgoer. Legendary steaks for the pinstripe set, though it should be fine for the plaid shorts set on any given festival afternoon. Get ready for the day by filling up on a classic steak lunch for $24 if you mention the code “SumSp1144.”

PATH Train (West Village) The environs of the PATH Train at Christopher Street and Greenwich Street or 9th Street will certainly support your eating and drinking habits. PATH stations Hoboken, Pavonia-Newport, and Exchange Place all offer free connections for All Points West ticket holders to the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail that will take you straight to the festival. Hop in here before you hop on the train. ● Rusty Knot – You’ll be on the water … might as well get a jump start with this nautically themed bar. Ask bartender Griffin for his special pre-music festival shot: the lethal and yummy pickle backs. Then stumble on over to the PATH. ● White Horse Tavern – Since it’s an arts and music festival, may as well try impress your pals by taking them to the place where Dylan Thomas bit the dust after an eve of boozing, then join in with the rest of the frat party by downing beer by the pitcher. ● Blind Tiger Ale House – The old faithful beer haunt is always a great meet up place. Listing 28 drafts from homey to exotic, plus many more in bottles. There are about as many brews as there are APW festival bands. ● A Salt & Battery – Sure, APW isn’t Glastonbury, but get psyched just the same by plunking down with your mates for some perfect fish ‘n’ chips wrapped in London newspaper spotted with grease. Brilliant, innit? ● Corner Bistro – Wait, how much were those festival tickets again? Luckily there is this joint known for the incomparable Bistro Burger. With everything on the menu less than $6.50, and cheap McSorley’s to wash it down, we’ve hit the penny-pinching mother lode. See you soon, Neko Case!

Snobbery and Entitlement at All Points West

VIP access to this weekend’s All Points West Music and Arts Festival means hanging with the artists, but not actually watching them perform. Ignore the tempting buffet because there is too much beer to drink. Score a bunch of free shit and feel very important because of it. At the entrance, unimportant and important people alike wait in long-ass lines while their are bags checked. But we very important folk waltz right in.

Pass the Brazilian Girls and one gay man of CSS on the second stage, ignore Underworld on the main stage, and go straight to the VIP tent/area. Once inside the haven of exclusivity, I can breathe again, finally amongst my very important people. But when I go for a beer and the bartender has the gall to ask for money, it became very clear, very fast, that the whole thing was a sham, a put-up. Even the food had prices — a cardinal sin in VIPville. My lungs pinched up and the Statue of Liberty laughed at me. I’ve been had by promoters looking to grant concertgoers a quick fix of upper-crustery. I had to get out of this make-you-believe world and into the real, which meant only one thing: backstage.

Passing security is no big deal — I belong there, after all. Beyond the metal railing, behind the stage, is a world of artists golf-carting to and fro, and celebrities picking at fruit plates. Vice co-founder Suroosh Alvi hangs out with the hipster set. Natasha Lyonne (looking a little plump these days) is flanked by Animal Collective. There’s Liv Tyler bringing her son onstage to watch Kings of Leon (probably dating the whole band). Jessica Stam just walked by. Rosanna Arquette eats cantaloupe. Mary-Kate Olsen watches the show. Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon are there too. Miso too salty, chocolate cake too decadent. And when headliners Radiohead finally start playing, their music sounds so much better from behind the stage, muffled as it may be. It’s the music only very important ears get to hear.

Radiohead Pedals Eco Agenda

Another celebrity attempt to save the world has failed. In an effort to promote eco-friendly lifestyles, Radiohead announced that 50 passes for their show at Paris’ Bercy Arena would be given away to fans who claimed them by bicycle, at record label XL’s Parisian office. Unfortunately, only 15 tickets were claimed for the June 10th show. Perhaps Radiohead didn’t realize that promoting bicycling to pick up tickets would have been a more popular venture in Amsterdam. The band continues to encourage show-goers to use public transportation to attend its shows. We’ll do them one better—we’re backstroking across the Hudson to All Points West.