Squampton Summer Skates and the Squamish Valley Music Festival

With Squamish Valley Music Festival approaching and me not really able to comfortably ride a bike yet, I decided to pull the sub and trucks from my snowskate (Rayne - Renegade) and slap on my longboard trucks and some 70mm ZigZags. What an idea! Within an hour all three of our Rayne top decks had been transformed into summer slaying machines fully equipped with wide longboard trucks and fat ass wheels, cruising the streets of Squamish. I was never really comfortable on a conventional longboard for whatever reason, but combine longboard trucks and wheels with your average street skateboard and BOOYAB!  What a feeling, so cruisy, and minimal pushing required, I was instantly excited to skateboard again for the first time in a lot of years.  

As for the music festival, it was great! Overall I had a great weekend, got to see lots of bands and some old friends. FYI, with over 100,000 festival goers throughout the weekend Squamish is needless to say an absolute shit show, and next to impossible for my handicapped friend to get to and from the festival grounds. But for the rest of us Squamish folk riding a bicycle, skateboarding or walking was the only reasonable transportation, not to mention quite the adventure in the dark while intoxicated. Thursday we met at Jesse's place for a few drinks before riding our bikes the 5 minutes into the festival grounds where they provided us with free bike valet. Within the first hour I had burned through the money I had preloaded onto the RFID festival bracelet in the beer garden and headed towards the stage to get a better look at what I would later decide was one of the best shows I saw all weekend. A Tribe Called Red put on an amazing show full of heavy hitting bass, tribal dancers and bone chilling war cries accompanied by some crazy native american battle scene visuals on the big screens, I would definitely love to see them again!  

Thursday evening Stawamus Stage with the Stawamus Chief in the background at Squamish Valley Music Festival, gates just opened and we are already at the beer garden.

After lots of pounding music, and few vodka sevens I was back on my bike and not looking forward to the 30 minute uphill pedal back to the Highlands I had ahead of me. Worst part of that uphill battle was there was no sweet downhill trail to thrash on the way back to the truck, no, just a humid house with two over excited dogs desperately seeking attention. Friday we headed down a bit earlier on our skates which were also checked for free at the bike valet. Now that the festival was in full swing there were two things which became totally obvious to me, there is NOTHING LESS ATTRACTIVE THAN HIGH WASTED SHORTS, especially when paired with those hideous boots that remind me of the Mugatu Derelicte campaign from Zoolander, and secondly there is way more music I don't like being played than the music that I do like. That being said, Day 2 we got to see Nas, who is in the middle of his Illmatic tour. Strange to think that a good portion of the crowd there was not even born when Illmatic dropped back in '94, but you never would have guessed by the number of people singing along to "If I Ruled the World". After Nas we just wandered around from stage to stage slowly winding down from a long day of fighting crowds and burning joints in the hot august sun, before calling it a night.

Winding down from a long day of music and burning joints in the sun. (nice shirt!)

Saturday was mostly about people watching for me, as I said before, I'm not a huge fan of most of the music being played and I was really only there to see The Roots. While people watching I noticed that either A, I am too old and out of touch with what's "cool", or B, everyone has been lying to everyone else about how what they are wearing looks good. I am leaning towards B. I know it's not just me that gets nauseous every time I see a girl walk by in high waisted shorts, I mean come on, I'm sure they are the very reason Viagra was invented. How did we go from yoga pants to this?? Every man alive wanted to meet the genius who came up with LuLu Lemon a few years back, and now we are wondering what the hell happened, someone must have waved a magic wand and, POOF, all of those beautifully toned backsides turned into hideous granny dumpers... WTF?! When I got home saturday night I hopped on google to see what kind of hilarious high waisted shorts memes I could find, and they were endless, I guess I'm not alone on this one. Hopefully the beautiful women of the world will wake up and realize what they are doing to us, and while they are at it, lose the fucking Derelicte boots... PLEASE!

"you like highwasted shorts?!?!"               hahaha        Chris and I crowd watching and talkin' shit at the SVMF with Mt. Garibaldi in the background.

The Roots were pretty good, but since they have been on the Jimmy Falon show, their concerts have resembled, well, a late night talk show jazz band. I am not hating on their diverse talents by any means, but the first time I saw them they opened for Rage Against the Machine in place of the Wu-Tang Clan who got stopped at the border, and it was a hip-hop show like no other I had ever seen! Rahzel walked out on stage only after teasing the crowd with an eerily realistic beatbox version of Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthin' to Fuck With, which set the whole crowd off, everyone was going nuts, and the rest of the show was just as thrilling. This time around I could barely recognize the songs that I used to sing along with word for word, as they were newly jazzed up, and what happened to the two beatboxers that once graced the stage along side of the full band known as The Roots? I had seen them in Whistler during the 2010 Winter Olympics and it was pretty much the same show.  I headed home early saturday night on my skateboard, weaving in and out of pedestrian traffic on the dark bicycle path, while being blinded by headlights from the highway beside the path, which would not have gone so smooth without fat ass longboard wheels. Actually it was so early that I made it to the Wendy's drive-thru after making it back to my car. Score!

Sunday was the reason we bought our tickets, the Rap God himself, Eminem was to perform right here in our backyard in Squamish BC. The first show I wanted to see on sunday was Danny Brown at 4:30, but when we got to the gates at 4:25 we figured we would miss the whole show as the line ups to get in were out of control. I said "snake 'em all" and without missing a beat, we just put our heads down and started making our way through the crowd until we had snaked our way right to the security check. After a quick spin around and lifting my shirt I was in, what should have taken at least an hour took us all of 90 seconds, and 2 minutes later we were rushing to the stage to see Danny Brown start one hell of a show. Full of energy and most likely mollies he jumped around the stage head banging and tongue hanging to his chin rapping his ass off. Next up was Atmosphere, which I didn't know all that well, but the songs I did know, I had known them for a long time and really liked. He put on a great show, played all the songs I knew and even a few I hadn't realized were his. 

Chris, Jesse and I at the Atmosphere show

Now for the show we were all waiting for since the lineup was dropped back in february, the real Slim Shady was here in Squamish... or was he? I guess someone forgot to tell him where he was as the whole time he kept shouting out Vancouver, and not just once or twice, but probably 20 or 30 times. The crowd tried to let him know, every time he would say "Vancouver" we would all shout "Squamish!" Besides his disorientation, it was a solid concert, full of visual effects and and a quick guest appearance by Royce da 5'9. The show even started with a dramatic short film just as Snoop Dogg's shows used to. He played so many big hits and the whole crowd of somewhere around 50,000 people of varying ages could all sing along to at least one song if not many. It was the third time I have seen Eminem live, and I would definitely cough up the dough to do it again. At one point during the show Jesse decided to push his way closer to the stage, as he was filming with his iphone he was blindsided by a head on head collision with a girl who until half a second before that had been crowd surfing somewhere behind him. While struggling to get to his feet and find his glasses people around him helped him out by picking up various things he had dropped in the collision and at some point someone picked up his phone and continued filming the show. Jesse looked around for his phone for a while and then gave up to watch the show, meanwhile Chris who is beside me gets a message from Jesse's phone asking to meet up to get his phone back. At the end of the show Chris and I met up with Jesse where we had told him to meet us and he had already been given his phone back by a young girl who told him some story about a guy that she saw pick it up and put in his pocket. She then said she told the guy it was her friends and then found Jesse and gave it back, all with a big puppy dog smile full of braces. The strange part was that the video evidence on his phone shows someone picked up his phone almost instantly after it being dropped and filming on and off throughout the rest of the show. Either way Jesse got his phone back and was stoked that someone had continued to film for him, while he pushed his way to the front to watch the rest of the show up close and personal.

The Rap God Eminem

Before I finish up I would just like to say that Bruno Mars and his all male back up dancers/band could give the 2 Live Crew's XXX Me So Horny Dancers a run for their money, very reminiscent of the "show" Usher put on in Whistler for the 2010 Winter Olympics... Obscene! HaHa - Jon Samborski {Squampton Snowskates}