For those who experienced and loved ATP America’s festivals in Monticello, NY, it may have been difficult to imagine how a change of location, from upstate New York to the New Jersey shore, could possibly improve and enhance the unique and uncanny event that it was known to be. Well, it has.
Friday afternoon the fans, followers and leaders of All Tomorrow’s Parties arrived in Asbury Park, NY, a town that only five or so years ago was known for its high crime rate and abandoned boardwalk. It’s likely that this decadence, however, is precisely what draws the festival and its goers to a new spot on the map, a mere hour south of New York City. Although the rain dampened the ground here at Asbury Park, it did not extinguish the ATP fire that was sparked on stage by Chavez, Reggie Watts with his knee-slapping musical spoofs (ironically fit for a music festival), event regulars Shellac, Hannibal Buress and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, The Album Leaf and the absorbing Jeff Magnum (of Neutral Milk Hotel).
Saturday, day two of the festival kicked off with Beak, a personal favorite, who put on a riveting show, and will continue with performances by The Horrors, Battles, Ultramagnetic MC’s, Swans and, among other artists, Saturday night ‘s headliner, Portishead.
There will be DJs playing and parties pumping well into the night after the last bands of the evening leave the stage, and Sunday the festival will culminate with shows by Public Enemy, Earth, Mogwai, and another Jeff Magnum show.
Trains and buses run from all over the Northeast to Asbury Park, and is a mere one hour drive from New York City. No excuse is a good excuse to miss this party. If it’s to roam the same city streets as always, go for brunch at the restaurant around the corner from your house and drink a bloody mary like you did last Sunday, all that can be said is that you can get all of that here, and become a part of the All Tomorrow’s Parties phenomenon.