We’ve got a lot to cover in this post, so we’ll keep the intro short and simple. We have dissected the festival’s first big night, Friday, complete with after party, so you’ll be able to make your choices more wisely. This is where it starts to get tricky. Night three starts at 7, with a corresponding after party starting at midnight. This here’s the first big day of VIA 2011, aka the “Main Event”. Can’t make this night? Not to fret! There’s going to be a live stream of every event Wednesday to Saturday courtesy of Arsenal Studios! Maybe we’ll get some boobie flash action like we did last year at Big Freedia. Don’t forget to purchase tickets if you haven’t already, else you ain’t gettin’ in!
Night Three | October 7 | 6022 Broad St.
Protect-U / Aurora Halal
Extreme Animals a/v
Light Asylum / Thunder Horse Video
Toy Selectah / DiAy
Broad Street in East Liberty will host the main VIA haps this year. They’ve taken over the entire street and will provide attendees with some killer indoor/outdoor options. Friday night is inside, but there’s also installations and a lot of other stuff to do while the music’s going on, so show up early, stay late, and most importantly, find a DD, cos your ass isn’t leaving without some type of buzz, whether it’s music-induced or straight up chemical.
Kicking off the evening is Protect-U, who is no stranger to the Pgh after playing an infamous Helter Shelter party, sharing the bill with Beautiful Swimmers. Protect-U is comprised of two fellas named Mike Petillo and Aaron Leitko. Mike, alongside Andrew Field-Pickering of Beautiful Swimmers, runs the Future Times label. Future Times is based out of D.C. and puts out a lot of hip shit. I’m glad Protect-U is returning. I really enjoyed their set. You’ll like them if you like to zone out on the dancefloor, house music, trancey type stuff, or just generally being out of your mind. They’re less accessible than some of the other deejays who are playing VIA this year, but that’s why I like ’em.
Extreme Animals is another duo that’s played the Pgh recently, this time at a small DIY space known as The Shop. The Shop is located on the outskirts of Bloomfield one block from Brillo. Extreme Animals had a neat show alongside other locals such as Mrs. Paintbrush (aka one of the guys from Grand Buffet aka a rap group from Pgh). It was more comedy than anything else. They combine noise, dance music and performance art for a unique experience that is very engaging for the viewer/listener. If you like to laugh, you’ll like Extreme Animals. Mad props if you catch the Ghostwriter reference in the first ten seconds of this video. Remember the bubblegum monster episode? I thought I was the only person on earth who remembered that show, until now!
There’s a lot of tit in the Light Asylum video for Dark Allies, but hey, I’m not complaining. I find their music to be some of the most accessible of VIA. Vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Shannon Funchess performed as a touring singer with VIA alums !!! and has collaborated with TV on the Radio and LCD Soundsystem. Yay, bands you’ve heard of! Aesthetically, they remind me of a combination of Teengirl Fantasy and Twin Shadow for some reason. Where I got that from, who knows. These cats intrigue me, and I’m sure they’ll intrigue you too. Very 80s. Bring your windpants.
araabMUZIK is someone I knew very little about until the last-minute lineup addition and is one of the artists I’m most excited to see now that I’ve done my homework. Fans of Nosaj Thing, Onra and Mux Mool will dig this cat. His production skills are impeccable, and his live performances are truly unique and nothing like his recordings. He’s worked with everyone from Dipset to Young Jeezy, Ludacris, Gucci Mane and many more. You might think this is some type of hip hop/rap artist or something of that sort. Nah. It’s much more than that. Watch this video. Shit’s wild.
Toy Selectah is a producer and remixer who combines classic Mexican tones and soundscapes with contemporary beats. He’s for those of you who are jumping on that whole moombahton bandwagon, if you can even consider that a bandwagon. Maybe I just live in a bubble. Of moombahton deejays. But really, I don’t. Fans of Major Lazer can appreciate this guy, however that’s not to say you won’t like Toy Selektah if you hate Major Lazer. He also reminds me of Dj Sabo, who came to the Cantina during my 30 day/ 30 night rampage. Another very accessible deejay on the VIA lineup, indeed.
Night Three | Afterparty | 6022 Broad St.
RVNG Intl. showcase
Tim Sweeney / Bellows
Pink Skull / A Bill Miller
Blondes / Aurora Halal
If you last long enough for the afterparty, you’re in for a treat. If I had choose an afterparty for the more casual VIA-goer, it would be this one. What the hell is RVNG Intl? I didn’t know myself, but apparently it’s based out of NYC and they throw parties and release records. Sounds like a pretty sweet gig to me. Tim Sweeney is from the legendary radio program Beats In Space. The write-up on VIA’s site is the only thing that can do Tim Sweeney proper justice. “Today, tens of thousands of listeners tune in to the Beats in Space broadcast in the Tri-State area, with thousands more all over the world listening in via live online streams, every Tuesday from 10:30pm to 1am. Fans download 175,000 archived shows from the BIS website (beatsinspace.net) every month. Beats in Space remains the only dance-music radio show of its kind in New York, and one of the most instantly recognized in the world.”
Joining Sweeney on the evening’s bill is Pink Skull, a Philly-based band that combines elements of indie, punk and electro to create something that I think fans of what I’d like to call “jam electronica” would like. Think Disco Biscuits only way cooler, less washed out and more innovative. Fans of Pretty Lights could get into this. Rounding out the night is Blondes, who are no stranger to Pgh or NakYouOut, as I’ve raved about them in the past. Expect the end of this night to be hazy, intense, and the absolute perfect atmosphere for Blondes. I would tell you more, but you’ll get a lot from the experience by just going with the flow, listening, and taking it all in. This will be the best part of Friday for a lot of people. If nothing else, just watch the reverie.
Until next time, folks!