Tibetan Freedom Concert: June 15, 1996
San Francisco, CA - Golden Gate Park
featuring: Beastie Boys, Smashing Pumpkins, Foo Fighters, A Tribe Called Quest, Pavement, Cibo Matto, Biz Markie, Richie Havens, John Lee Hooker

Notes: Here is part of a very long journal entry I wrote a few days after the show took place.

Left Saturday morning about 6:30am. Got to Golden Gate Park a little after 10. Oh man....we did things SO much more efficiently than for PJ there last year. This concert experience was so opposite from 6/24/95 it's funny. Didn't even have to deal with much SF traffic because we came in from a highway by the ocean, turned right on Fulton, got off at 36th ave and the Polo Fields were less than 1/5 of a mile from there. And that put us next the side entrance, not that hell one way in the back. niiiiiiiiiice! :) Damn I wish I had a scanner so I could put some maps up on my page to better show you guys where I was. oh well.

anyway! We got in pretty quickly... I went up with my sister's friend Leah, and her friend Jeff (his older bro Mike was in my class in HS, so I sort of know him) and Jeff's mom drove us. We met Leah's friend April at 36th and Fulton both mornings. Those three stayed pretty close to the front most of the time, while I parked to the right of the mixing/lighting desk (Mtv had their set-up right on top of that) and stayed there against the wall the whole time. They had two stages set up side-by-side and while one band was playing, another was setting up, so there was hardly any wait between acts. I was closer to the stage on the right, called the Blue Stage (BS), and I was pretty close to the corner of the desk so I could see across to the Red Stage (RS) unless one of the staff or medical people were standing on the bars. grrr. They were pretty cool though...during the Fugees and the Chili Peppers one guy was standing up taking short people's cameras and taking pictures for them.

Saturday June 15

Started out cloudy but the sun broke through a. It got warmish sometimes but was pleasantly cool and breezy. Again, much nicer than the weather for PJ last year. The same announcer guy was there, I remember his voice from when he was admonishing ppl for booing Jeff Ament. heh.

Okay, so first (around 12noon)a group of about 25 Tibetan monks and nuns came out and did a prayer chant, and they were followed by Chaksam-Pa, a group that does traditional Tibetan music.

(RS) Richie Havens: He's the guy who opened Woodtsock and had a very warm response here.

(BS) Cibo Matto: Two girls from NYC via Japan I think...play kinda cheesy bubblegum techno-ish rap like music. Please forgive my ability to describe the music here. :) Did two songs just w/ a keyboard and then got a drummer and Sean Lennon on bass and were a bit more groovy.

(RS) Pavement: uhhh....don't really have much to say about them..not into their stuff at all. We had to listen to them in the car a lot because they're Jeff's favorite band.

(BS) Biz Markie: he's this heavy-set rapper dude who was rather amusing. I guess his hit song is something that goes like "youuuuuuuu, you got what I neeeeeeeed, but you say he's just a friend, you say he's just a friend." He sang this, as well as "you got a disease, but you say it's just a rash" as well as "you got a hair weave, but you say it's your real hair." Then he did this weird dance. Definitely amusing. Half the time though I was watching them set up on the other stage...

(RS) Foo Fighters: at last, a band I really wanted to hear. The crowd started to get packed and excited for them. Started with "This Is A Call" and did about 4 others. Pat Smear just had his dark purple pj's on and Leah said he was wearing a pearl necklace. They sounded okay...saw them on the rerun of SNL last week...they mic the cymbals up too much, it's really annoying!

(BS) John Lee Hooker: he was cool...don't know what to say really, not familiar with any of his stuff but it all sounded good.

(RS) A Tribe Called Quest: nothing much to say here either, satisfied the rap fans in the crowd...

(BS) Smashing Pumpkins: they were good, did Bullet w/Butterfly Wings, Zero, Tonight Tonight, An ode to no one, and then played parts of Silverfuck and went into an extended "period of music" with an additional drummer and that was REALLY neat...I love those chaotic-drumming songs.

(RS) Beastie Boys: I wish I knew more about them to give a better report. They were good, played about 40 minutes, ending with the songs everyone knows. I liked them a lot more than I thought I would.

Then the nuns and monks came out again to give us a final blessing, which was nice of them. :) It ended at about 6:20pm.

(June 1996)


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