Fuji Rock positivity

Red Hot Chilli Pipers on the Green Stage | Mark Thompson photos

Day One proper dawned sunny and breezy, the dampness on the grass the only indication of the previous night’s rain. The weather forecast for the weekend leans toward the positive, but everyone knows what that’s worth. Still, positivity is what the festival is about. There were long lines from the camp ground to get across the bridge to the festival entrance, and owing to the unfortunate fact that the bridge is the main conduit between the festival and the Prince Hotel, it was very slow going, but no one cut the line, no one complained.

Those killers in kilts, the Red Hot Chilli Pipers expanded on their pre-festival set with even more positivity, running through their repertoire of big, emotive rock covers that, in fact, tended to center on positivity (“This Is Me,” “Don’t Stop Believin’”), and played for a full hour, which is not always the case for the festival’s opening act. But this is exactly the mood you want people to be in at the start of three-day bacchanalia — pumped and ready for anything. The field was packed and rocking, totally happy with familiar songs from an unfamiliar band that counts on its novelty element — three bagpipers — to get people interested. With this crowd, you put 2 Queen songs in your set and you’ve got friends for life. Nothing new or startling. Just giving people what they want at 11 in the morning.