The one problem with not having any rain is that the festival grounds get really dry and dusty. We woke up this morning coughing like Philip Marlowe, and when we blew our nose, it was practically black.
Speaking of snotty, Vant, the 4-piece group from “planet earth,” roused the crowd at the White Stage from their lunchtime doldrums with a smart set of short, fast, loud songs that combined the power chord popistry of classic grunge and the lighter side of the pre-millennial punk revival. Though the band is actually from London, leader Mattie Vant sings like a bratty American, which, combined with the refreshingly cutting political bent of his writing, makes you think he went to high school in Berkeley.
Still, the flannel shirt on such a day was bit much, and we were immensely relieved when he took it off after the third song. An antic performer and a cleverly economical hard rock guitarist, Vant doesn’t mince words. “Stop living in fear,” went one chorus, “and put down your gun.” Another one simply stated, “I don’t believe in God.”
The ecumenical flavor of the lyrics matched his stage demeanor, which tended toward hyperbole. “This is the most beautiful place we’ve ever played,” he said, staring up at the trees, “but it’s not just the view. It’s the company, too.” Awww, shucks. At the end of the blistering 45-minute set, the crowd had doubled in size and Vant was inspired toward more love. “This is the best show we’ve ever played.”