River's Edge Music Festival Day 1, 6/23/12

Categories: Last Night
Photo by Erik Hess
River's Edge Festival
With Tool, Sublime With Rome, Scissor Sisters, Rye Rye, Brand New, Blaqstarr, Motion City Soundtrack, Coheed and Cambria, and more
Harriet Island, St. Paul
Saturday, June 23, 2012

15 gorgeous GIFs from River's Edge Music Festival 2012
Review: River's Edge Music Festival Day 2, 6/24/12
Slideshows: Music Day 1, Music Day 2, People Day 1, People Day 2 

The initial serving of the inaugural River's Edge Festival -- a weekend of music, fried food, drinking, and socializing at an enormous piece of parkland jutting into the Mississippi River -- was a bit like Coheed and Cambria's prog-emo cover mid-set of Gotye's sensitive hit "Somebody That I Used to Know." Yes, Saturday was an immediately familiar sensation tweaked into something new entirely. And with tweaks comes risk.

As with Taste of Minnesota, and many music events that have come and gone at Harriet Island, the location itself proves enticing -- with wide-trunked trees, ample patches of grass, riverboats that belong in a museum parked nearby, St. Paul's towering skyscrapers, trains chugging by, and the majestic water. Portions of the Live Nation-engineered event matched the majesty of the surroundings, and one could see the potential for a yearly pleasure center on some of the longest days of the year.

CityPages-REMF-Music-Day1-10-Scissor Sisters.jpg
Photo by Erik Hess
If any act embodied the boundary-shredding feel of this multi-genre music festival's first day, it was New York's dance-centric Scissor Sisters. "We're having a nice time," said female co-lead singer Ana Matronic, who displays bright-red hair like Mad Men's Christina Hendricks and twice the sultry energy. "Not just Minnesota nice, but nice, nice, nice, fucking nice!"

She, relentless frontman Jake Shears, who was clad in a glam-boyant, bird-patterned workout suit, and an all-consuming backing band brought a limb-shaking disco to Harriet's sister land mass, Raspberry Island. Although the arch-shaped pavilion stage was the smallest of the three live stages, it hosted some of the weekend's finest bookings.

As for cover material, Scissor Sisters did their Bee Gees-ish version of Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" and the best Elton John song not by Elton John ("Take Your Mama") -- both found on their massive self-titled debut from 2004 -- and spanned their more recent catalog through the just-released Magic Hour. The synched dancing of "Let's Have a Kiki" might have been the fiercest Pride Weekend moment that didn't occur in Loring Park.

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