Just when you thought the Summer of Gurpstock was over,we stick the landing with another spectacular catastrophe. As the city council of Asheville manages to anger both sides of the hotly contested debate as to whether hip hop should be allowed at local festivals, the artists of Gurp City South manage to weasel their way into headlining both nights of the LAAF Fest.
Beginning at 2pm Saturday my consigliere & I began our promo mission, passing out fliers for the upcoming GCS show at the Orange Peel, to patrons of the Lexington Avenue Arts Festival while indulging ourselves in liberal doses of PBR & Nathan’s hot dogs. Somehow after 500 handbills dispersed, we managed to keep this pace & arrive at the main stage for the Ville Boyz set at 9pm, with some modicum of respectable decorum (comparatively speaking of course). The VB’s went on to tear the house down with a rowdy yet upbeat hour of music for a crowd of several hundred. Surprisingly it wasn’t until they slowed it down for one of their satellite associates to do a very VH1, Wycleff-esqe, one-man & his acoustic, love ballad that several meat head goons jumped a guy in flip-flops in the front row, simply because the guy’s girlfriend couldn’t be coerced into making out with one of these assailants (so powerful was the impact of this amorous serenade upon the up & coming date rapist). Ironically the violence was ended by the closing of the set with the rowdiest of Ville Boyz numbers “2 Days Til Tuesday” and all was made right in the jungle. My personal joy was such that I continued my celebration with several associates until about 8am. A respectable 16hr bender survived relatively unscathed.
Waking up Sunday afternoon just two hours before my 7pm set with GFE, I arrived back at the festival just in time to dispatch another chili-cheese dog & two beers before showtime. The crowd was sizable & energetic and the set was deftly executed. The highlight for me was undoubtedly being heckled by a homeless person, a remarkable 1st in a career marked with a litany of auspicious events. The bum managed to make his way to the front row to ice grill the band for a portion of the show, sliding his hand across his throat menacingly along with a few other disparaging gestures, before coming side stage & asking one of the MC’s if he could get a verse (yes even bums rap now & they too believe they do it better than you). After his predictable rebuke Evil Mr. Wendall returned to a place of prominence in the crowd & continued to pantomime his disapproval at the free live music. Say what you will about the downtrodden & dispossessed vagabonds of Asheville but they prove time & again that beggars can in fact be choosers.