I’ve never been to an All Tomorrow’s Parties event in the United Kingdom, so maybe I’m way off base here, but it sure felt like Asbury Park gave it the old English try when the coastal community played host to its first ever I’ll Be Your Mirror event between September 30 and October 2. On Friday, the first night of the festival, the temperatures dipped and the skies opened up and any time spent fussing with one’s deliberately tousled indie-approved hair on the way into town was rendered pointless.
Thankfully, none of that mattered. Any discomfort or fumbling virgin hiccups in Joisey—and there were a few, some more notable than others—was ultimately relegated to an afterthought when the sheer magnitude of what was about to unfold was three days of jaw-dropping, life-defining moments. I mean, where else are you going to see various members of Portishead riding bicycles along a boardwalk? Where else might you share an elevator with Flavor Flav, Bob Weston and Bill Murray all in the same day?
Look, I got a birthday hug from Flavor Flav in the lobby of the Berkeley late on Sunday night, so maybe I’m not in a position to offer an unbiased opinion. But really, forget those other festivals where the bands are a thousand miles away and the beer is seven bucks and the dust gets so deep in the crack of your ass you’ll think it’s a new tattoo. ATP is where it’s at. It’s a music lover’s festival, curated by musicians with (mostly) impeccable taste. And if it comes back to Asbury Park next year and you’re not there to have some “I can’t believe this is happening!!!” moments of your own, you deserve the regret you feel when your Facebook news feed is filled to the gills with constant frothy updates from your pals who had the good sense to jump on the train and make the scene.