Virgin Mobile Free Fest Pics Part 1 (Holy Fuck, St. Vincent and Mates of State)

Holy Fuck, St. Vincent and Mates of State at Virgin Free Fest (08/30/09)
Holy Fuck at Virgin Free Fest

St Vincent at Virgin Free Fest

Mates of State at Virgin Free Fest
Photos: PJ Sykes

The Virgin Mobile Festival, or “Free Fest,” was a success for the event’s promoters “” but it may not stay free next year for concertgoers.

Bethesda-based I.M.P. is weighing whether to keep the concert free or charge for tickets. Organizers decided earlier this summer not to charge admission in light of what Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, said at the time were the “economic challenges and daily sacrifices” music fans were enduring. [Baltimore Business Journal]

More photos and reviews of Holy Fuck, St. Vincent and Mates of State from this year’s Virgin Mobile Free Fest after the jump.

Holy Fuck at Virgin Free Fest 2009 (08/30/09)
Holy Fuck at Virgin Free Fest

Holy Fuck at Virgin Free Fest

Holy Fuck at Virgin Free Fest

Holy Fuck at Virgin Free Fest

Holy Fuck at Virgin Free Fest

Holy Fuck at Virgin Free Fest

Holy F[lip] isn’t just a four-piece electronic collective from Toronto, Canada — it’s also the reaction one has wandering in front of the band’s live performance. The opening set on the dance stage, two members fiddled with electronic devices while a third played bass and a fourth played drums. The presence of a four-piece act on the dance stage was startling, but the monstrously loud sound was even more surprising. [BaltimoreSun.com]

St. Vincent at Virgin Free Fest (08/30/09)
St. Vincent at Virgin Free Fest

St. Vincent at Virgin Free Fest

St. Vincent at Virgin Free Fest

St. Vincent at Virgin Free Fest

St. Vincent might have been advising the same when she performed “Your Lips Are Red,” one of her oblique mini-symphonies, which features the refrain, “Your skin’s so fair, it’s no fair.” Who’d have guessed the Artist Also Known as Annie Clark would be so great in a big outdoor venue in the middle of the day? Not us, but her 50-minute set drawn mainly from Actor, one of 2009’s strongest albums, was confident and absorbing. And her guitar-crunching solo cover of The Beatles’s “Dig a Pony” was a treat, even if much of the crowd greeted it with blank stares. Damn kids! [DCist.com]

Mates of State at Virgin Free Fest (08/30/09)
Mates of State at Virgin Free Fest

Mates of State at Virgin Free Fest

Mates of State at Virgin Free Fest

Mates of State at Virgin Free Fest

As the first act to hit the main pavilion stage, Mates of State sounded pretty darn good, working through a loose set that included crowd favorites “Get Better” and “Think Long.” For a duo that has to perform while trapped behind keyboards and a drum kit, Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel got the crowd going just fine and proved, through smart instrumental interplay and clever vocal trade-offs, that the Mates can be more than the sum of their parts in a live setting. Washington Times

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