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Live Review: San Diego’s FM 94.9 Independence Jam

Posted on 26 August 2009 by Mylynda Guthrie


San Diego’s FM 94.9 presented the Miller Lite Independence Jam 2008 on Sunday, June 8 at Southwestern College.  I went, I saw, I danced, and I got rocked. Oh, and sun burnt.

Everyone in San Diego had been aflutter about this annually held event for weeks before the festival, and why wouldn’t they with a lineup like this? Acts included Santogold, the Ting Tings, the Whigs, MGMT, Cold War Kids, the Hold Steady, and Flogging Molly.  Local music friendly station FM 94.9 also presented a stage for buzz worthy San Diego acts.  

Santogold has recently exploded onto the popular rock scene with a Tegan and Sara-esque hit “L.E.S. Artistes”, but this chick has far more flava than the twins.  She put on a great hip-hop set that got the entire football field bumping.  Her DJ was phenomenal, and her perfectly symmetrical dancers taught everyone a few new moves to try throughout the day.  

London based duo the Ting Tings came next.  If I had to use one word to describe this set, it would be fun.  So.  Much.  Fun.  That’s three words, but who’s counting?  This band deserves it.  Their pint sized front woman worked the mic and the stage like she was born to do so.  Her sweet appearance is only a cover for a gritty rocker spirit.  She was knocking over mic stands and throwing clothing and mallets around with reckless abandon.  This group is getting a lot of attention due to their danceable songs and catchy lyrics.  Anyone heard the song “Shut Up & Let Me Go” recently?  Thought so.

 The indie kids hit the beer garden and the rockers came forward for the Whigs’ powerful set.  Southern rockers through and through, this group completely blew me away with heavy, intricate guitar work and amazing percussion.  Ladies, their vocalist may not be the most photogenic of the group, but in concert he is downright dreamy.  

Of course the band on everyone’s playlist right now is MGMT, and they definitely lived up to their hype.  The band played all of their singles to an extremely enthusiastic crowd.  It seemed the football field swayed in unison to MGMT’s trance tunes, and then danced as one during their better known singles.  I can’t imagine anyone was let down by this set.

Unfortunately for myself, I was unable to stay for The Hold Steady, Cold War Kids, and Flogging Molly.   Internet browsing turned up the following general consensus: The Hold Steady were drunk off of their asses, Cold War Kids surprised many with progressive songs from their upcoming album, and Flogging Molly gave everyone the perfect soundtrack to get beat up to in the day’s only mosh pit.

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