If you've ever wanted to look at way too many photos of David Beckham on the bench before his first ever MLS game and also at the post game press conference, you've come to the right place. There were about 50 photographers in attendance last night, roughly two or three times the number that usually show up to United games. Noobs. Naturally, all of them were training their equipment on Becks. When he took his seat on the bench for pre game introductions, everyone surrounded him and shot him for a good ten minutes. Just Becks sitting there (as you can see above). The whole thing was a bit surreal. It was like the game was secondary.

United won by the way.

I didn't see much of the Yeah Yeah Yeah's performance at V Fest (had to run and get a good spot for the Wu) but I liked what I saw. I can take or leave the music, but the group is fun to watch and Karen O is usually good for one or two awesome photos per set. Here's mine.

Other V Fest photo sets:
Interpol
Wu Tang Clan

[MP3] Yeah Yeah Yeahs | Maps (Peel Session)
[MP3] Yeah Yeah Yeahs | Gold Lion (Nick Zinner Mix)

I generally liked Interpol's performance at V Fest. They came on stage and played a slowie that had the fans scratching their heads (they wanted to rock!), but the set picked up from there. Mostly because they played a lot of songs from their debut record. Still, they sounded great plugged into that huge sound system. The guitars were crisp and Paul Bank's voice was totally on point. Overall, I was impressed, but I still am in no hurry to get their new record.

[MP3] Interpol | Slow Hands (Britt Daniel remix)

Most of the photographers at last weekend's Virgin Festival were most excited about shooting Velvet Revolver (and with good reason, but we'll get to that later) but for me, the prize of the weekend was the act on the South Stage right before them - The Wu Tang Clan.

I've been a Wu fan since 1993, when their debut album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) pretty much blew my mind. I was very much a hip-hop head in those days, and the Wu were obviously on a different level from everyone else. I've seen them numerous times over the years, at Lolapalooza in NYC(where I took all sorts of photos with the group, I need to dig those up and post them) and a few times opening for Rage Against the Machine.

RZA walked on stage and said "I got one thing to say to you motherfuckers. [pause] TIGER STYYYYYYLE!" From there it was on, a mass of sweaty bodies moving in all sorts of directions (both on stage and in the crowd). Shooting the Wu is a challenge. There are upwards of 15 people on stage and it's hard to decide who to train your focus on. I am pretty sure I was the only photographer singing along with the group while we shooting them.

Their Virgin Festival performance was special if only because everyone was there (which never seems to happen with the Wu), although Ghostface was nowhere to be seen during the first two songs - which seriously depressed me. I kept thinking to myself "The one chance I get to shoot the Wu and no Ghost!" However, he strolled on stage during the third song and luckily for me and everyone else in the photo pit, we got to shoot the first three Wu songs, as opposed to the festival norm two. Best. Also, Richard Branson watched their set from the side stage. That was kinda crazy.

My photos on AOL are still forthcoming, but they were nice enough to go ahead and let me post my photos here as well. More to come!

5049.

That's how many photos I took this weekend. That's way too many. When I go to ACL next month, I'm going to try and shoot 1/3 of that number. Over three days.

Anyways, the weather was just as bad as I thought it would be. At least on the first day. Sunday was a bit better but I'm still sunburnt, have blisters all over my feet from walking back and forth between the stages (I'm bringing a pedometer next year) and have a very sore shoulder from carrying all my gear (again, brought too much), but overall I had a lot of fun at this year's Virgin Festival. Saturday had a bunch of ho-hum performances but Sunday really made up for it. Oh, I should probably mention that I stood not 2 feet from Johnny Marr during Modest Mouse's set. I was directly in front of his monitor and got to listen to his guitar parts for two songs. Yes, I had a huge grin the whole time.

It will obviously be a while before I can post any photos. There will be some up on DCist and AOL very soon. I'll update this post when they are online. I'll have a full recap later, but here are my quick impressions:

Omnipresent quasi-celebrity of the weekend: Stat Boy!

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Best acts: (in order)
Velvet Revolver-5341.jpg
Velvet Revolver
- Woah. I was unprepared for them to be so good. And by so good, I mean SO FUCKING AWESOME. Blew every other act away. As fucked up as he might be, Scott Weiland is a fucking Rock Star.
Wu Tang - Obvs. Just wait 'til you see these photos. Best.
M.I.A. - She blew my shit right out of the water. Just incredible. people were going CRAZY during her set.
Peter, Bjorn and John - Another total surprise. Really good.
Dan Deacon/Girl Talk - Absolutely tore shit up in the dance tent before 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Honorable Mention: Regina Spektor - Greatest smile ever.

Worst Acts: (in order)
Smashing Pumpkins - Snooooooooooooze. So boring.
The Fratellis - The lead singer has curly hair, that's all I can remember about them. Totally non-descript rock. Boring.
Paolo Nutini - Someone called him "This year's James Blunt," which just about says it all.
Amy Winehouse - She is fucking gross and you cannot convince me otherwise.
Explosions in the Sky - Soft verse/loud chorus without the words. Boring.
Honorable Mention: The Police - Not really, but every song seemed to last for 10 minutes.

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