Best of the Fest: Taylor Hanson Reports From the V Festival

By | September 15, 2011


Since my last round in the PAPER blogosphere, I have moved a bit closer to the main attractions in our world, ping-ponging all the way from Billings, Montana, to London, England, and back stateside. Much of the activity in this blog follows our latest UK Festival appearance, the 2011 V festival, and since the next couple months will be almost solely devoted to US action, I thought it fair to give a bit more love to our time on British soil before moving the limelight (at least till November when more international dates kick off).

Something that I want to mention, which I was excited to blog about, was the Sunset Junction Festival in L.A. (featuring us and friends like Butch WalkerOzomatli and Rooney plusButthole Surfers and more). Unfortunately, the fest was called off for a variety of reasons involving an debacle between city and the festival. In its absence, I would challenge you to imagine a sonic mash-up of artists from the un-realized L.A. fest, and the artists mentioned below at V, in your own fantasy band collaboration to play in the background of your subconscious while you take in these snaps. OK, too much caffeine this morning.

Day one of V was a great kick-off. We had an amazing turnout of fans with thousands packed in to see our debut set. The show was a mix of new and old songs and we were blown away by how many festival-goers showed up to check it out.

We were not only at the festival to perform but also excited to catch some of the many artists who were on location, like Miss Ellie Goulding (who also penned a tour diary for PAPERMAG), who we met just a few months back during our last visit to London. It was great to re-connect with Ellie and many others during the weekend of music.

One band which set the bar high were our buds Joel and Benji Madden in Good Charlotte, who we hadn’t seen since the Bamboozle road show in the US. The guys were just wrapping up a summer of touring throughout Europe and the UK, so they were pumped to be almost headed home. We had a great time re-connecting with both bros, plus Billy and Dean, and got a welcome dose of Benji’s signature mixed drink (Diet Coke, Jack and Redbull — forgive me if I’m missing an element). Also with Joel being a newly dubbed fellow PAPERMAG blogger, he and I traded cameras for a few minutes capturing shots for each other’s respective blogs. Check out Joel’s self portrait between buses, and a shot of GC’s alcohol collection. I also caught a few random pics of the motley crew of fans in the crowd, from couples on shoulders to headdress-wearing festival-goers, all were rocking out to GC’s commanding set.

Our good friends The Pierces put on an inspired show as well and we got to catch up backstage on their last six months based out of the UK supporting their latest release, You and I.

During the blitz of activity we shared the stage with Charlie Simpson and caught a quick snap together following our set, still covered in sweat from the stage. We also had a bit of a pre-show chat with Stacey Solomon, who at her own peril got the inside look at our pre-show rituals getting ready for the set, warming up our voices and doing a little scalp massage.

The one and only Mark Ronson and his band, Business International (who we know best through their multi-talented band member Alex Greenwald), laid down a great set on both nights featuring tracks from their latest — and also making sure to pay homage to the late Amy Winehouse as they wrapped up.

While at the festival we got to take in a bit of everything — from a jaunt out to the crowd to snag a monstrous foot-long hot dog, and also a bit of adventuring to catch the many characters at the festival (note bloodhound gang look-alikes, and bearded Victorian wig wearer). Backstage V took good care of their artists by setting up a makeshift salon for the last minute trim, and having just arrived in London in much need of a cut I had to take advantage of the opportunity to get cleaned up.

V was fantastic, and a great send off before our return to the UK in November…Coming up next, is a slew of rock ‘n’ roll in North America starting this coming weekend with our first show in Regina, Canada, and then rolling right into our Musical Ride Tour. There will most definitely be tons of inspiration to keep the snapshots coming.

P.S. In my last blog I forgot to include the snap of us and music icon Rick Nielsen,
who we are friends with, through my other band Tinted Windows. Also a pic with our new friend Sara Bareilles from her stop into Tulsa before our departure. Hope this collection of photos makes your day a little bit better!