On the last day of July, Stephen Colbert made an announcement on his show, The Colbert Report. In just over one week, Colbert would be revisiting his 2011 week-long music event “StePhest Colbchella ‘011: Rock You Like a Thirst-Icane” with a newer version, “StePhest Colbchella ‘012: RocktAugustFest”. Last year, Colbert’s musical guests included Bon Iver, Florence and the Machine, Talib Kweli, and Jack White all with in-studio sessions and interviews broadcast on the television show. This year, Colbert decided to rock the boat a little and host Colbchella outdoors and on the USS Intrepid Museum in front of a larger audience.
Colbchella ‘012 featured four acts, one each to be broadcast nightly, including fun., Grizzly Bear, Santigold and the Flaming Lips. For the audience members lucky enough to get tickets (reportedly there was only a 1500 person capacity), they were treated to a couple of beers and a snack for their time plus a chance to see abbreviated sets from each of the acts. Unfortunately, as is the case with television recordings, some performances required multiple takes, including two from Grizzly Bear and Santigold, in order to be appropriately captured. To be sure, the three songs each artist performed would not all air on TV, some are internet exclusives. But the technical difficulties that may have marred the recordings did not necessarily ruin the song for those on the boat (excluding the moisture that got into one of effects pedals). It was to much annoyance that songs were redone and when the show finally ended around 12:30 am, people were deservedly tired. Even Grandmaster Flash, Colbert’s second in command, bailed from his decks on the deck before the night was through.