Early in the afternoon, the War on Drugs bravely faced the double-edged sword that is the Google Play stage. It's positioned in a tree-laced alcove next to an expansive picnic area, and by virtue of location the Philadelphia group adopted plenty of festivalians seeking refuge from the sun. That said, they also seemed more interested in their Grahamwiches than getting up and investing in the set.
The War on Drugs set was laden with heavy distortion, and (though this was out of their control) also emitted audible feedback vibrations. The extreme fuzzing of sound seemed to melt their instruments as they went on several instrumental wanderings. Harmonica, guitars and trumpet alike formed a psychedelic ambience that was perhaps better suited to the acid set than those getting their luncheon on. The meandering soundscapes seemed to leave the audience behind, even those up at the stage. It wasn't until the reintroduction of structured drums that the crowd-performer relationship began to recover. Songs off their 2010 EP Future Weather, like "Comin' Around," drew some more enthusiasm from the masses, but it was otherwise a pretty static scene that even a blaring harmonica couldn't resuscitate.