The Pool Parties officially kicked off their 5th annual free concert series yesterday—with Xiu Xiu and Deerhoof performing Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures following performances by openers Why?, Fang Island, and Pictureplane. The JellyNYC organizers got pushed out of their former home at the McCarren Park Pool after the summer of 2008, and last year wasn't looking too promising when they set up shop in Williamsburg's East River Police State Park. This year there are some differences worth noting, however:

  • The food court and beer pen have been expanded—it now allows for a better view of the stage (drinking alcohol outside of this area is still not permitted).
  • There's more variety in terms of food, including pizza from Roberta's and offerings from The Meat Hook stand.
  • Overall there seems to be more space, and the outdoor VIP section is very small, allowing the non-entitled masses to share in a good view of the stage.
  • There is also a new indoor VIP pub that's been added. This is located behind the stage in a brick building, and is hosted by British fashion retailer AllSaints. This houses an open rum bar, lots of space, fans, massive couches, and shelter from the sun. We're not gonna lie, it's pretty sweet.
  • The stage faces the river, which means you'll have your back turned to the beautiful skyline, but away from the blinding setting sun.
  • The line is shorter... just kidding, the line to get in to the show is still really long, and was already a few looong blocks down Kent Avenue yesterday afternoon. But even this seem well-managed, with security working their way down the line to hand out 21+ wristbands before the gates opened.

The rest of the summer's lineup (so far) can be found here—and stay tuned for more on Jelly NYC's new Saturday summer series.