Friday, July 31, 2009

Gathering of the Vibes 2009 - Part 1 of 3

Finally. After months of anticipation, the VibeTribe reunited last weeked. I had forgotten how good it is to dance like no one’s watching surrounded by an endless throng of smelly hippies!

Although the Vibes passed me by too quickly than I would have liked, I managed to pick up some new favorites and revisit some old flames..

Friday was a great day to kick off the weekend. The first set I caught was Strangefolk, and I was pleasantly surprised. My dad is a big fan, but they never particularly caught my interest. They got rained out at the Vibes last year, but this year’s set certainly made up for the void. They sound mirrors that of Assembly of Dust but in an old school type of way, with more of a rock and roll vibe. The verdict? They’re very cool. I guess Papa Bayne is on to something after all!

JJ Grey and MoFro came on next, and I spent the hour and a half jamming in the back of the concert grounds playing Frisbee with a hippie named Greg! We tossed around for maybe an hour or so, with brief interludes from other eager hippies to get in the game as well. The music was perfect for setting the tone of the afternoon- relaxed yet energetic. I ended up running into Greg again after our Frisbee session the next day, and, to my great surprise, he remembered me! It’s always good to make new friends.

Here's the view from my game!

I saw Keller Williams for the first time two weeks prior to his performance at the Vibes, and I don’t have much to say about his run this time around. What was interesting is that he was accompanied by a full band, instead of doing his usual one-man routine. My question is this: why eliminate the aspect of your music that sets you apart from everyone else? Yes, the show I saw before was a little more intimate, where he could have the freedom to do fool around on stage, laying down sick basslines and a killer acoustic guitar. But how cool would that have been at the Vibes? People need to be shaken up every now and again, and I think Keller's approach to music is it. Another thing that’s cool? I had never seen something like this before, but Keller uses a synthesizer shaped like a guitar to create horn tones. It seems like he’s jamming on the guitar, but trumpets are coming out of the speakers! Hmmm… But in all, Keller is definitely an act worth checking out, even online. His songs have an intricacy to them that seems unreal, especially because of his lyrics (note: Doobie In My Pocket is a good one!). In short, this guy is hilarious and pretty interesting.
Here's his site on the archives:

Donna Jean Godchaux, a member of the Grateful Dead, came out and sang with Keller halfway through his set:

I was in no way a fan of George Clinton & P-Funk’s… act. More like a circus, I would say. There was probably a sum of thirty people onstage during his set, doing everything and anything. There was dancing, acrobatics, and men in diapers. To me, having all of those distractions on stage while your music is going says something about your confidence in your music’s ability to engage an audience. To me, good musicians don’t need to have women shaking their asses or enough pyrotechnics to set a city on fire to entertain the audience. Music should be taken as it is: music. If you’re in to that, don’t call yourself a band. Call yourself a circus.

Hah. Had to put this one up.

Another source of disappointment for the night? The fact that moe., the headlining act, only played for fourty-five minutes instead of their allotted ninety. The reason? A massive thunderstorm less than mile away. I suppose a throng of twenty thousand people gathering around a huge metal structure in the middle of a severe thunderstorm isn’t the best idea… but the music! It would have been worth it. moe. was just getting started up after a great version of Mexico and St. Augustine. It would have been a great night, I can tell. A few friends of mine happened upon their show in Hampton Beach, NH the next night, and confirmed that I definitely missed out. Bummer. There’s always moe.down next month…

Some cool lighting for the moe. set:

Wow! That was Friday for you. More reports on the Saturday and Sunday sets later…

Here's a few other pics...

I think I see Aunt Bertha!

Need a karma wash? (note the boots)

Some friends, old and new:

UBridgeport is my #1!