Sunday, August 8, 2010

GATHERING OF THE VIBES 2010 (Part 2 of 4) @ Seaside Park in Bridgeport, CT

Greetings, earthlings!  Friday was the first full day of the Vibes this year, and man, was I excited.  (I donned slightly less glitter glue this time, too.)

After reviewing Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings' new album, "I Learned the Hard Way" in May, I was stoked to see them come to the Vibes this summer.  The Dap Kings played a warm-up tune before the "indescribable" Sharon Jones came onstage.  All of a sudden it was like yin and yang - I don't know much about traditional Motown, but it seemed strange that Sharon Jones was full on energy while her backup band was practically stoic.  The music was tight and Sharon's performance was entertaining (see the following video for a peek!) but for some reason I cannot articulate, they didn't really do it for me.  There was something about a weird mix of energy levels onstage that was sort of.. offputting.


Don't get me wrong, I love her music.  I couldn't stop thinking of it for weeks after the new album dropped.  And her set was definitely what I would call entertaining.  Perhaps my expectations were a little lofty...

Anyways, check out this short clip of Sharon doing her thing at the Vibes:

After Sharon's set was over, I wandered over to the Green Stage to check out the scene.  I was immediately grabbed by an interesting mix of uptempo folk and swing music.  And someone up there seemed vaguely familiar.  I had occasionally seen the lead guitarist play with the Ryan Montbleau Band at the Fairfield Theater Company.  In fact, I had seen him guest-spot about three times already, and had always idly wondered who he was....

Enlightenment!  It was the lead guitarist from the Norwalk, CT-based band, Caravan of Thieves!  I had been meaning to check these guys out for a while, and I'm totally glad I stumbled on them!  I love these guys.  Their fresh take on old music (killer cover of Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody') and unflagging energy that's channeled into their music and performance is super interesting and fun.  I definitely want to see them again!

Robert Randolph & the Family Band stole the show for me on Friday.  I hadn't heard much about their stuff other than rave reviews from friends, but they turned out to be one of the highlights of the Vibes for me!  That's the beauty of music festivals like the Vibes, though: I always manage to find a new band that I totally love without even meaning to.

Their sound is kind of like a mix of classic rock and funk with a heavy psychedelic guitar thrown in.  In other words.. it's good!  Randolph played both the pedal steel guitar and a traditional electric guitar during the set, and even called up a few people from the audience to guest-spot on electric guitar with him during one of his closing tunes.  I wonder if they were planted...

Anyways, I would call Robert Randolph & the Family Band a must-see act.  They were into the music, the audience was really into the music, and it was just good vibes all around.

Up next?  Get ready for my take on Saturday and Sunday's shows!

Peace, love, and OMGCATS,

1 comment:

  1. I have since heard a recorded rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody and can attest to its greatness! Will be on the look out for these guys! Thx.