I headed out just before 2 and took the familiar walk to the show. I could hear some heavy rock playing as I walked down the hill, and it just drew me into the InTENT. Violette Ultraviolet were on and rocking hard. Their sound was fluid and flowing and ferocious rock at the same time. It’s like they found a jam and worked it up to metal speed and let it drift back to a gentle whisper. With guitar, bass, and drums, the sound could be anything, but mostly it rocked. After their last song, they said something about Violette Ultraviolet coming up next, minus one member. I was confused, but thought it was time to see Jane Boxall in the main tent.
I walked over intently, but my timing was off. Andy Lugo was still onstage, singing and playing acoustic guitar. The song I heard had a good clip to it, and his voice was strong. I liked what I heard, but realized that I was missing some rock and roll.
I went back to the InTENT and Violette Ultraviolet were onstage with a different bass player. He looked familiar, from the last time I saw them. Their songs were more structured and song oriented than the other version of the band, but still had the huge ebb and flow to the songs. They were kind of like a pop rock band that could jam, and bring it up to metal intensity, or let it fall into delicate passages. The songs could go on forever, or be tightly played. They were really fun, and it will be great to see them more the next time I can.
When they wrapped up, I headed to the OmnipoTENT for Jane Boxall and friends. Jane was playing pop songs on the marimba. She sang with a quirky delightful voice and I was intrigued. Soon after I was in and sat down, it was a mellow show, she brought up Miriam Bernardo. She sang the next song with her wonderfully resonant voice and captivated the small but appreciative audience. When that wrapped up, Jane brought Kat Wright to the stage, but did not let Miriam go quite yet. She said it was a special day for Miriam and began to play Happy Birthday. Kat joined in and so did the audience, at the end. Miriam looked so delighted. Jane began playing, and used the marimba to create a full musical sound that caught all the needed parts of the song. Kat sang the sad and lovely, Love Is A Losing Game with elegance and grace. Next up Jane brought Raph Worrick to the stage. He sang one of his songs, Let’s Complain, then a song by Massive (marimba) Attack. From there Jane played three more before calling it a show. Her music was wonderfully played, whether using two mallets, four mallets or even six at one point. Her stage presence was delightful and it was a really fun show. Even the sound of a ferocious rock band in the background (Mickey Western and the Rodeo Clowns), that wanted to drag me away, didn’t.
I hung out for a bit, and bought an EP. I chatted with Caroline O’Conner for a moment but heard another rock band start up. I ran for the InTENT and Vetica were letting it rip. They are a four-piece, two guitars, bass drums, with one of the guitar players singing. The music was fast and loud and short and fun. Their catchy riffs got me dancing from the moment I arrived until the last note. It felt odd, with the rest of the small audience hanging back and sitting, but I could do nothing but rock out when they were playing like that. After last year’s Precipice, I had a song stuck in my head for a month or so. It was one of theirs and they played it third or fourth. I can still hear it now.
When they wrapped up, I took the short stroll to the CoexisTENT for Monoprix. With Brett Hughes on guitar and two microphone vocals, Tyler Bolles on stand-up bass and Steve Hadeka on drums, they played some very nice music. The pace was a lot slower than Vetica, and some of the songs were very country. They almost lost me in the middle. The playing was sweet, and subtly intense, but I was still in rock mode. Fortunately for me, by the end of the set, so were Monoprix. The second to last song rocked and the closer just tore it up. They woke me from my temporary lull and rocked me hard. Thanks guys!
When they were done, there was some noise coming from the main tent. I wandered over and Serotheft was on stage. With keys, drums, bass and guitar, they played something between jam and EDM. They had a bright, happy sound, but the dance beat did not do it for me.
Back in the InTENT, Bella’s Bartok took the stage. I tried to give them a listen, but the cabaret style music, with a country beat, discordant horns and shouty vocals was a bit chaotic for me. They held a crowd for their whole set, and there were people dancing. I could not find the way into their music, but lots of others did. That’s the great thing about festivals, not all music is for everyone.
I headed back to the OmnipoTENT and waited as Haley Jane and the Primates set up. With a guitar, bass, drums and front woman, they played some low key bluesy delightful songs. The singer was warm and engaging and her eyes could practically have a conversation on their own. She was a delightful host and brought everyone into the songs. They played a bluesy jam that ran through the lime and the coconut, to I don’t know but I’ve been told, while weaving in and out of one way or another. It was lots of fun. The song about the prostitute and the madam was really engaging. The song about being in love and calling all of her love’s family was just great, except that she never told us who Eliza is. It was a great song about the chaotic emotions of being in love. I wanted to stay for every last note, but heard another rock band start, and knew who that was. I wandered towards the CoexisTENT, as the Primates jammed out Aiko Aiko.
Lendway had just started as I wandered in. They had a bit of a rough start as the sound dropped out during Gone With Eraser. The band kept playing, though all you could hear was the drums. The sound man hit a couple of switches, and the amps kicked back in. They finished it up nicely, then had the sound drop in the next song. It came back on its own quickly and was smooth sailing from there. Matt got out the drill for a heavy feedback filled version of Hollywood. Songs like Take Your Gold Away, and You’re Safe With Us, showed they could transform breezy pop into a massive rock song at will. Despite the small glitches, their show was wonderful and filled my heart with joy.
They wrapped up around 7 and I was done. There were a couple of more bands playing, but none who would rock that hard. My body was extremely tired, my mind was over-saturated with music, but my soul was completely delighted, as I took the slow walk home.