I had a great time seeing music at Waking Windows a couple of weeks ago. The festival always falls at the busiest time of the year in my day job at Gardener’s Supply, and I work weekends, so it’s always a challenge to get to the show. On Friday May 6th I worked 10:30am-9pm, and moments after work was done, I walked to Winooski. I walked by the Monkey House but The Mountain Says No were tearing down their gear. I hoped I would catch part of a song, but no luck. I proceeded across the traffic circle, found the box office and got my pin that would get me into the shows. The outdoor stage was right next to it and Speedy Ortiz were on the stage and rocking. I wandered into the show and listened. They played as a four-piece with a singer/electric guitar player, another electric guitar player, bass and drums. The sound was heavy and rocking and had enough fun changes to keep you guessing. They mixed an indie rock style with a more classic rock and metal sound and were really good. There was some sweet lead guitar playing and some sledgehammer drumming and the good sized crowd was rocked hard
I really wanted to stay, but really wanted to check out Villanelles at The Monkey House, so I headed back through the traffic circle and wandered into the club. It was pretty full and the only space to dance around a little was at the front, so I headed to the stage. With a singer/electric guitar player, bass, drums, and keys, Villanelles played some hard rocking songs and tossed some lighted balloons to the audience. I caught a half a dozen songs, all of them good and had fun listening and trying to figure out where they were going. I had just gotten their new album, Blue Heart Attack, but was not familiar with it yet, but think most of the songs that I heard were from the new one. I did recognize Heartbreak Baby and loved how much it rocked. I was loving their set but the clock said it was time to go, so out the door I went.
I went back across the traffic circle, past Speedy Ortiz, who were still rocking nicely, and into Waterworks. Swale were making sounds from the stage, and I hoped they were just beginning. The sound coalesced and condensed itself into Waterlanding. I ran into coworkers Jessica Ellis and Billy Greer and headed to the front of the stage. Swale rocked had with songs like Everyone Likes To, Drug Laws, and Joyless. I ran into Peg Tassey and the band mellowed a bit with Beaten Down. Swale followed with a cool new song then rocked out fast and hard with Jack Sharp. Another cool one followed then they closed with an epic version of We Could All Be That Way, or whatever the title will be. I love the build and ferocity of that song.
After the set I ran into Joe Adler and Max Tracy, but soon thought it was time to head out to catch Aspero Saicos at the Monkey House. I walked back through traffic only to find a line of people long enough to fill the tent outside the venue, waiting to get in. Not wanting to wait, I headed back to Waterworks and got in as Alexander F were about to play. The singer, electric guitar, bass, drums four-piece let loose a set of killer punk with a funky edge. The singer threw himself into the crowd for much of the show and the bass player followed him on a few songs. They rocked hard and were lots of fun. I was a bit disappointed about missing Aspero, but I had seen them before, and by missing them, I got the opportunity to love a new band. That really is part of the whole idea of Waking Windows.
After their set I just hung out and chatted with a bunch of cool people and then it was time for Arc Iris to play. They played as a singer/guitar player, keys, drummer trio and took the stage in shimmering gold cloaks. They let their dramatic prog rock dance pop music slowly unfurl. I love their sound and songs and when they went to play the song Johnny, they pulled Joe Adler to the stage and sang it as Joey. It was a pretty sweet show.
It was late and I was tired and should have headed home, but had to make the traffic crossing one more time and headed back to the Monkey House for The High Breaks. The guitar, bass, drums trio play fun dark surf-rock music instrumentals. They rocked out with songs like Hot Dog and Ankle Breaker. They tossed in the surf version of Symptom Of The Universe. They returned to their own tunes with Boardwalk Boogie, Sea Chopper and Voodoo Wave. They tossed in a fun version of Wipeout and were going to leave but the audience demanded another. They pulled out a fun surf version of Paranoid and called it a night.
I was very content on the long walk home. I had to work 10 hours on Saturday and 10 on Sunday, so I never made it back to the festival, but really enjoyed my time there on Friday night.