Speedy Ortiz at Waking Windows 6 May 6, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis
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
Villanelles at Waking Windows 6 May 6, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis
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.
Swale at Waking Windows 6 May 6, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis
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.
Alexander F at Waking Windows 6 May 6, 2016
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.
Arc Iris at Waking Windows 6 May 6, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis
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.
Arc Iris with Joe Adler at Waking Windows 6 May 6, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis
Angel Wings pic of Aric Iris at Waking Windows 6 May 6 2016 pic by Tim Lewis
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.
The High Breaks at Waking Windows 6 May 6, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis
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.
I had a great time seeing music last night. It was just slow enough at work that I got out at 7:45 instead of 8 and made it to The Monkey House at 8:03 or so, and The Mountain Says No, who were supposed to go on at 8:10, were onstage playing the title song. I got a super quick drink from the great bartenders at the Monkey then skipped to the front. They played their usual great set of heavy rock with power and grace. Somewhere in the middle they played a song that sounded more like an indie rock song, that slid into some heavy sections, and may be my new favorite song of theirs. They rained down glory in the song about one statistic and wrapped the set with a killer version of I’m With The Bomb. There’s nothing like turning your head from work mode to party mode with these guys!
Up next was Bad History Month which was a guy playing guitar, singing and using a kick drum and high hat. He had a heavy sound that was kind of cool and the music just went on and on. I made it 10 minutes or so, then wanted to check out another venue. I ducked across the circle to Oak 45 and caught the last song by SoftSpot. The music was gentle and flowing and the woman’s ethereal voice was magnificent. I was sad when they wrapped up after the song, but I’m very glad I caught a little. I need to check them out more!
I skipped back through the traffic circle and went back to the Monkey for Endless Jags. I remember liking them at a Max Krauss rock dungeon party and they did not disappoint last night. With three guitars, bass, drums and keys they filled the stage with bodies and music. Their rock songs were well crafted and wonderfully enjoyable. I was happily dancing for the whole set. Between some of the songs Ben Maddox commented on how good their vocals were and that he could hear them clearly from outside.
Paper Castles followed with a brilliant set, made mostly if not entirely from the Vague Era album. The band sounded great and Padaric Padraic Reagan’s singing was really nice. The star of the show was Wren on guitar who used a wrench to pull some great sounds from his instrument.
Joe Adler has been recommending And The Kids for a while now, and after seeing them last night, I can see why. Some of their music is a bit challenging but a lot finds a nice groove and rocks. They are a trio with keys, drums and guitar and had an electronic indie rock sound. My memory is fading a bit, but they were really good and I want to see them again.
Up next Ice Balloons hit the stage with fury. They had a backdrop to project trippy images on and the sound was somewhere between Hawkwind and Black Sabbath. They rocked hard and the singer with the fly mask was just over the top. They had me rocking from first note to last and I never wanted the set to end. Unfortunately, it did.
After a long work day and lots of music I was out of energy. Someone said the next band on, Maui, were an electronic tape loop ensemble, but I just did not have enough left to find out. I took the long walk home fully exhausted but blissfully happy. Today I have to work from noon to 10:30 so will likely not make it back. It’s too bad because there is tons and tons of great music happening today. Yesterday was my day, and I made the most of it!
I did not have much time before my radio show last night, but made it to The Monkey House to see a couple of bands at Waking Windows. My friend Christopher Larrow and I arrived at the Monkey close to 6:30, but I had to duck across the traffic circle to pick up my button that gets me into the shows. There was a loud rocking band who sounded fun on stage as I made the perilous journey . They wrapped up just as I got back.
We hung out for a bit in the window as the sun alternated with the clouds in a dance of shadow and light. After a bit Anachronist hit the stage. They looked a bit like 40’s ish hippies but the sound was a melodic jangle pop with some subtle but elegant lead guitar playing. Their half hour set was really nice, and I liked all the songs. As they were set to play one more, the singer said it would be a doozie. It was, and though I don’t know the song, something struck me on the first note, and I rocked it to the last. I don’t know what it was, but have definitely heard it before.
After they wrapped up, it was more hanging out in the window and watching a super bright rainbow in the sky.
After a bit Vedora hit the stage and rocked it with elegance and grace. All of the songs were new(ish) and all seemed to start with a funk groove then move into the song. I really liked everything but the last two soared on Caroline O’Connor‘s vocals and Matthew Hastings over the top guitar playing. I love those guys and am happy I made the effort. After that we took off and Chris dropped me at the station. I ran up the stairs, chatted with Tony and the ’80’s ladies then set up and did the radio show.
Today is a 9 hour work day, then back to Winooski. Hopefully I can make it to The Mountain Says No at 8:10, but may miss a bit since I’m out at 8. I will do as much as I can.