i had a blast at high sierra. it was our first major music festival. tonight was the first of 2 shows there. we played a late night set at the funkin jamhouse with with alo. alo has some pretty fantastic fans. the show began at 11:45pm and started out rather slowly as i think most people were outside watching the fire breathers. i felt so good at the end of our set in large part to the awesome crowd we had. it was an intense experience, after a few songs the place got jammed and by the end of the set people were going bazonkers. the crowd picked me up and brought me to a higher place. by the set’s end i was just happy to be alive. in retrospect i wish we had run our set differently but to be honest with you im not sure any one of us in the band knew what to expect.
peaceful organic thanx to: all the alo fans that embraced us, our man k-rud from sd who met us there to do our sound, kabir from sb for putting the good word out, andrew from jambase for gettin the word out, and of course the guy in the penguin suit (see below)…he was my favorite.
dressing room and rider wrap up: i had no idea what to expect for stuff like this as it was our first festival experience. i was indeed surprised. our backstage area at the funkin jamhouse was oh so much more than i expected. we shared an elaborately decorated tent with alo. inside the tent there was a couch, a keg, a shrine, and a table with all sorts of food and goodies on it. it was pretty cool. the area was kept secure by the staff and felt like a peaceful little area for the artists and guests. plus there were some port-a-potties in the backstage area that were pretty clean just cos they werent getting used by the masses. the staff that ran things at the f’n j-house were all pro. the monitor guy (i think dave) and the production manager gave us a great sound check and never rushed us. it was easy. im giving it a 7 in honor of the some of the cartoon dwarfs i think i saw there. i would give it a higher score but its our first festival so i have to leave some room at
The City: i didn’t think much of quincy. i was at some gas station and the attendant seemed like he was amped enough to play the whole festival by himself. i bought cigarettes and he was shaking so much he couldnt even hand them to me. scurrrry. but not as scary as his home made tattoos.
The Venue: the festival itself was intense. five or more stages to check out artists. parades. camping tents everywhere. people walking on stilts. about a thousand hoola hoops. best food ever. we played our late night session at the art barn. it was the awesome. no really. it was. huge stage. the place was laced up with posters reminiscent of tarot cards gypsies use.
we didn’t have a green room, it was more like a huge tent filled with treats [candy, really tasty beer, fruit, couches, a heater, water... but no throat coat] and an altar. check out all the pictures i took as a reference. and yes, i took all of them except for the ones that i’m in. that credit belongs to fran.
The Show: it started off really slow since the fire dancers were right outside of the art barn. but, i’d say, after three songs people started pouring in. then rob’s cookies started kicking in. the show was so much fun. i mean, seriously, the feeling you get when you look out and there are over three hundred people, maybe even more, dancing and responding to you is indescribable. it felt like home. it was fantastic. so fantastic that i didn’t even notice nathan or his drama. that’s not really a good thing, i should be more in touch with the band but the crowd that night captured my spirit and i couldnt break away.
Interesting Things After The Show: i went and watched my morning jacket’s late night set. then watched drunk fran. then sat in our tent with mark and watched all the chaos around us… ie-we saw a man dressed as a coach change into a bear, a girl with an octopus on her head, i got a proposal to join a show called girls gone tribal, drunk fran came back to the tent and brought super penguin to me and then this guy, in a rage from the quincy cops acting like dicks, threw something like he was pitching the world series, directly at the keg. thank god he missed it, i was getting thirsty. i’d divulge you with stories, but that would take a couple of pages so i’ll just stop here.
After setting sail from Portland aboard the West Indian pleasure cruise, I curled up on my beer-soaked bench for about 3 hours of much needed sleep. When I awoke just past dawn, Ian was about to pull off for gas about an hour from the Oregon/ CA border, and was ready to turn in himself. I decided to take over, anticipating the gorgeous drive ahead of me. I’m so glad I did, because I wasn’t wrong. As everyone was sleeping away, I commandeered our precious cargo over hill and dale, past lush verandas of green such as a city boy rarely sees, southward past the towering majesty of Mount Shasta. We then veered east along 200 miles of one-lane highway, through a sea of redwoods and limitless foliage. I felt like motherfucking John Muir.
By 2 in the afternoon, we had arrived at the festival and checked in with Jen, our lovely hospitality liaison. Then it was off to the dorms where I promptly crashed out on a couch for what felt like the deepest, most rewarding sleep I experienced for the whole trip. Sound check that evening went very smoothly due to the tight organization of the festival personnel. The sound on stage was amazing, the best I ever remember hearing us sound. It seriously gave me the chills. After sound check, we had the luxury of being able to leave everything in place as there were no bands to precede us that night. We were kicking off a special late night performance as the openers to ALO. Somehow, despite these favorable circumstances, things still ended up going all wrong for us. Me in particular. Once again, my keyboards were all out of whack at the start of the show. This time, however, it became quite clear to me that some yahoo had come up on stage between sound check and show time and had a ball playing around with my whole setup. The fucker even broke off a piece of the wood paneling on the Moog Prodigy. So, not only were two keyboards out of tune this time, but the filters and modulators and volume settings of almost everything that could be affected had been changed. It ended up taking me a good 5 or 6 songs into our set before I finally had things under control. I was fuming mad, especially since I had been so pumped for what could have been one of the best shows of my career. In a way, it sort of worked out though, being that there were only about 5 people in the audience at the start of the show, and by the end there were about 500, all dancing away happily. I still think the asshole who sabotaged my gear should be strung up and castrated though.
a lewis tourist momentsoundcheck – great view of the venuepost show and after five beersoctopus girl meets the familyQ thinks she is hallucinating right nowthe ALO bearmark lewis staring at the ALO bearnathan: pre sabotageattack of the bassistour favoritest ever – andrew