Monday, September 13, 2010

musicfest weekend.

After being sick for the past week and not being able to get out and enjoy the weather, I was looking forward to my weekend at Music Fest. It's a county-run event that includes musical performances, a carnival, vendors, and tons of other activities and is held annually on a weekend in September, just at the end of summer. Every year they host a ton of artists, many that are lesser known with a few big names mixed in. This year, those big artists were OK Go and Train.

Considering I live in a tiny town with the closest concert venue being at least a half hour away, having a series of free concerts being held at a park that is a ten-minute walk from my house is kind of amazing. When I woke up late Saturday morning, I could hear the music from the festival pretty clearly from my bedroom. The weather was perfect and I was feeling much better, so I knew it was going to be a good day.

My brother and dad headed out before I woke up and I went over on my own in the early afternoon, mostly to check out the vendors. There weren’t any artists I particularly wanted to see, but it was nice to have live music playing for most of the time I was there. It was great being so close to home because after a couple of hours (or more, for my brother and dad), we were able to simply walk home to eat dinner instead of shelling out money for greasy carnival food. Plus, I was able to change into something warmer since I knew it would be cooler at night.

Blog, meet my brother! Just FYI, the hat is not a typical everyday look, just a purchase from one of the vendors.

After dinner I went back over with my brother, who ended up leaving early because he’s a music snob and doesn’t like mainstream music he was tired from being there all day. I met up with my friends and we settled in to watch OK Go, who were slightly disappointing. It may have been because we weren’t close to the stage or in the crowd, but they just weren’t as good as I was expecting. Still, the show was decent and I had fun hanging out with my friends.


Ashley and me

Train more than made up for the previous mediocre performance. I had a total blast. They were energetic and fun, always engaging the audience to sing along and at one point bringing a bunch of younger girls on stage to sing with them. On the set list were all my favorites: Save Me, San Francisco; Marry Me; Hey, Soul Sister; and of course, Drops of Jupiter.

Our original view of the stage

Pat climbing the set (snagged this from their Facebook group)

The "Trainettes" (also snagged from the FB group) - the girl with the long black sleeves was TOTALLY into it and excited to be on stage

My favorite moment had to be when they played Drops of Jupiter. After they finished Hey, Soul Sister, they left the stage, but we knew they’d play an encore (especially since Drops of Jupiter is their most recognized song and they hadn’t played it yet). The crowd had thinned out a bit – families with younger kids or those wanting to beat traffic started leaving – so my friend Ashley and I were able to make our way up towards the stage a bit. When they came back on, the entire crowd belted out the lyrics from start to finish. It was completely awesome.

Closer to the stage now

Once they finished for good, the huge crowd started making their way out. I got in line for a funnel cake to bring home to my mom when some fireworks started going off; after I got my funnel cake, Ashley and I stuck around until they finished before walking home. Of course, I was totally exhausted when I got home - my feet hurt, my throat was sore, and I had to wait for my hearing to get back to normal - but it was completely worth it.

And just for fun, I put together a video of all the performances I recorded. It's just a bunch of snippets, with shaky camerawork and me singing terribly in the background, but I figured it was worth putting up here.

(If you're interested, you can also go click the following links to see a better version of the Hey, Soul Sister performance and also their encore, Drops of Jupiter.)

On Sunday I went back only for a short while, to see Robert Randolph and the Family Band and pick up some swag, which I'd forgotten to do the night before.

Robert Randolph and the Family Band

Overall it was a fantastic weekend. I got plenty of exercise from walking to and from the park and it was so much fun to be able to attend these great concerts completely for free. I can't wait to find out who'll they'll get for next year!