Check out Day II: Gathering of the Vibes VX @ Bridgeport, CT (07.30.10)
Issac was up early and eager to get right out to the field. Jay and I were NOT!! Zach Deputy was opening the festival this morning and is one of my top 3 one-man-bands but we just couldn’t get out there in time. We did, however, send Issac on his way to check Zach out. He had never seen him and I was eager to hear Issac’s opinion later on.
Jay and I walked along the water, finding RVs who would “miracle” us some of their power to charge our phones as we enjoyed the lovely scenery that makes up the grounds of the Festival. Volunteers from Save The Sound had gathered with gloves, trash and recycling bags and were finishing up their beautiful activism.
Quote of the morning: “Who’s got my miracle electricity?“
VIP Perk #3: During Zach Deputy and Max Creek, I decided I needed to shower. I knew people who bathed in the water that made up our pretty view, but no thanks. I walked in it last year and felt more dirty. University of Bridgeport‘s sports locker rooms were offered, free of charge, to VIP lot. Everyday, we cause a commotion at the locker rooms, making the staff laugh and giggle as we entered and exited. Jay is just a super funny guy so we always had fun with the locker room staff, all staff for that matter. Oh, and we were also miracled shampoo since I had forgotten to pack my own. We were camping, I forgot about showers!
After our showers, we headed to the Cosmic Casbah to sun dry and slowly prepare for our day. This morning was not as active as the previous morning. There was no breakfast laid out as we had arrived to late (Thankful for VIP PERK #2: Free Meal). There were no stragglers on the mats from the night before attempting to FINALLY make their way to dream land! (Happy for my pals because it’s BRUTAL attempting to go to sleep once the sun has risen.) There were no musicians up wanting to jam the morning started with acoustics. But the theatrics of the festival never fail to shine through every moment and make us smile:
I had seen Zach Deputy so many times this year that I felt ok missing his set. Max Creek was performing as we strolled and showered. So, I know I missed both, but that doesn’t mean you should. Enjoy their sets:
Assembly of Dust was the first set I actually focused on after running around waking up, charging phones and camera, feeding the little rager and ourselves, slathering him with suntan lotion and setting up shop by the Karma Wash.
There was actually a little altercation at the Karma Wash. As we arrived to set up shop, a gentleman had placed his chair on the red carpet, ripping it, ashing his cigarettes on it and casually resting his beer all around him. Jay asked him nicely to move just a few inches OFF the red carpet and it just couldn’t be a simple issue with this guy. I am glad it didn’t get out of hand, but you could tell by his drunken ass attitude, that he was someone who wasn’t going to cooperate easily and just argued with us. Luckily, his friends were more coherent and sane.
I am a huge fan of this group, not for their ridiculous talent or anything but simple because they epitomize a group of jammers who just know how to play and have fun. Their lyrics are as playful as their tunes. They are a mix of folk and rock and all their tunes are catchy enough to get you up out of a chair and dancing on your feet.
Set List: Sinner, Valhalla, Telling Sue, Pedal Down Samuel Aging Fountain, Light Blue Lover, Weekhawken Ferry, Harrower, Second Song, Paul Henry, Love Junkie, Westerly
KEEP THE FIRE COMING!!! Again, we all took off in different directions during break but found our way back to dead center, front row for this performance My Tribe having grown to about 15 scattered sporadically behind me.
I knew that I was about to see the same set that I had seen at the four other Galactic shows I had already seen this year. With the addition of Corey Henry, I was hoping that over tour, they would add new songs to their repertoire from the previous cds so that he could add his flavor. This hasn’t seemed to have happened yet. I do love the addition of Corey Henry‘s horn (and attitude) to the mix.
It was here I made a mental note to appreciate how wonderful it is to see music during the day. It’s the atmosphere. Something about seeing these bands in an open field, with the sun beating down on you. Everything just SOUNDS better, feels better. So often, I am stuck in a basement or a dark building seeing shows in the dark with a poor light show. Seeing a band in daylight, wind blowing your hair, sun shining on your skin. It just truly changes everything about a performance. I encourage all of you take the time to get to know the music that plays in your local Parks….most of the time…it is FREE .
For New Yorkers:
To be honest, Stanton Moore looked like he was just going with the motions. His cute face made the looks we are used to when he gets into it but his jumps and attempts at theatrics were always just a tiny bit off. Still sounded great though. Always does. This was also the first time I haven’t seen Corey Henry jump into the audience. walking and playing through the waves of fans.
Cyril Neville did his thing like he always does, gliding between his percussion set and the front of the stage as he energized the lyrics with his signature voice. I really enjoy his energy. I love his look. Honestly, I enjoy Galactic because they have great collaborations with people like Cyril and Corey. These artists really bring another layer to the already funky group. I am already wanting them to stop touring and come out with a new cd. OMG, who would you want to hear with Galactic?
Set List: Gemini Rising, Gossip, You Don’t Know, Balkan Wedding, Heart Of Steel, Cineramascope, Ooh Nay Nay, Boban, Tell Me What’s On Your Mind, Boe Money, No More Okey Doke, From the Corner to the Block
Here’s one I took. I think you’ll see what I mean at the end of the video about how Stanton was just a tad bit off. Not that it matters, but it happened a few times and I want him to kick ass. So, there. I said something negative about Stanton, sue me!
Umphrey’s McGee. What can I say. I haven’t always understood what the big deal is about Umphrey’s. They jam with the best of them and have an unbelievable following. However, I am still waiting for them to smack me into a wall with awesome sauce and so I see them. To be honest, mainly because after Chris Kuroda, Jefferson Waful is my favorite light designer for the stage. However, it was still sunny out so there wasn’t much drawing me to stay in the front row. To be honest, I actually walked out of the last Umphrey’s show I was attending. The only show all year where I have done that. But tonight, well, they just sounded great.
Issac was thrilled to already have a spot up front to rage with his favorite band. His energy fueled my own and I made a point to seek out the music with my ears while I was running around taking care of things before Rhythm Devils. We left him to rage with his favorite band. I needed to take a break off my feet and just relax for a little bit at the Karma Wash before I took off again. At some point, I ran into Zach Deputy in the VIP tent.
Umphrey’s touched on everything. They rocked out one minute and tripped out another. I love their drummer. Great melodies like always. Major guitar jams. Just tight.
I also used this time to check out the vendors, the food, the art exhibits. There were times that we were forced to stop dead in our tracks to the jams that were being delivered on stage. The audience was cheering constantly. The sun slowly went down and the lights slowly showed up 🙂
Set List: Turn & Run >, Much Obliged, Women Wine & Song, Der Bluten Kat >, Hajimemashite >, Der Bluten Kat, The Linear >, Steppin’ Razor >, Mullet (Over), The Floor, Pay the Snucka >, White Man’s Moccasins, The Fuzz >, Pay the Snucka, 40’s Theme
VIP PERK #4: THE RAISED DANCE FLOOR!!! OMG!!! So, the entire weekend, VIP and staff had access to an elevated dance floor located to the left of the soundboard. The dance floor itself was two levels and could hold quite a few people. HOWEVER, it wasn’t until the middle of today that I started noticing that none of my fellow VIP campers were ever up there. I started spreading the word and everyone I told HAD NO CLUE it was available to them. Apparently, this was a new addition to the VIP package. It was at this point that I decided it was time to utilize the hell out of the dance floor. During Rhythm Devils, all the members of the krewe started popping up. I wish I had a picture of the smiles on their faces when they saw the unimpeded view. Check it out after Primus and the field emptied…
Setting up shop with our chairs in the second row on the elevated dance floor just sealed the deal for the night. Let alone, we now were about to get a full on rage from Grateful Dead drummers Mikey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann…..with KELLER WILLIAMS!!! LORD YES!!
I LOVE KELLER WILLIAMS. Not as much as I used to, but man. He was one of the first acts I saw on our scene. At my first festival (Allgood 2000) and I remember watching him up on stage with like 7 guitars on individual stands, just making his way from one to the other, manipulating and lopping their sounds. Then, as they all played around him, he merrily danced around the stage to the awesome combination of music he had created. I fell in love on the spot.
With Keller in the mix, Jerry’s Celebration of Life just continued through the Rhythm Devils, extending the power from Furthur‘s set the night prior. Fire on the Mountain was a GREAT lift in the set and the energy in the pool of people in front of me. Keller brought a unique sound that only Keller Williams can bring. His voice, refreshing.
The encore was ridiculous. While the drums raged out of control, the of the sexiest black catsuit wearing, fire dancing woman came onto the stage and completely owned it for over 10 minutes. Slinging fire all around then on strings, hoops, dancing on each other, manipulating the fire thorough their bodies. I can only imagine the jaws on the floor in the front row. We were getting a pretty psychedelic light show from our view as well.
Let me just say, that with Keller on the line-up, this might be my favorite recording of the day.
Set List: Cold Rain and Snow, Uncle John’s Band, Strange World, Wrecking Crew, This One Hour, So Many Roads, Fire on the Mountain, Bo Diddly, Comes the Dawn, Voodoo Zombies, See You Again, crowd/band intros
Encore: Full on Drum Rage with Firedancers!
After Rhythm Devils, the dance floor emptied out. We had been dancing behind a row of camping chairs set up by older Deadheads who just wanted to enjoy the show seated…and who completely tripped out over Jay’s laser.
We had the best spot to view Primus. Especially since the Deadheads totally went staying for the rage that was about to take place. And our chairs immediately popped up in the empty space. We stubbed all our friends up to the elevated dance floor with our gorgeous laminates and by the time the set started, I was surrounded by ny friends, Jam Cruisers, co-workers, and just felt so warm with my VibeTribe.
The stage was amazing. Two giant spacesuits flaked the drum kit, flashes of faces and other video being shoot onto the “mask” of the statues. A green hue tint sprayed over thee stage by the lights. The visual stimulation was fantastic. And with a little dance in a circle and the first slap of his bass, the spectacle began. A sound very different from anything that had graced the stage the entire weekend. Everyone had the biggest smile. Everyone was on their feet, dancing.
I can’t say it was the case for me, but some people just couldn’t take Primus. I suppose it’s an acquired taste but I love Les Claypool. With his haunting howls and screams, his insane vibe. He touches my darker side of music and I love it.
Anything Les Claypool touches is gold and this little hippie turned into a head banging rager. His sound is hard, heavy, menacing, intriguing, deep. It makes you think and it’s just different. I can completely understand how it wouldn’t be the right vibe for some people . I LOVED it.
To be honest, I can’t tell you about any one but Les. He is my favorite bass player. Well, in the top three. After the keys, the bass is my favorite instrument and it stands out heavily in shows unless I block it out. But with Les Claypool, he is all I care to hear. It never fails. I completely focus all my energy and power into him. Issac, being a bass player, had me excited for him to see Les. Unfortunately, Issac couldn’t get into the music so he went back to a little nap before Deep Banana Blackout. I continued to dance my ASS OFF through the very last note!! Les NEVER fails to deliver a vibrant show. It always seems new.
Setlist: Intro, To Defy the Laws of Tradition, In the Flesh, Here Come the Bastards, American Life, Duchess and the Proverbial Mind Spread, Coat Tails of a Dead Man, Bob, Jerry was a Race Car Driver, Over the Electric Grapevine, Behind my Camel, Groundhogs Day, Drum and Whamola Jam, Eleven, Cosmic Highway tease > Frizzle Fry, Harold of the Rocks,
Encore: Over the Falls, Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers
Issac took off for Deep Banana Blackout on the Green Vibes Stage and I took off to the VIP tent for one more water upload and a lil food intake and to say goodbye to friends as we would be leaving first thing in the morning. I took my time making my way to the VIP tent. There is something about the energy left on a field after its been raged. A nd once again, my little VibeTribe was a few of the last folks there, witnessing the aftermath…and helping clean.
As we made our way to the Silver Lining booth, we found our little rager passing out in the camp chair next to the booth. He had had enough. It was off to end the night for him and we continued the night dancing around Thud’s booth. I took a little pilgrimage through the chaos to take a few pictures but I just wanted to rage towards the back spinning in circles. My fellow Jam Cruiser and most lovely advocate in Medical Marijuana Law, Lisa Roche, was on had with her friend to dance with us. And dance we did…
I don’t know about anyone else but I truly do prefer a late night FUNK set over a late night disco set. Deep Banana Blackout fully delivers. This group is just spitfire and a Bridgeport native. Guitar powerhouse Fuzz’s energy is always constant. His sound, always RAGING! I love Eric Kalb on drums. I have gotten to see him with Charlie Hunter and Will Bernard a few times this year and that’s a lovely pairing right there.
Jen Durkin‘s voice came out of no where to me. I can’t recall ever really seeing this group live, as I had been out of the scene for almost 6 years until this past Jamuary. Jen‘s voice hit me like Susan’s voice hits me. So full of soul. Singing feelings. Notes oozing out of the coroners of her mouth. Dreads swinging in the wind! Whoa.
Fun Fact: Deep Banana Blackout has been performing at Gathering of the Vibes since the first Vibes 15 years ago.
Setlist: Intro – Ken Hayes, Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch, Take The Time, Homo Lingo ->, Tijuana Mama, Getch’all In The Mood, Hear My Song, Family Groove *, It’s A New Day, Like A Road +, bass solo -> Tug ->, Breakfast At Volo’s, Soul Sacrifice, band intros/announcements
* = w/Jesse Gibbon from Schleigho on keys
+ = w/Carrie and Leanne on vocals
We spent the rest of the night, into the morning, hanging out with friends in the Cosmic Casbah and watching the sun rise. This Gathering of the Vibes had been one of the kindest, safest, well-run festivals I have ever been privileged to be participant. I certainly hope that everyone considers this event next year when you are planning your Summer Festival calendar 🙂 Much Love!