Myself and the photographer-for-the-day, Dave "Bizarro" Cordeiro - all photos copyright him, by the way - arrived on-site early enough to get the lay of the land before all music broke loose. We stumbled across a drummer bathing in one of the sinks, and were regaled with the typical tales of the touring musician: a pinch of sleep, warnings about body odor, and the scramble to cover hundreds of miles to the next gig.
I wanted to start this with a little perspective. I think every bit of pure fun should have a pound of that, lurking somewhere.
But despite the untold, rather grimy side of the life, this is the Newport Folk Festival, which is all about the more glamorous aspects: hanging out with your crew on a summer weekend; running into the random artist peeking through a telescope or catching their favorite act; and, of course, the music itself, thick and hot as the humid July air. Life is about making decisions, and having a rather limited (and admittedly lazy) staff to cover 21 hours of music this day, we had to make some. No offense intended.
This is where our day started:
Now, these guys caught us off-guard:
just for you. Or you can just catch them on David Letterman August 4th if you have patience enough.
The pics don't really do them justice; they're far cuter and nicer in person. (Call me!)
I'm not sure we need to add a whole lot more. But just to humor y'all, they play the sweaty gypsy music you'd find pounding from the open windows of a basement bar in rural Europe. It's as intoxicating as the dark liquor they serve there, and Eugene's accent pours just as thick. We were almost tackled by some crazy What Cheer? Brigadiers who, unblamingly, were musically possessed backstage. Moving on.
new album, maybe with a few handclaps added ("Six White Horses"), a sprinkle of self-effacement and perhaps some exhaustion in there, too. Having missed some acts we were dying to cover (Pokey LaFarge, Devil Makes Three, most of Tegan and Sara), Welch made that right again, as it was just refreshing to listen to something so simple and uncluttered by the sea.
So, you think you know what 10,000 music-goers looks like.
Come back for part two!