Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Counterpoint: Bob's Newport Folk Festival Top 5
After reading, Keith's blog regarding his top 5 for this years Newport folk festival, I thought it best I add my two cents. Admittedly, I was very disappointed this year when Keith announced that he would not be able to attend New Orleans Jazzfest . To me, that is the festival to end all festivals and although this years lineup wasn't as stellar as years past, I was still greatly looking forward to acts such as My Morning Jacket, Bon Iver, Iron and Wine, & jazz legend Herbie Hancock. I had planned on going to the Newport Folk Festival anyway, but I thought I had missed my opportunity to see MMJ & others in a festival setting this year.
Boy, was I wrong. When the NPFF lineup was announced on March 1st, I was floored. Not only did it match the Jazzfest lineup (which is hard to do because Jazzfest has 7 days of music compared to Newport's 2) it far exceeded it. That is precisely why this festival sold out by mid April (the event had only sold out once before, which was last year in early July) causing many in the Schildt family to wonder why they waited so long to get tickets. So without further adieu, here are the 5 acts I am most looking forward to at this years ridiculous lineup.
Honorable Mentions: Blind Pilot, Deer Tick, Punch Brothers, Alabama Shakes, Iron and Wine
5. Of Monsters & Men - This could easily be my number 2 or 3 if they had hit my radar screen a little earlier. But their 4 song EP followed by their full length "My Head is an Animal" instantly makes them a top 5 for this year. Keith is right in suggesting that Of Monsters and Men are tailor made for this festival. I expect them to blow the proverbial roof off.
4. Jackson Browne - This is a tough one, because currently my interest lies more in seeing bands like Blind Pilot or Alabama Shakes over someone like Jackson Browne. That being said, I grew up a HUGE Jackson Browne fan, and unlike many other iconic singer songwriters of his generation, I feel Browne isn't past his prime. And to me, there is no better setting and venue to see JB, than at the Newport Folk Festival at Fort Adams. Early prediction is that "These Days" or "Late for the Sky" to close out his set on Sunday might will be an epic festival memory.
3. The Head and the Heart - Much like Keith, I was very torn when TH&TH were scheduled opposite Middle Brother last year. I chose the opposite path of my blog collaborator and spent most of my time with the Seattle powerhouse and I never looked back. TH&TH were by far the highlight of last years Newport Folk Festival for me, and my only regret is that I witnessed the epic performance alone. After the festival I missed several chances to see them play sold out shows in New York and Philly, so this year, I am praying that there are no schedule conflicts and I get to enjoy them in their entirety with my festival crew.
2. Wilco - Despite being slightly separate from the actual festival by playing the Friday show, I am extremely stoked about Wilco. I haven't seen them live in I would guess 7 or 8 years, and since then they have added significantly to their catalog with standout albums "Sky Blue Sky" and last years "The Whole Love." The atmosphere will certainly be different than the weekend portion, but in a way I am glad they are playing by themselves. There are so many songs I want to hear them play, I am excited that they will have an extended set to do it.
1. My Morning Jacket - I will agree with Keith on this one without a doubt. They are the best band I have ever seen live, and this festival will give MMJ fans a little something different when they play half of their set acoustic. I cannot wait to see what they decide to rock out too and what they decide to "folk up" for the festival. Jim James is obviously a huge supporter of the NPFF (he is 1 of 5 on the Folk Board Advisers) and I couldn't be happier that he has participated in 3 of the 4 festivals I have been too.