Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Some Top Moments (for me) from the 2014 Newport Folk Festival

It's hard for me to pick out my absolute Top 5 or 10 favorite sets from this year's Newport Folk Festival since my plan for this year was to keep mobile and seeing as many acts as I can see even if it meant leaving a set early or showing up late to another.  But what I can share is some moments from the festival that will stick with me for awhile.

-I didn't get to see Lucius's whole set.  I really wanted to but Deer Tick is one of my my favorite bands.  I showed up late to Deer Tick to see as much of Houndmouth as I could so leaving them early wasn't an option for me.  But as soon as they were done I, for the only time all weekend, legit ran over to the Harbor Stage and was able to catch the last few songs of Lucius.  They closed with Two of Us On The Run which was one of the best moments of the festival for me.

-My friend and I were at the bathrooms at the Quad Stage when Jack White walked by.  There was a group of three women who just said hello (in a non-intrusive way, to their credit).  Jack White said hello back without breaking stride.  He then turns around and takes a Polaroid camera out and takes a selfie with the three women and gives it to them.  I hung around to see how the picture came out.  It made those three women's festival.  The one person whose festival wasn't made was the 4th friend who just came out of the Port-A-Potty to the sound of her three friends waving the picture over their head yelling "You'll never believe what just happened!"

-With all the collaborations that happen at the Newport Folk Festival you are going to see alot of unique versions of songs played.  As a big Deer Tick fan getting to see Lis Isenberg come out for Friday XIII was a treat.  Seeing Deer Tick be on the main stage for the first time playing such a live rarity was something I'll never forget.

-I've been in to Ryan Adams since roughly 2003.  I was 25 years old and was really taken with the song playing over the opening sequence for the movie Old School.  I stayed around for the credits and found out that it was To Be Young (Is to Be Sad, Is to Be High) by Ryan Adams and that's when it started for me.  Musically I was a fan.  I bought up all his albums as they came out but everything I ever read about him made him seem like I dude whose music I could enjoy but not someone I would not want to hang out with.  This year's festival was the first time I've ever seen him live and he obviously won me over musically but the best thing for me about hit set is that we saw a guy who was funny and with a personality.  The moment for me was the Michael McDonald impression.  Out of all the sets I planned on watching at the Newport Folk Festival this year, the one I did not plan on laughing the most during was Ryan Adams.

-After Jenny Lewis, whose set list was "festival flawless1" by the way, the plan was to high tail it to the Quad Stage to see as many songs from Lake Street Dive as we could before heading back over for Band of Horses.  So in a hurry my friend and were hustling back to the Fort Stage.  We passed the Harbor Stage just as Robert Hunter started playing Ripple.  Stopped me in my tracks.  It was very moving to see and listen to.  I can comfortably say that it was my favorite moment of the festival.  Two minutes one way or another and I miss that.  I feel very lucky to have caught that.

1 Festival Flawless - playing a set list that is accessable to a crowd of people who might not be familiar with you're entire catalog. Opposite of a "Festival Clueless" set list. An example being The Black Crowes 2008 Newport Folk Festival set.

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