String Cheese Incident at Horning’s Hideout in North Plains, OR
7/29-8/1 2010 Part 1 (Thursday and Friday)
Review and pictures by Phishbeard
First off I would like to apologize to my fans for the tardiness of this concert review, but I have had a busy month of concerts and weddings. Multitasking has never been a forte of mine. I am sorry that I don’t have as many pictures as I should have and that they are not of super quality, but I am in the process of getting a nice camera to help record the picture perfect moments much easier. I also want to thank you for reading my write up and visiting Concertconfessions.com. If you never have had a chance to read my reviews, be prepared to read something enjoyable and informative. If you have read my reviews before, then thanks for coming back for more and enlightening yourself in my concert experiences.
Thursday, July 29 2010, my buddy and I headed out to Horning’s Hideout to see the String Cheese Incident, among many other bands that participated at this year’s festival. It had been 3 years since my last Hideout adventure and I was looking forward to enjoying myself more than I had in the past. This was my New Orleans buddy’s first Cheese show at Horning’s, which made it exciting too. To top it off, he forewarned me that he was bound to be hassled by many people at the festival, because he looked so much like Michael Kang, the mandolin/violinist/vocals for the Cheese. This claim of his I took as a joke, but little did I know…
Horning’s Hideout is a special venue tucked away in the woods about 35 miles west of Portland, Oregon located in the town of North Plains. The venue is set in a valley of trees and there is a lake that people can fish and cruise around in paddle boats on. There are three different Frisbee Golf courses at Horning’s, with one of them being ranked #3 in the world! The Hideout is well known for all the peacocks that freely wander the venue, many of which are albino. Unfortunately, there are quite a few less peacocks roaming around than there were in 2001, which is probably due to the number of bird deaths caused by glow sticks. When concerts are not happening at the Hideout, the venue is open to the public and is also for rent for private gatherings, such as weddings, company picnics, and other events. There are many hiking trails and fun things to do and the venue is pet friendly when concerts are not taking place.
We arrived at Horning’s Hideout around noon, which was when the gates were supposed to open to people set up camp. By the time we got there, multiple lines of cars at the top of the hill had been formed in the vehicle staging area and were being sent down the hill to the security check. The Traffic staff was awesome and was plenty helpful in getting me to a good parking spot. After an hour or so, we got through to the security check, where all cars were searched for alcohol. Our case of Mirror Pond Pale Ale made it in just fine to help supplement our thirst for the weekend. These searches were optimal as far as festival searches go and the security was kind. They mostly were just checking coolers and looking for dogs. Rumor has it that the security during the Northwest String Summit a couple weeks before was quite Nazi, so their contract was terminated and a new security company came in for the Cheese.
After parking the car, my buddy found a spot in the Back 40 to set up camp. I was surprised that by 2pm they were so many people already at the venue. After locating a choice camping spot uphill from a couple campsite’s camp showers, we had to make 4 different treks to my car to grab gear. This part of the festival was rough. Not only was the gear heavy and some of it awkward to carry, but it was at least in the high 90’s as far as temperature goes. Setting up camp in the brutal heat was semi devastating. It was hotter than two foxes fucking in a forest fire. There was shade available, but all the good spots were pretty much taken and the ones that were available were on nasty hillsides. So the 2 of us nutted up and set up shop in the flat sunny area of the Back 40. The price you pay for trying to have a badass camp spot with all the goodies like a shade shelter, tapestries, and a rug, among other nice accommodations.
It was Thursday evening by the time we had camp set up and had taken a break and some bonks, and music began on the Main Stage. From 4:15-5:30pm, the Kyle Hollingsworth Band started that night’s musical festivities. Kyle is the Cheese’s keyboard/piano/vocals man. They were followed by CB3 with Michael Kang at 6:00-7:15pm. By the time they were finishing up, my buddy and I made our way to the Main Stage so we could check out the Emmitt-Nershi Band. Leftover Salmon’s Drew Emmitt and Bill Nershi the Cheese’s guitar/vocals man tore it up with their bluegrassy ways. I don’t remember any songs in particular that they played, but I do remember how enjoyable their set was. It also helped that the temperature had started to taper a bit during the 7:45-9:00pm time slot. After the boys finished playing, we headed back to camp instead of attending the EOTO set from 9:30-11:00pm, which is Michael Travis and Jason Hann’s band. Travis and Hann are both percussionists for the Cheese. Overall it was nice to have the opportunity to check out what the boys from the Cheese do in their side projects.
After regrouping and preparing for a chilly night, we checked out Sayers, Schwindt & Watts with Eric Kranso, who played from 11:00 pm to 12:15am. I had never heard these guys play before, but for a late night set, I thought it was quite decent and rockin’. In between acts when Tsunamurai was setting up, The Kang look-a-like began to work his magic by not doing a damn thing! In the 2 hours we were there, my buddy had acquired a number of head nods and hellos. Little did we know that that was just the beginning.
At the Caldera Stage they had a large metal statue of some crazy sort. The artistic metal behemoth was hooked to a fuel source that blew large flames into the night sky of varying degrees of intensity. As we were checking out the flaming masterpiece, a bunch of people came out dressed as samurai. They cleared the floor area of people and started their performance. It was Tsunamurai. They did a number of dances and skits, including some sexy scantly dressed ladies doing an erotic dance. Tsunamurai said something about being samurai from outer-space, which had us lost and confused. Even though we did not understand the meaning of the act, it was amusing for it being after midnight on a Thursday.
We ended up missing the Late Night Lounge with DJ Aaron from Brazilian Girls, which took place from 11:00pm to 12:30am. We did catch the majority of the last scheduled musical act of the night, which happened to be Sayers, Schwindt & Watts again. They put out another solid set and were an excellent way to end the night before deciding to make a late night walk around the venue trying to find some more fun. Keeping in the shadows so that we could avoid any Kang look-alike sightings, we managed to make a couple friends before calling it a night.
Friday morning as I was making my way to the porta-potty, I heard another buddy, Rod, holler my name from behind! Remarkably my good friend and his wife were camped three tents down from my camping spot. This is the kind of thing that happens at a place like Horning’s Hideout. My buddies and I chilled for a bit and went our separate ways. My goal was to make my way to the awesome acrobatic group from Portland, OR called Kazum. Rod and his wife decided to stay behind and finish setting up their camp, because they did not get into the venue until 12:00am Friday morning and they had the unfortunate luck of having to park on top of the hill, where vehicles were lined up to be sent to security check. Fortunately Horning’s provided a shuttle ride for people on the hill so they didn’t have to walk with all their gear down to the camping areas.
From 12:45 to 1:45pm, I had the privilege of watching Kazum perform. The group consisted of I think 8 acrobatic performers and an MC. There was also a magician, a contortionist, and a flatland bike rider, who were impressive. These guys and gals are pretty funny and very talented. Some of the tricks are down right crazy and mind boggling. The ladies are all quite attractive and fun to gander at. They had costumes for different skits they preformed, while doing their acts to music. I saw Kazum at the Oregon Country Fair this year and was so impressed that I had to see them again at Horning’s. As for the second time seeing them, I was just as astonished as before.
After the Kazum performance at the Sawmill Stage, I made my way back towards Main Stage to go see Bill Nershi and Scott Law bust out some soul satisfying tunes, plus I needed to get in the shade, because the heat was as unbearable as the day before. It was a nice acoustic set that the guys put on. Their music was just what I needed to gear up for the night ahead. The set went on from 2:15 to 3:15pm. By the time Nershi and Law had finished jamming out, I was ready for some grub, so I headed back to camp to meet up with my friend from New Orleans. He was napping during the music that I caught, because he hooked up with a food booth to work at in the mornings from 8:00 to 10:00am, in trade for some meals. Praise the Lord for such awesome food booths like the one my buddy worked at called Toast from Portland, OR.
After finishing eating, we did some chatting with our neighbors for the weekend. All the campers around us were great! The people surrounding us were both friendly and very generous. Only at a Cheese show have I found such harmony amongst the campers. It is a special place to be and I cherish the moments that I spend at Horning’s for Cheese shows. After chatting with the neighbors, we proceeded to play a few games of cribbage while we waited for Pimps of Joytime to come out and play at the Sawmill Stage from 5:30 to 6:45pm.
By the time we made it out to watch the Pimps of Joytime, it had become apparent that the Kang look-a-like phenomena was in full effect. My buddy became victim of multiple personal stories about people’s special Cheese shows, along with many handshakes, head nods, and photos taken with him. He never once acknowledged that he was Kang and numerous times he actually denied it, but the fans were star struck and there was no telling them any different. The best things he could muster up was “Thanks for coming” or “Nice to see you here”. Either way the people loved him.
The Pimps of Joytime were badass if you like funky music. I heard that these guys were going to open for Michael Franti on August 13th, so I thought I better check them out. I was pleasantly surprised. These cats actually had more people dancing and checking them out then the act that was going on at the Main Stage, which was the Soul Rebels Brass Band from New Orleans. My buddy said I had to check out the Soul Rebels and get a little taste of New Orleans, so I wandered over to check them out about ¾ of the way through the Pimps of Joytime’s set.
When I made my way towards the Soul Rebels, I began to hear a brass based band that dabbles in hip hop. They were quite a large band with their members taking up most of the Main Stage area. Their music was up beat, but I thought that their lyrics were a bit on the weak side in my opinion, due to the amount of repetitive verses that they sang. After getting a small dose of my Southern fix, I decided to head back to Pimps of Joytime to boogie down for a couple more songs. I then made my way back to catch the last bit of the Soul Rebels before they finished up their 5:45 to 7:00pm set. After that, it was time to gear up for the Cheese show, so we headed back to camp and ate some grub and took a puff or two or maybe seven, I forget.
Because there were four stages at Horning’s, there is no possible way to catch everything available to see. Since I could only make it to so many acts, I decided to include a list of performances, workshops, and lectures that I unfortunately had to miss. The events that I missed on Friday before the Cheese played were as follows; At the Caldera Stage there was James Grant Vinyasa Yoga, Jamie Stillway, Elle Porter commUNITY Yoga, John-Alex Mason, Lucent Dossier Workshop, Chris Chandler Show with Paul Benoit, and Toubab Krewe Drum Workshop. At the Sawmill Stage there was Rupa & The April Fishes. On the Emerald Stage there was the Liza Oxnard Family Show, Crossing the Event Horizon lecture, Preserving Essential Womanhood in Today’s World lecture, Future of Food and Health lecture, and Being Honest with Your Kids lecture. The only thing I truly wanted to make it too out of the acts I missed was Liza Oxnard. Oh my she is so sexy, with such a sweet angelic voice. My donkey ass slept in and missed her performance.
After getting a recharge for the Cheese, we made our way back to the Main Stage for the 7:45 to 11:45pm gig. To begin things, Momma Horning was brought out on stage and she told us how wonderful the campers were, if I remember right it was also noted that Bob Horning is running for Senate, but that could of happened on Saturday. Things can get fuzzy at a Cheese show. The boys started off with playing Smile and I could just tell we were in for something special. The amount of positive energy flowing among the crowd was very noticeable. Just having the chance to see all the different people at the show dancing their asses off and watching all the talented hula hoopers, brought me back to that special place that I search for when I attend musical events. By mid first set the Cheese played a bitchin’ Born on the Wrong Planet, which was followed by Under African Skies that played straight into Climb. The boys finished the set off with a rockin’ Miss Brown’s Teahouse.
During set break, my buddy and I ventured back to the camp to get another recharge and go potty. After a pretty short set break the Cheese came back out jamming Black and White and I knew at this time we were in for a epic musical weekend. They followed that up with Bend Down Low into Sitting on Top of the World. The Cheese didn’t hold back on dropping the bomb on playing some heavy hitters early in the festival. I also really like the Water that they played later in the set. The Cheese kept the energy flowing for the crowd by closing with Restless Wind and coming back out to play Hey Pocky Way for an encore with the Soul Rebels Brass Band! After the show you could hear the buzz in the air among the people and it was obvious that it was party time! After hours style.
As the crowd was making their way out from the Main Stage area, I wandered over to the Sawmill Stage to check out the Beats Antique set from 11:45pm to 1:00am. I was pumped to see this band in action, because I had purchased one of their cd’s at a Yard Dogs Road Show concert and I loved it. When the band started, which was 2 guys on percussion, a computer and some electric drum accessories, I was curious to see what they had in store. They also had a sexy lady that did belly dancing to the music and she was badass. Unfortunately, for the time I stuck around to watch them, I sort of lost interest in the band, because I am not really into percussion based music and the belly dancer only danced a song or 2 before leaving the stage. So by like the fourth song I decided to boogie instead of waiting for the band to regain my interest or the sexy lady to come back out on stage and mesmerize the men watching her dance. Not to say the band wasn’t good, because there were plenty of people there digging the beats, but it was just not my cup of tea.
We made our way back to camp to meet up and did a bit of recharging before making our way to the Caldera Stage to see the 12:15 to 2:45am Dub-Temple Sessions with Miss Murray and also the Caldera Fire with Furthermore Collective, Liquid Fire Mantra and the Spinsterz. This was definitely the place we needed to be. There was a DJ on stage and the flaming statue that I mentioned earlier was in full effect launching flames from different parts up into the sky. It was quite a sight to see. There were also fire dancers dancing to the music on the floor area. The fire dancers had a variety of different flaming items they danced with such as hula hoops, hand fans, and a few other things. The fire dancers were awesome, especially all those sexy ladies. My favorite part of the show was the ladies in the flaming hula hoops. I was in awe, when watching those beautiful hoopers. Totally worth checking out.
While watching the fire dancers do their thing, the Kang look-a-like began to work his magic by doing nothing again. People would stare at my buddy and start whispering amongst their friends. Next thing you know there were multiple people just standing there checking my buddy out. A couple people stopped by and told him how good the Cheese played that night and he also received a number of handshakes and head nods. We then had a lady totally open up to him about how she had changed her wedding date so that she could make it to the Horning’s show. After about a 15min. chat with her, who spoke so much that my friend didn’t even have a chance to say that he was not Kang, a guy came up and shook his hand. He then kissed the back of his hand and said, “You have the hands of a god”. By that time my buddy could tell that there were way too many people checking him out, so we decided to bail before he got bombarded by Cheese fans. I imagine it is not hard to mistake my buddy for Kang late at night, especially when wasted out of your mind.
We made our rounds throughout the venue checking things out and talking to people along the way, while making our way back to camp. The only late night shows that we missed were DJ Aaron from Brazilian Girls from 1:00 to 2:00am at the Sawmill Stage and the Late Night Lounge with Sayers, Schwindt & Watts from 12:30 to 2:30am at the Emerald Parlor Stage. We did drop in for a song or two at the Emerald Parlor, but didn’t stay long enough to give any kind of real comment about what we heard. We were more or less just checking out the black-light garden and some sweet lighted pictures for the trippers to feast their eyes and wandering minds on. After that we headed back to camp to call it a night, after we had a couple beers and some bonks.
To read part two of this review – please click here.