Not sure if we mentioned it before, but tis the season to announce festival lineups. This time lets head to the land of the grapevine that is Napa Valley for what is dubbed Bottle Rock Festival. Cork-Fest must not have had as much of a ring to it as I thought it did. This one is interesting because, well, one might ask why the Kings Of Leon would be the lead headliner along with The Black Keys and Furthur. Furthur? Come on man. I like the Grateful Dead as much as the next guy but The Flaming Lips, Jane’s Addiction and Primus are sitting on this same list of acts playing. Bad Religion could close this thing out playing songs only off True North.
It all goes down May 9th through 12th. If you’re having trouble reading the text in the above poster never fear, some loser went through the trouble of actually typing out every single band listed there-and that lays below. As usual, it’s always best to head over to the festival’s official website if you feel like partying with the Zac Brown Band,- do that by clicking here.
Initial Artists Announced for the 2012 High Sierra Music Festival
The initial artist announcement for the 22nd annual High Sierra Music Festival has been announced. The event will once again be held at the Plumas-Sierra County Fairgrounds in Quincy California from July 5th through July 8th. Some of the highlights of this long running festival include Ben Harper, Railroad Earth and STS9. For the complete lineup (as of 03/08/12) either watch the nifty video below OR skip past the video and read them for yourself. For additional information, please check out the official webpage for High Sierra by clicking here.
2012 High Sierra Music Festival Lineup (As of March 8th, 2012)
For the fourth consecutive year I made the trek to the Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival to enjoy four days of music and camping in a setting that they call “Where Music Meets Mother Nature.” With acts ranging from My Morning Jacket and Ben Harper to the Budos Band and Dark Star Orchestra to STS9 and Bassnectar, a total of over 100 bands spread out across six stages, with on-site camping, showers, and even a grocery store to pick up last minute forgotten items.
Taking place the first weekend in June, and located just outside of Ozark, Arkansas, Wakarusa is in their third year at Mulberry Mountain. The festival, started in 2004, was previously held in Lawrence, Kansas at Clinton State Park through 2008 but has now moved to a much more fitting location in the beautiful rolling hills of the Ozark National Forest. Showcasing bands from a wide array of genres and now featuring the Interstellar Meltdown, a late night festival inside the festival including electronic acts and DJ sets, Wakarusa is one of the premiere festivals in the country drawing upwards of 20,000 people.
Wakarusas favorite Gypsy Punk Country Grumble Boogie band kicked things off Thursday on the main stage with a bean can shaking good time. This was the second of Dirtfoot’s FIVE sets over the weekend, including the previous night on the Backwoods Stage for the early arrival crowd, along with Mountain Sprout and Dumptruck Butterlips.
Wakarusa Press Conference – Thursday
Members of Dirtfoot,Cornmeal, Lotus, as well as Grace Potter and Simon Posford sat down with part of the Wakarusa braintrust for a press conference featuring free Boulevard beer and an air conditioned building. It was difficult to hear, but questions were asked to Grace Potter about how her band has grown quite a lot since starting the festival circuit in 2004, and Dirtfoot talked about their affiliation with the Chompdown, a FREE communal breakfast put on by a group of volunteers in the campground featuring a live set by Dirtfoot started by a man named Rabbit five years ago in Lawrence, Kansas.
Thursday – Grace Potter & The Nocturnals – Main Stage
The beautiful Grace Potter took the stage on Thursday afternoon after participating in the first ever Wakarusa Press Conference. With her band The Nocturnals burning it up in the hot Arkansas sun, GP&N played an hour and a half set that was one of the highlights of my weekend. The set included Grace doing an amazing vocal solo of “Nothing But The Water Pt 1” and a rocking version of “Stop the Bus.”
Thursday – Umphreys McGee – Mainstage
Umphreys McGee played from 10:15pm-12:15am on Thursday night and though only having one set after getting a late night and mainstage set the prior two years, Umphreys made up for the lack of sets with a cover of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” as well as The Who’s “Baba O’ Riley.” (Video courtesy of RebelINSoo)
The Chompdown takes place on either Friday or Saturday morning at each Wakarusa or Harvest Festival. It was started five years ago in Lawrence by John “Rabbit” Cabarara and is a completely FREE communal breakfast put on by about 30 volunteers and donations from anyone and everyone. Dirtfoot has been fortunate enough to be asked to play the prestigious slot at 9 am for the last 5 years and if you ask any of the 6 members they will tell you it is the highlight of the weekend for them.
Friday – My Morning Jacket – Main Stage
Friday was a day of recovery, and a day that I didnt get the camera out as it charged most of the day after taking a few hundred pictures of Grace Potter. My Morning Jacket headlined the Main Stage, and were followed by 3 and a half hours of Dark Star Orchestra. Other acts on Friday were bluegrass mainstays Split Lip Rayfield, who also played Thursday night late night, and Cornmeal as well as Ryan Bingham and soul sister Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings. (Video credit to Colbruce)
Saturday – Dirtfoot Campground Set
Dirtfoot had announced about a month before the festival that they would be playing a special surprise set at the campsite that created the best Dirtfoot flag for their campsite. There were actually two winners, and each site received a visit from Dirtfoot on Saturday afternoon. Our site was fortunate enough to have one of the creators of the Dirtfoot pirate flag camping with us, so we were treated to a special three song set including “Little Bit of Rum.”
Saturday – Mumford and Sons – Main Stage
England’s newest craze Mumford and Sons took the main stage on Saturday afternoon for their first ever appearance in Arkansas. Vocalist Marcus Mumford made it completely clear how hot it was, and seemed fascinated by the waterfall just a short hike off the Wakarusa property. They played most of their debut album Sign No More as well as three new tunes. Noticably missing was the upbeat dance worthy “Dust Bowl Dance.” Great to see them, though I was slighty disappointed. They were followed by Ben Harper & Relentless 7 show played a great cover of Led Zeppelin’s “No Quarter” and prevailed through some sound problems that were persistant with the main stage all weekend.
Inside of Revival Tent
Swimming Hole on Mulberry River
Saturday – Budos Band – Revival Tent
Budos Band threw down some serious funk in the Revival Tent on Saturday night. As a matter of fact, all day Saturday the Revival Tent featured funk acts including March Fourth Marching Band, Papa Grows Funk, and Budos. Other acts on Saturday included Galactic,Thievery Corporation, Wookiefoot and Arkansas’ very own “hillbilly bluegrass machine” Mountain Sprout.
Sunday – Dirtfoot Late Night Sexy Panty Party – Backwoods Stage
Sunday night to close out Wakarusa, the grumble boogie boys took the stage for their fifth and final set of the weekend, a set dubbed the Dirtfoot Late Night Sexy Panty Party by Scott Girardy, the sax player for Dirtfoot. Other bands playing on the toned down Sunday lineup included Ozomatli,Beats Antique, EOTO and Toots and the Maytals.
Initial Artist Lineup For 2011 Wakarusa Music Festival Announced
Over three days in early June, the 8th annual Wakarusa Music & Camping Festival will once again take over Mulberry Mountain. Located just outside of Fayetteville, Arkansas the festival will once again feature a top notch lineup of artists from both the electronica and jam bands scene. In addition to some great music, the festival will feature disc golf, yoga, hiking and swimming in the Mulberry River. Our very own Brad (aka SaucerfulofSecrets) will be making his fourth appearance at the festival, and you can expect to read a full report as soon as he fully recovers from the event.
The initial artist lineup is listed below. Additional artists will be added in the following months. Click here for information on tickets and camping for Arkansas premiere music festival.
Reverend Justito Presents His Top 5 Concerts of 2010
I have been attending concerts non-stop since 1996. 2010 has been a wonderful year of music. Not that I have the time to keep track of such a statistic, but I do believe that I have seen more shows in 2010 than any other year of my life. It was not easy to narrow down my top five shows from this year, and chances are this list would be different if you asked me to pick in three months. So enough of my mindless introduction; It’s time for my top five shows of 2010.
Truth be told, I made the thirty minute trip to Redondo Beach on a cold Friday night because of Jay Porks. I had forgotten all about Local H, but reading his review got me fired up about a band that I managed to catch at both Kamp Kome gigs back in the 1990’s. The night was what shows are supposed to be all about – letting go of the bullshit and having a great time. From the band allowing a fan to pick a record out of the hat to discovering my favorite new music venue in Southern California the night was just perfect. Most important it has restored my love for Local H who I hope return to the road in 2011.
If you count Fistful of Mercy, I saw Joseph Arthur five times in 2010. I am not exactly sure when Fistful of Mercy formed, but looking back at this show, I was fortunate enough to see the project in it’s early stages. From Arthur opening the night with a haunting version of Restore Me to guest appearances from members of his Lonely Astronauts band and Ben Harper it was a truly inspiring night.
I was fucking angry walking into this show. Bad traffic, poor venue planning and my Giants had just blown an important home game against the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS (as you may be aware, things worked out ok for my beloved Giants in 2010). To be honest, I was not even sure why I had agreed to go to the show as the band was over-rated in my eyes. Then the band hit the stage and changed my life. I understand how douchy of a statement that is, but it’s true. The Arcade Fire are that powerful, they suck you in and steal your soul. You can’t stop it no matter how hard you try. It’s very rare that a band can emote a certain feeling inside of me. It’s a feeling that I can’t describe; the nirvana, bliss, floating on a cloud emotion. On October 8th, 2010 the Arcade Fire took an angry Angelino and got him to that place.
When I was a freshman in High School, I found $5 on the ground out front of my school. I ran down to The Record Man and picked up a banged up copy of Angel Dust by Faith No More. It is amazing that the disc will still play today, yet it does. If I had to pick three albums to bring onto a deserted island, this would be one of them. Sadly I was not old enough to drive into San Francisco and see Faith No More on their last hurrah. I made sure I was online with ten minutes to spare to get tickets to this show. I was not going to miss my chance. As luck turned out, I got to see both Faith No More shows here in Hollywood, and it was truly a dream come true. Not a bad moment over two nights, I got to see Faith No More kick all kinds of ass on stage. Between this and the earlier mentioned Giants World Series trophy, let’s just say I can die a lil happier.
Who are we kidding, all three nights at the Greek come in 1/2/3 on this list. I will spoil every top shows list from here till the day I die right now. If I see Phish, there is a 99.8% chance they will be the top live band I see in any given year. Nothing can top Phish. Yet to give some other bands a fair shot, we have picked this as the best Phish show that I witnessed in 2010. This show just dominated and is no doubt in my top three shows of all time. Cities>The Moma Dance>Bathtub Gin>Stealing Time from the Faulty Line just can’t be beat. Unless of course you look to the second set that kicked off with a high energy cover of the Velvet Underground’s Rock and Roll, featured a beefy “Mike’s Groove” and crested with the trampoline stunt during the set closing You Enjoy Myself. I think just about everyone knows I expect some serious West Coast Phish love in 2011, here is hoping the boys don’t break my heart.
Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery – Hollywood, CA
Words/Photos by Reverend Justito/concertconfessions.com
The entire process of getting into the first of three sold out shows for Fistful of Mercy at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery could be a post on its own. So instead of wasting three paragraphs allow me to thank Steve, Melina and the World Champion San Francisco Giants for not only a wonderful evening, but easily one of my top three shows of 2010. Fact is that as I write this, I have not fully processed what I experienced inside the historic cemetery’s Masonic Lodge last night. The show was so hauntingly beautiful, perhaps I never will.
Before we discuss the music, it is important to discuss the venue. This was my first trip to the Masonic Lodge, and I hope it is not my last. The old hall is painted blood red and lined with one-sheets from classic Hollywood films. With a small stage below the peaked roof, artists must walk through the crowd to take the stage. With an already eager crowd going nuts as the hanging chandeliers dimmed, the foursomes walk through the hall sent the 200+ individuals in the crowd into overdrive.
Made up of Joseph Arthur, Ben Harper and Dhani Harrison (with Jessy Greene on Violin) the group got the first of two shows on this particular evening underway with “I Don’t Want To Waste Your Time.” With cameras clicking and glasses clinking, the room took on a whole new energy as the collective conscious realized just how lucky we were to see the powerful band in such a delicate venue.
I am a bit embarrassed to admit that it took me a few songs to realize why Fistful of Mercy was performing in this location. As a huge fan of Joseph Arthur, I should have realized that with his lyrical emphasis on spirits Hollywood Forever was a highly appropriate location. In fact Arthur and Harper discussed the “floating” spirits who were amongst us all night. Hell, one could argue that songs like “As I Call You Down” managed to take on new meanings due in part to the shows location.
While set mainly consisted of material from the trio’s debut record, however each individual performed a sample of their solo work. While I do not know the name of the Harrison number, he did dedicate it to a couple somewhere in the crowd who are about to welcome a baby girl into the world. Following a long-winded (a theme for the night) yet hilarious story about days of touring in a van by Harper, Arthur lead to group through a spot-on take of his hit “In The Sun.” However, the highlight of the night was Ben Harper performing an emotionally charged version of “Please Me Like You Want To.” While TMZ can tell you all the latest on Harper’s personal life, watching the man perform this song in this city and this moment in time – words simply can’t express the emotions within that moment. The Harper led Fistful of Mercy original “Restore Me” followed as an exclamation mark to the “Please Me.”
With a heavy musical mood all night, the group loosened things up with “Things Go ‘Round.” The song featured Harrison on piano, Harper on Bass and Arthur on a tiny drum kit. As was prevalent all night, you could see that the band that formed 10 short months ago was having an absolute blast. Other late set highlights included the song “Fistful of Mercy” and “Father’s Son.”
With the band exiting the stage and the lights coming back up, I had assumed the show was over. As soon as the lights went back down, the crowd noise doubled in decibel level as we all realized the band would return. We were treated to a two song encore that kicked off with an emotionally charged cover of the Velvet Underground classic “Pale Blue Eyes.” After one final round of lengthy-yet-hilarious stage banter, the early show ended with “With Whom You Belong.” As proof to how powerful the performance was, the band actually managed to get the entire crowd to join in a sing along at the end of the song. As anyone who has ever attended a concert in Los Angeles is well aware, this is no easy task. It really was the perfect ending to an amazing show. Fingers crossed we see future US dates for Fistful of Mercy, as this is one band you can’t afford to miss out on.
You have to check this out. As some of you may know, Joseph Arthur,Ben Harper and Dhani Harrison (honorable mention to the lovely Jessy Greene on violin) have formed a brand spankin’ new band called Fistful of Mercy. The band performed their first “gig” last night at Easy Street Records in Seattle (fine store I may add) and let’s just say things got a bit out of control. How out of control you ask? Check out this post by West Seattle Blog to witness Joseph, Ben and Dhani stop rush hour traffic.
OK fine, so Rock it Out! Blog and Antiquiet beat us on posting this, but ConcertConfessions favorite Joseph Arthur (along with Ben Harper and Dhani Harrison) have formed a brand new band called Fistful of Mercy. They have posted a vimeo video for a track that shares a name with the band that you can view below. The trio’s debut album is due October 5th and rumor has it a tour shall follow (see you there).
Words/Photos/Videos by Reverend Justito/concertconfessions.com
As I shared here recently as a FROM THE VAULT post, the last time I saw Joseph Arthur, we didn’t really connect. In the weeks and months that passed after that warm summer night, I actually began to get angry. What was wrong with me? I have listened to this man and his music time and time again and I allowed weird vibes and distractions ruin our brief time together. Not permitting my anger to get the best be, I told myself there is always next time. Thankfully, next time came in the form of concertconfessions user HJUnderpants birthday celebration. After a tasty meal at Barney’s Beanery up the road, we entered The Troubadour on a cold winter night to once again experience the music of singer/songwriter Mr. Joseph Arthur.
Right off the bat, things were better than last time. Despite what the venue had informed me of via Twitter, this would not be a seated show. Excited by this discovery we hit the front bar and enjoyed a celebratory birthday drink or four before finding our spot on the open floor. With two blank canvases against the back wall, Arthur hit the stage minutes before 9:30 pm. The multi-talented performer began to paint upon both canvases before strapping on an acoustic guitar and kicking off the music with a soft new song (title unknown, but assumed to be from a rumored 2010 release). What followed was a rocking one man version of “Devil’s Broom” which allowed the musician to throw down a nasty electric guitar solo over percussive and rhythm loops all made by acoustic guitar. By the time Arthur was into his third song “Echo Park”, my wife had whispered into my ear that this time was already 1,000,000 times better than last time and I happened to agree.
Yes indeed with guitar loops bordering on insanity and two paintings being created right before our eyes, the journey was off to an amazing start. Hell, the lanky hipster softly singing fan favorites “Birthday Card” and “Honey and the Moon” into my right ear didn’t bother me as Arthur commanded my focus. Using both looped guitar and vocals as a backdrop, Arthur stopped strumming and returned to his paintings, rapidly adding lines and angles over what appeared to be faces of a man and a woman (I can hardly draw a stick figure, who am I to try to talk brush strokes and angles). Once satisfied with his progress on the paintings, Arthur brought the loops to a screeching crashing yet never missing a beat by diving head first into “All The Old Heroes”. Armed with only a Telecaster and a microphone, the pride of Akron, Ohio stood onstage alone for the final time during this short west coast tour.
Arthur welcomed four guests to the stage. In addition to Jessy Greene on Violin (who had been off and on the stage all night by this point) two members of his Lonely Astronauts backing band (Sibyl Buck on vocals and Kraig Jarret Johnson on Guitar/Vocals) joined in on the fun. Honestly, I don’t think anyone noticed, as roots/jam/soul/reggae/metal/blues/pop/funk/acoustic/indie/rebel/surf/rocker Ben Harper came out along with them. I know my jaw dropped to the clubs cement floor at the chance to see Harper (someone I have seen many times over the years) in such a small venue. The now five piece band launched into “Black Lexus” from Arthur’s 2006 record Nuclear Daydream. Most stunning about this version was Harper’s slide Weissenborn and Green’s violin coming together to create a melodic sound-scape that helped carries Arthur’s intense vocals.
While most musicians soon left the stage (they would come and go as the night carried on) Harper remained on stage to add backing vocals to Arthur’s best known song – “In The Sun”. I didn’t even make it to the chorus before my arms were covered in goosebumps. The vocals of the two blended nicely, and by the time they were done, I saw not one but two separate audience members with tears running down their cheeks. Over the next 45 minutes, the explosion of art continued to engulf senses. Arthur noted on multiple occasions how blessed he was to be playing with his old friend Ben. Harper can shred with the best of them, but on this night he played with great restraint. He found holes and filled them with rich melodies, allowing the focus to stay on the songs, and not the star. I really didn’t think the night could get better but it proved me wrong yet again as the duo performed my favorite song “Ashes Everywhere”.
I lost track of how many encore breaks the night had, but I know the show ended with Arthur completing his paintings during the song “Invisible Hands”. Big blue brush stroked smacked up against the canvas as Arthur sang for Jesus to come back and die again. As the song slowly stretched out at the end, musicians slowly began to leave the stage leaving Harper to finish the song alone.
Moments after his exit, the stage lights came up and we went to the merch table. As we waited in line to purchase the evenings show, the night once again got a little bit better. Arthur performed two more songs to the packed merch area/bar before he spoke with fans, took photos and signed autographs. I tried to keep my moment brief. He helped me with an art project of my own I am working on this year, signed a copy of the show. As we exited out the door and hit chilly Santa Monica Blvd, I couldn’t help but smile knowing that for Joseph Arthur and I the second time was the charm.
Ben Harper is my favorite. I have been a fan of his since he opened for Pearl Jam in 1995. I have always loved the fact that although he is an outstanding person and musician, he did not get incredibly big in the music world. This means that I can typically get very up close and personal at his shows. This show was the closest I have ever gotten which was the 2nd row.
I had a feeling that Ben was going to play his new album because he is touring with Relentless and not the Innocent Criminals. I made sure to listen to it 10 times before the show so I would be familiar with all of the songs. I really did do the right thing because he played his ENTIRE new album. The only other song he played was Walk Away.
He got a little annoyed with the crowd and told people to keep the noise level down during the slower songs. I was annoyed too because way too many people were talking. He said that in all of his career, he has never had to tell a crowd to show some respect. I actually almost got into a fight with some gal and her Aquanet hairdo. Not to mention, the show was in Oakland and I had never been so scared in my life to walk 5 blocks to the car. The Fox Theater is beautiful though, they just spend a few million dollars on the remodel. I highly suggest anyone in the Bay Area to check it out if they have a favorite musician coming to play. The venue does not fit that many people and there were like 8 bar stands.
If I was a so-so fan, I would have been a little bit disappointed that he did not play any of his radio tunes. A couple of my friends were dying to hear “Steal My Kisses” and I was secretly glad he didn’t. But, because Ben is so great it really doesn’t matter what he plays, because he plays it so well. I could watch him read the telephone book and I’d be happy…but hey, that’s just me.