Wow, I can’t believe we’ve made almost three-quarters of the way through the year and we’ve haven’t had the time to get the HT Crew together for a solid hang to talk music, while chowing down on a tasty spread of burgers, dogs, kebabs and whatnot. With summer officially coming to an end yesterday, we thought we’d invite the gang over to HT Headquarters to enjoy the quickly disappearing last warm days of the year, throw some large hunks of meat on the grill and crack open a few Long Trail Harvest Ales for another rousing edition of At The Barbecue.
This time around we’re having everyone share with the class what they did on their summer vacation by discussing their favorite show of the summer – which we’ve roughly defined as anything seen between Labor Day and Memorial Day weekends. So with that in mind let’s get to it…
Scott Bernstein – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers / MMJ – August 24 – Izod Center – East Rutherford, NJ
Picking my favorite concert of the summer wasn’t easy as there were about five concerts that all could’ve easily been my choice. While Phish’s second Camden show was fairly epic, God Street Wine’s reunion shows were a blast and catching Squeeze in the middle of Bryant Park was sublime, I’ve decided that the My Morning Jacket/Tom Petty show I saw at the Izod Center on August 24th was my favorite concert of the season. MMJ tore through all of their classics and didn’t hold anything back in tackling their best material, while Petty did a great job of presenting a mini-set of songs from his latest album smack dab in the middle of a flawless greatest hits set.
Not only was the music great but I was very surprised by the enthusiasm displayed by the concertgoers in my section. I expected a crowd of folks who were content to sit all night and instead most stood and danced with joy and excitement. I took great pleasure in watching MMJ win over Petty fans and I do believe The Heartbreakers are extremely underrated as musicians, especially keyboardist Benmont Tench. I tend to focus on the details and watching Tench come up with innovative fills on a variety of vintage keyboards was a revelation. I would’ve never guessed going into the show that MMJ/Petty would be my favorite gig of the summer, but perhaps the lack of expectations and a full, rocking arena led this night to a special place in my heart. Plus, I’m just a sucker for arena rock.
READ ON for more of the HT Staff’s favorite shows of the summer…
Words and Images: Allison Taich
Northwest String Summit @ Horning’s Hideout, July 16-18
The Northwest String Summit (NWSS) celebrated its ninth anniversary July 16-18, 2010 at Horning’s Hideout in North Plains, Oregon. The three day music festival hosted by Yonder Mountain String Band (YMSB) included a cumulative nine hours worth of live YMSB, plus an outstanding roundup of string musicians including: Danny Barnes, Darol Anger and Great American Taxi. The Rhythm Devils and moe. both joined the fun electrifying the otherwise acoustic lineup.
There were several factors that set the NWSS apart from all other music festivals I have attended. For starters the grounds of Horning’s Hideout were immaculate. The layout was full of rolling hills, thick forests of lush browns and greens, a streaming river, pleasant lakes, wooded camp grounds, fearless wild peacocks and the list goes on. Every personality I crossed was more exceptional than the next; fans who attended wanted to be there, they were there for the music. There was no seedy scene, no pushy or undesirable individuals, simply people looking to celebrate acoustic music and have a good time. At nighttime the forests echoed with the plucking of strings from varying campsite jams, followed by the hoots and hollers of excited festival goers.
Music wise there was only one stage meaning one band played at a time. There was no overlapping, no running back and forth, no missing portions of sets and no need to leave sets early in order to catch another band. Each band laid down a winning performance making it hard to select a favorite. It seemed that every performance was charged by audience enthusiasm and energy. Bands reciprocated by churning out some of the wildest sets of acoustic music. READ ON for more from Allison on the NWSS…