On the first day of official festival fun, I had the opportunity to see two of my favorite bands — right after each other on the same stage.
First up was Fleet Foxes. I’ve been a fan for several years, but had never had the opportunity to see them live. Despite the rain and quicksand-like mud, the band’s performance was incredible. The sounds and lyrics have a way of separating your mind and emotions from the world around you so that your entire being is enveloped by their feeling. I may have been surrounded by thousands of people, but it felt like Fleet Foxes was performing just for me.
Right after this inspiring set, Mumford & Sons took the stage. This band’s music, like Fleet Foxes, takes me to another place. Unfortunately for those nearby, that place makes me want to sing.
The second day of the festival, I saw Paolo Nutini and Noah and the Whale perform. Sadly, Paolo seemed to be having an off day, while Noah and the Whale probably should have gotten some sleep before the show. Between two songs, Charlie Fink, lead singer of Noah and the Whale, said, “We’re so excited to be here.” A fellow concertgoer near me responded, “Well then act like it!” I couldn’t have agreed more.
I’m surprised I survived this festival, since I only slept about 4 or so hours each night for a week. We would stay up until 5 or later in the morning wandering around the festival, popping in to random tents to listen to music or just hanging out and chatting. By 9 each morning, it was too hot in the tent to sleep anymore.
My favorite random tent exploration landed us in the midst of a Punjabi band teaching everyone in the audience how to dance. Each move had its own funny descriptive name, like “screwing in the light bulb” and “throwing the Frisbee.”
For our last night, we basically had a big family dinner. Zaz set off on his unicycle to see what the vendors had left over from the weekend and came back with rolls, peppers and cheese. Since most of the vendors were just throwing out their extra food, Zaz got all of that for free.Then Alex cooked up a lovely dinner of pasta with peppers and cheese.
As the night wore on, the jugglers began throwing clubs. Once the sun was down, the fire juggling began.
After they tired of that entertainment, we wandered a bit more until ending up in another tent near the Tadpole Stage and enjoyed some hot drinks. That cup of hot chocolate was one of the best in my life.