6:00 pm: Getting it cracking with the delicious country jams of John Howie and the Rosewood Bluff.
6:35 pm: John Howie just wrapped up with a phenomenal closing track “The Last Great Guitar Slinger” that had Sadlack’s rocking. Up next Chip Robinson.
6:47 pm: Solo acoustic lo-fi bringing a small but raucous crowd to silence, nothing like it in the world. Chip Robinson and his powerfully stark voice are as blazingly brilliant as his songwriting. “And the world don’t stop if you want it to…”
7:15 pm: Leaving Sadlack’s for a short break, then downtown for the start of the festival.
8:31 pm: Dinosaur Feathers at King’s — high-intensity psychedelic-spun 50’s pop. The place is packed to capacity and the band is rocking.
8:48 pm: Dino Feathers were really, really good. Kind of like old school Vampire Weekend playing soda shop pop. Mostly stuff from their debut LP, plus one that sounded new… New album on the way?
9:14 pm Tir na nOg for Twelve Thousand Armies and the start of Tender Fruit’s set.
9:21 pm: Twelve Thousand Armies is really cool. Kinda like a less poppy version of Girls. Lo-fi, bluesy, sweet music over grainy but commanding vocals. Perfect lead-in for Tender Fruit.
9:44 pm: Twelve Thousand Armies covering GBV. Gotta love it.
10:06 pm: Tender Fruit open with a solo ukelele tune. Unexpected but phenomenal. Love her voice.
10:22 pm: Tender Fruit might be the most aptly named group at this year’s festival. Sweet and ripe, and yet delicate and raw. One of the most underrated sets you’ll see all weekend.
10:31 pm: En route to the Hive to catch Dustin Wong and Reading Rainbow, then over to either the Lincoln or Pour House to wrap up the first night.
10:38 pm: Dustin Wong is really neat, somewhere between chillwave and psych-pop. Either way, really cool experimental instrumental synth electropop, although it almost feels more influenced by folk than by pop music.
10:57 pm: Dustin Wong was brilliant, even if he did spend the entire show messing with his pedals and staring at the floor.
11:05 pm: Between sets, just noticing how cool a venue the Hive is. It’s my first time here and I really love the space. The set-up — air-tight bar with a stage in the upstairs apartment of the Busy Bee cafe — and the classy but homy vibe make it a really nice spot to take in a show, especially for the slate of bands they have on tap who all seem like they’d thrive in an intimate environment.
11:31 pm: Reading Rainbow taking the stage. If their set is as good as when they opened for the Dum Dum Girls, we’re in for a treat.
11:40 pm: After a slow starter, Reading Rainbow performed a new song. Needless to say their next LP will be highly anticipated around here.
12:02 am: Hell of a show by Reading Rainbow. Maybe not quite as strong as the first time I saw them, but comparable. Leaving the Hive and Tir na nOg area, off to check out the Lincoln and Pour House.
12:08 am: Everyone else had the same idea, the lines down here are insane. Skipping the Lips, off to catch the end of Weekend’s set, then Cold Cave.
12:13 am: Back at Pour House, Weekend is bringing down the roof on the place. Best post-punk show of the young festival.
12:40 am: Cold Cave is taking the stage. I have no idea what I’m in for, just that it’ll be good.
12:47 am: Very hipster-friendly dance music from Cold Cave. Disco-inspired electropop twisted with experimental rock undertones perhaps? It is fairly good and fun, but at least in my opinion not quite up to the hype.
1:00 am: While I do enjoy dance parties, I think I prefer their studio stuff. Something about the live show turns me off, but perhaps it’s only the crowd. Because the music itself is wonderful to listen to, but I just get this intuitive feeling that I’d rather be enjoying it from afar.
1:27 am: For a band that doesn’t have a ton of material, they filled out the set well and even played an encore. Not the most engaging show ever, but fun.
1:35 am: Finally done Hopping Scotch for the night. Very strong Day 1, even if I did tear up all my plans and catch a little bit of everything. That being said, I’ll still draw up tomorrow’s schedule in the morning but will likely throw it to the wind too. I need a time machine to catch everything I want to!