Live Blog: Eaux Claires Fest Day 1 (Friday)
We’ll be live from Eaux Claires Fest this weekend, and will be giving you our thoughts. Enjoy!
12:43 – viciously attacked by bee on bus ride over. He got my finger, but i stomped him good. Fellow bus riders were given their first show of the weekend as I flailed. Won’t hold attack againt festival. Onward.
12:55 – amazing pipe organ set up near entrance. Sounds gigantic as we stroll the grounds.
1:11 – random group sing along with a dozen acoustic guitars. Hippies
1:19 – My Brightest Diamond rolling out shimmering, overblown synth pop. Not my scene, but seems to be doing it well.
1:23 – weather note: it is perfect cloudy and mid 70s. Keep it up
1:32 don’t sleep on the art exhibits in the corner. Some amazing stuff.
1:44 – Bonnie “Prince” Billy getting ready to perform with Eight Blackbird orchestra. Soundcheck sounds outstanding. Get up to the The Creeks if yoy can.
2:08 – Bonnie “Prince” Billy performing songs from his catalog with Bryce Desner and full orchestra. Just beautiful.
2:24 – Rixhard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire playing a loud-yet-subdued set of ambient, folky music. Good chill music..
2:46 – There is a modern dance stage. That is all.
2:58 – weather update: still amazing
3:18 – Phosphorescent does a good job adding a twist to americana ambience. Not totally my scene, and a bit spacy to keep the crowd, but solid afternoon music. Lots of shaker.
3:24 – first lap steel guitar of fest. Assume it won’t be the last.
3:42 – After talking about how messed up the world is, a somber version of “This land is your land” from Phosphorescent.
3:48 – now he is out in the crowd having audience sing the chorus…some folks are better than others.
4:12 – whoa, Senyawa are killing it. Folk-punk? Weird guitar/sitar thing and out-of-this-world vocals. Impossile to explain, but amazing.
4:37 – just to reiterate: Senyawa were amazing. Wow.
4:49 – Little Scream sounded just like My Brightest Diamond. See above.
5:00 waiting for Crescent Moon and Andrew Broder in yurt where we all have wireless headphones to hear the mix. Excited is an under statement.
5:08 – Broder cutting warped beats as psyched viduals loop on screens. Super cool.
5:10 – Here is Crescent Moon….rolling out material from their outstanding cs.
5:34 – rain isn’t stopping Vince Staples. Rellt great set booming out the gems from his Summertime ’06 LP.
6:08 – Vince Staples to Deafheaven is a bit of shift. Some serious thrashing happening.
6:24 – Bruce Hornsby bringing grade A dad rock. Violin solo!
6:42 – thats just the way it is, with requisite 2pac shout-out
7:03 – funky. With accordian, none the less.
7:22 – note: rain continues. Comments praising weather before officially taken back
7:40 – hearing eight blackbird performing a Steve Reich piece. So awesome.
8:07 – for thoa keeping score at home..still raining
8:17 -James Blakes subdued r&b seems tailor-made for a rainy night like this. Still wish rain would stop
8:45 – i kind of forget James Blake has the more dance-y, IDM stuff. Always remember the atmospheric, ambient pop, not the bass rattling jams. Good stuff.
9:17 – cool pipe organ jam in middle of soggy park with Phil Cook. Beautiful sounds.
9:25 – poem and Zep-style Zoso symbols to start Bon Iver set.
9:32 – new stuff sounds like more dissonent, swampy versions of last LP. Crowd loves it.
9:36 – after a glitchy, scratchy track, a vocal sample leading a track that could be DJ Shadow w/ Justin Vernon.
9:55 – after a health issue near the front of the stage, another run of anthemic, outstanding tracks from Vernon and gang. I am a middling Bon Iver fan, but these songs are soaring and impressive.
10:17 – well, that seems like it will be am impressive album. Sounded huge and anthemic live, and i can imagine the studio version will only expand
10:22 – coming back our after short break for more songs
10:37 – Vernon is bringing out Bruce Horsnby because of course he is.
11:10 – Cornelius’ killing it with thier garage/velevets/elephant 6 cacaphony. Sleek yet gigantic. Fun yet serious. Dissonent yet sweet. So damn good.
11:32 – update: still killing it. Just had a theromin solo. Top that.
NEXT MORNING RECAP:
– Eaux Claires fest still in immaculately, and the art exhibits throughout the grounds should not be missed
– As usual, my favorite moments were away from the main stage and headliners (although Bon Iver’s new record was pretty outstanding)
– I try not to get too provincial, but it was cool to see/hear some great MN artists throughout the day
– The pipe organ in the middle of the park that artists played was super cool and amazing
– There is no way the rain didn’t suppress turnout, but still a solid crowd
Top 5 Sets:
2. Bonnie “Prince” Billy
4. Bon Iver
5. Crescent Moon and Andrew Broder
(H/t to Vince Staples who sounded great, but that was near the worst time of rain, and I was frankly pretty miserable, so I don’t feel like I actually engaged)