Riverfest: Teeming | Rock Candy

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Riverfest: Teeming

Posted By on Sat, May 24, 2008 at 10:45 AM

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Paul Thorn. Photo by Brian Chilson.
It's hard to remember what a full on confrontation with humanity Riverfest is when you haven't gone for a couple of years. I'd hoped to be up and moving toward the Budweiser Stage to see local instrumental experimentalists Mammoth Orange at noon, but I think I'm going to have to steel myself up in a lawn chair at home for a few more hours.

Last night: I only caught a bit of him, but I think Paul Thorn's "when I was three, my daddy told me" thing is pure shtick. The walk from the Axciom/Miller Lite stage (AKA the amphitheatre) to the Triple-S Alarm Stage is a haul. But you get to go by the new spray garden, which was always in use, and the Jesse White Tumblers, who look superhero-ish flying through the air off a mini-trampoline. You also get to go through Market Row, where phone companies and makers of giant lawnmowers try to grab your attention. The state of Texas was even there, with an inflatable room, presumably where you get branded or otherwise Texas-ized, and a small stage with a picker and a grinner playing for crowds of threes. "Hi, we're an advertisement. We're going to play you some Texas music!"

Even though it was 8 miles away from everything else, 607 still managed to pack a nice crowd in. 607 and Bobby's dad was up front hand-clapping and rapping along. Jessica Hendricks, of Silverton, who kicked off the night for the Triple-S stage, came up and did her best Madonna-style talk-rap. Linda Caillouet was even there, counting cuss words and crotch grabs (Can't wait for Monday!). After the show, dozens immediately flocked to the merch table, always a good sign.

Then there was the three hour hike back to the Junction Bridge, which was crowded, but not stifling. If you don't care about laying eyes on big names, it might be the best place to take in a big act at the amphitheatre. I heard "Power of Love" and then walked across to catch the Moving Front in the Arkansas Tent. The space is small, with plenty of chairs and tables. Maybe the size of Vino's, but with way more potential room because it's open air.

For anyone skeptical about seeing local acts, who play often around town, catching them with huge sound systems (even at the Arkansas Tent) is a whole nother thing. The Front kicked it out awesomely, while kids (with earplugs) battled it out with jedi swords.

Today:
Budweiser Stage
Smoke Up Johnny, just off tour with Green Day, at 1:30 p.m.
The Easys at 3 p.m.
Kyoto Boom at 4:30 p.m.
Then the long hike down to the Triple-S stage for Greg Spradlin
After that, I may dig in to catch Miranda Lambert or who knows.

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