Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sacodelic Summerfun, Glen, NH (7.30 - 8.1.10)

I usually meet up with my good friend Charlyn on a weekly basis to grab lunch. We used to work together, but she got a new job and left me. Fortunately, her new employer is a few blocks away from her old one, so we can still work it to get lunch fairly often. At lunch we always order the same exact thing, and usually gab about whatever is going on in our little worlds. On occasion, one of us is having a bad day and will vent to the other about whatever is bringing them down. Sometimes we are both having a crappy day, and it will just be a bitchfest against the establishment… which is trying to bring us down. I feel like a common trait we both have is our desire to keep our souls vibrant, and not to allow the corporate environment we spent many of our hours in, to consume our otherwise optimistic outlook on living. During one of our lunches some months ago, I told Char that we were playing at the Red Parka Pub in Glen, NH. Char and a whole big crew had seen hi8us at this pub back in January when we were all up at a Cabin nearby for our buddy Tommmmeeee’s birthday weekend. (See that hi8us Tour Blog Entry) Needless to say, that weekend was a blast, and at the mention of a return to the Red Parka, Char’s interest was peaked. I had suggested we camp in the White Mountains for that weekend since we will be up there, and Charlyn one-upped it by suggesting we camp on her family’s land along the Saco river, which is literally next door to the bar. I was all about it, and quickly the weekend evolved into the idea of a first-ever hi8us music festival.
As the months past, we worked out the minimal logistics of having a bunch of people down to the river for camping and music. This mainly involved renting a Jiffy John.
Char’s uncle actually owns the property, and he was VERY cool about us doing whatever we wanted down there. The land is at the end of a huge hay field and directly on the Saco River. It is so far removed from civilization, that we were able to make as much noise as we wanted, whenever we wanted during the weekend.
We invited a few of our friend bands to play at the event, and also had some welcome support from Max’s buddy Chris and Puff Puff Pass BBQ with their Smoker grill extraordinaire, as well as the boys from Cape Ann Brewing who were pouring pints off their beer-pouring VW Bus all weekend.
Max and I got up there on Friday morning and met up with Charlyn and Tommmeeee, who were already there. Going into the weekend, no one knew what to expect and the element on uncertainty definitely added to the excitement of things. Tommmy and Char had done a bunch of preliminary prep-work by the time we arrived, and a few hours after we got there, the place was in formidable shape and ready for some serious leisure.
As folks started to arrive early Friday evening, the power that was being supplied by our bus Precious was up and running and the PA was pushing music out onto the river. The stage was set up against the woods, and our festival-goers found spots for their tents along the nearby sandy banks of the Saco. As evening fell on the camp, a long line of tiki torches illuminated the path from the central stage area to the beach/bonfire. I got a chance to experiment with our new LED light cans a bit once the sun went down. I up-lit the trees around the stage which created an excellent atmosphere to that area. Once nighttime was completely upon us, DJ Surgeon General and DJ Frost threw down some tasty DJ sets that took us into the late night. Some time before these guys were about to get going, Charlyn and I, and everyone else for that matter, really began to recognize that this whole event was turning out to be a cooler thing than we could have expected. As Jessie( DJ Surgeon General) got into his set, Saco-delic took off. The whole place started pulsing with energy. Folks were spread out over the various areas of the camp. Some congregated in the teepee to chat and stay close to the Fisherman’s taps, while others circled the big bonfire burning down on the beach. The celebration went late into the night, and had campers sleeping in on Saturday morning.

Late Saturday morning the camp started to bustle with activity. The smell of coffee in the air got me out of my tent. I took an immediate plunge into the Saco to wake up before playing some acoustic songs to open up the music on the Saco stage for Saturday. Mark and Julia hooked up some breakfast burritos for campers on their new Coleman stove. They were superb! I mixed up a bloody before I got to it, and enjoyed sipping the morning booze beverage between songs. The music from the stage could be heard from everywhere at the camp, so you could be wading in a tube on the river and listening to The Awesome Something tear it up on the stage. Notta bad! The bands played into the early evening, with Boston’s own Paperback headlining the Saco-stage. They wrapped around 6pm, just as Maxi’s buddy Chris (aka. Didge)was taking the pulled-pork shoulders that had been smoking for hours off of his insane meat smoking rig. I eat two sandwiches before us hi8us dudes split for the Red Parka to set up for an evening of music up there.

We arrived to a welcoming staff at The Parka which was a stone’s throw away. The last time we played there, the power went out and we got cut short on playing time. Nevertheless, Babz and crew remembered us and made us feel at home. After an easy set up, we ate some Parka grub and the Saco-delic faithful began to make their way over from the camp. hi8us rocked out for three sets to an awesome room full of shiny faces, and even celebrated Keyboard Mike’s B-day on stage at midnight. After it was all said and done, we made it back to the festival for a little after hours enjoyment before crashing. Some, “UB the DJ” playlists were the late night soundtrack of the festival and serenaded me to sleep sometime in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Sunday morning everyone started to slowly pack their stuff up and soaked in yet another beautiful day on the river. My dog Tobi enjoyed curling up on a raft in the middle of the Saco while we were swimming. The cleanup of the area was surprisingly painless, and despite those in attendance being spent after a weekend of revelry, everyone was in good spirits and feeling grewvy. In the early afternoon, a select few of us were still lingering to make sure everything was buttoned up. We all acknowledged what we had pulled off, and started talking about what we could do next year to make it even better. I pulled away over the long rolling hayfield and made my way towards route 16 feeling fine. Viva Sacodelic!! Miles down the road we stopped off at Martin’s and ordered fried oysters and clams. They were a 6.8 out of 10 on the Fried-Seafood-O-Meter.


Summer Catch Up (6.18 - 7.23.10 Shows)

Since Osyrusfest we played a few dates around New England. We hit the Black Lobster in Salem MA on June 18th and then shot up to Manchester VT to play at the Perfect Wife the next night. That gig was perfect. After that, the next weekend we returned to Burlington, VT to play the outdoor stage at Red Square yet again. Man, we love that place! That was on June 26th.

Gearing up for playing a few of our good friend’s weddings, we did a show out at Flavours in Pittsfield, MA on July 9th with Johnny D opening up for us again. His set out there was stellar! During this trip we stopped at the coolest random vintage shop on the side of the road. It was a junk collector’s absolute heaven. Trust me, I love junk! I bought a brown salt and pepper shaker set that sits on a built in spoon rest. Form and function all for $6!

We had another gig at the Black Lobster on July 23rd that we thought was going to get rained out. It actually turned out being a quiet but super fun night on the water. All of these gigs were cool, so cool in fact, that we didn’t want them to be lost as distant memories. Thanks to everyone who came out and had fun with us on these dates in time.