Saturday was the day - the Day on the Hill, that is.
So that means I've been sitting on this for 5 days now. The review is long overdue...
First off, the weather was cold, the ground was super muddy and the sun was ducking in and out of the clouds. There had been talk about snow, but that all managed to hold off.
Perhaps the weather was the reason why, but when the Roseline took the stage, there was less than 50 of us there. They had been scheduled to start up at 12:30, but when that time came The Faint were still soundchecking. So the Roseline started up at about 1 o'clock. The music was immediately engaging. The harmonies were spot on, the rhythm section sounded amazing. Unfortunately, the big gigantic empty tent made the vocals as muddy as the ground we were standing in, but it was still wonderful. However, due to the late start, the band was only allowed to play three songs. The band obviously wasn't thrilled about that, and neither was the small crowd, but there was nothing to be done about that. They are definitely on my "must see" list, and since they got away before I could buy a CD, I tracked one down at the best record store in the midwest, The Love Garden, before heading back home that evening.
Between sets (except between G. Love's and the Faint's, during which we were bombarded by the same Fugees track for an hour...literally) there was a DJ in the back spinning some classic funk records out of a milk crate on some fancy turntables. I don't know if I recognized a single song, but if I could get ahold of that playlist I would.
Next up was Pomeroy. I'd seen a fragment of a set of theirs a few years ago, but they didn't play a single one of those songs in their short set. We did get some funky beats, fancy percussion and a long-haired headbanging keyboard player. I don't dance but even I can appreciate some great butt shakin' music and that's exactly what Pomeroy's music is for. Front man David Fairbanks' rapid fire vocals didn't seem to go over well with the majority of the crowd, but I had me a good ole time.
Next was G. Love and Special Sauce. By this time, the tent was starting to get full - not uncomfortably croweded, but nice and full. And folks were loving it. There were hippies in tie-dyed t-shirts dancing with their bare feet in the mud. There were heads bobbin', people bouncing up and down and even some mud slingin'. Garret pulled out some of the classics, several from the last album and even a tease of "Gin 'n' Juice." Most major props of the show go to Jimmy Jazz, the upright bass player. I was amazed at his skill and ability to jump off into crazy riffs without losing the groove of the song.
And finally came The Faint. I have heard mixed reviews of their live shows, but was uncharacteristically optimistic. And they were great. By this time, there was no grass left up front at all, so those of us who wanted up front just sunk down, got stuck and danced in the mud. And outside of one of the new songs, the first song of the encore (a strange choice to start the encore if you ask me...), no one stopped dancing at all. The almost sinister aspects to some of their songs were lost in the bright light of late afternoon and the video projections were nearly impossible to see, so it just kinda boiled down to a muddy dance party with great music. The new songs blended right in (except for the one) and the songs from "Danse Macabre" really stood out the strongest in the setlist.
P.S. - If you're looking for the mp3s and links, they're all in the last post. Just scroll down a bit.