Thursday, July 29, 2010

HullabaLOU: The Acts that Got Away

Taddy Porter on the Media Center balcony
The inevitable bummer of a music festival is that you have to make hard choices sometimes.  Acts you like may overlap.  Some acts may start too early for your particular fest-ing experience.  And sometimes you just get plain ol' too tucked out to drag yourself out into the heat to catch an act that you really want to see.  There is a handful of people I wish I'd seen, and even more that I wish I'd seen more of.  Here are some notable highlights:

Friday:  My parking headaches killed my chance of seeing the estimable Sam Bush on the Budweiser Stage.  Luckily, the banjo god put in a guest appearance with Dierks Bentley, so all was not completely lost.  I've seen Bush several times-- usually at festivals.  He's really the hardest working man in Bluegrass, except for maybe Bela Fleck.  I only caught a wee bit of the B-52s show, not enough to hear any of their big hits.  I wish I'd stayed long enough to hear "Rock Lobster" just to see if the crowd got down on the ground and did the, uh, "Rock Lobster."  Funny story:  When Kate Pierson and Keith Strickland came up to the Media Center, some interviewer asked them what it was like to be together so long (since the 70's) before having a hit like "Love Shack" in 1989.  And immediately I thought, "Who is this guy?  Um, 'Rock Lobster,' dude?"  And Kate responded, "Well, 'Rock Lobster' was pretty huge...." And interview responded: "Oh, it was?"  Sheesh, can just anyone get a press pass these days?  (That's a joke, kids.  Just a joke.)

Saturday:  I hate, hate, hate that I was too exhausted from my Friday adventures to get out to HullabaLOU in time to see local Brigid Kaelin.  Sure, I've seen her show a half dozen times, but (a) she's wonderful and (b) it's super important to give the very few local acts some love.  But I heard her show was excellent, as always.  Otherwise, I feel like I had a pretty solid Saturday.  No regrets about missing the ever-revolving roster of Blood, Sweat, & Tears (although watching them on the jumbotron elicited this tweet from me:  "Wait a minute, Blood, Sweat & Tears are WHITE guys? #imnotTHATold").  I've heard good things about the local VilleBillies, and I heard that they were really nice guys in the Media Center.  But I don't know enough about them to regret hitting Ben Sollee instead.

Sunday:  Local Andrea Davidson opened up for Charlie Mars when I saw him a few months at Zanzabar, and she was pretty wonderful.  I also bumped into an acquaintance at the festival who just gushed about seeing her show and grilled me about her Zanzabar show.  But Sunday's big bummer miss was a band I'd never heard of-- and for good reason: their debut album just came out at the end of June.  The guys from Taddy Porter came up to see the good folks of the press in the Media Center and gave such a charming interview that I kicked myself for the rest of the day for having missed them.  They were unabashedly star struck about the acts they were sharing the bill with and simply thrilled to have been asked to be a part of HullabaLOU.  I went home and checked out a few songs on their website, and they're good old fashioned rock from Stillwater, OK.  Next time they're in town, I'll be there.  They could be the next big thing-- and that's one of the lovely things about music festivals:  you never know.  (That's a picture of the charming ragamuffins from Taddy Porter above).

Overall, HullabaLOU did a pretty good job creating a schedule where you could map out a complex timetable and catch at least a couple of songs by just about everyone you wanted to see (Although the Loretta Lynn-- Avett Brothers-- Dwight Yoakam overlap was a little hairy).  

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