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September 07, 2007

Flowmotion Summer Meltdown, Aug. 9-12, Darrington, WA

Flowmotion Summer Meltdown has been going on for some years and kicked off on August 9th, a warm Thursday night appreciation performance for devoted, early arriving fans. Whitehorse Amphitheatre in Darrington, WA is where all of us campers settled in for the 4 day event. With no showers or real bathrooms it's a long weekend of port-a-potties and washing off in the river. This was a beautiful setting with the mountain behind the seating area and lots of merchandise booths to peruse in between bands.
Part of the staff, Andrea, Preston and Sarah were wonderful and very friendly and welcomed me with a hug.

Flowmotion came on late the first night with a grungy dressed Josh Clauson and left us wanting more. Friday, I woke up to Bluegrass with a unwanted hangover and then headed down to the stage to hear a band called Megatron that got everyone dancing to their funky grooves. With a prominent trumpet, this 3-man band rocked and was one of my favorites.

Garaj Mahal came on later in the evening and was one of the highlights of the festival with Fareed Hague on guitar, this band combined jazz and middle eastern flavor to hypnotize the crowd. KJ Sawka (DJ) kept us going with his techno-disco beats and The March Fourth Marching Band came on next and ended the night with flare with their talented horn section.

Saturday was kind of a slow-it-down and relax day. The Acorn Project stood out to me in the afternoon and then the Yard Dog Road Show was filled with performance artists from stilt walkers to burlesque and was very colorful and entertaining for the eyes. With my press pass, being able to cruise around backstage was really cool. I could feel the tension of the artists as they primped and perfected their look for the upcoming parade under the bright lights of the stage.

Flowmotion came on late but it was a great show. It started to rain in the middle, so I went back to the tent early to make sure we were dry. I could still hear them fine so I was content on my Therma-rest listening to them belt out some Pink Floyd. Complaints from the neighbors shut the late shows down for the night so things didn't go as scheduled but that ended up being a lucky thing for us the next night.

Sunday was a great ending to the festival with Clinton Fearon as one of the peace makers with some smooth Reggae creating some warm fuzzies for all of us. He invited some kids on stage to play some instruments. I lead them backstage and one of them said "what if I don't want to go???" I said "it will be fun" and sent them up there. Dave the drummer gave me a drum stick and Clinton gracefully signed autographs after the show.

Sky Cries Mary was fantastic. I have been wanting to see them for a long time and it was worth waiting for. AriSawkaDoria was the special gift we got by planting our tent next to the Casbah, which was where all of the morning Yoga was happening and later on some fancy Belly Dancing. They played late into the morning in this small people, blanket and pillow covered den. If you didn't watch your step, you'd be walking on someone's hand or foot. It all looked the same to me after a while so I headed back to the tent and listened to the last bit as I fell off to sleep glad that I came once again to Summer Meltdown, a well needed break from the real world.

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Sean Pattison

Great review,accurate descriptions. I also went to this show and had losts of fun.
4 Days and nights of music to leave me waitng for next year.


i love prominent trumpets. Great Review! Great writing!

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