August 29, 2007

Yonder Mountain String Band's Northwest String Summit 8/24-6

The Northwest String Summit is virtually Yonder Mountain String Band's summer camp spectacular. For three nights, bluegrass fans from around the country gathered in the beautiful Oregon countryside to dance and celebrate the best in bluegrass.
The Yonder boys played three nights of music that inspired their hard core fans. Y.M.S.B. may have headlined all 3 nights, but they were not alone. The New Riders of the Purple Sage may have held the surprise of the weekend, by inviting original member Buddy Cage on stage for a few tunes. It was an incredibly touching moment. Two other guests that helped make some musical magic were Drew Emmitt of Leftover Salmon fame and Tony Trischka, who each hosted their own set, and sat in picking all over the campground from the main stage to the famed Sunday barbeque. A major highlight of the weekend for me was the super jam hosted by Drew Emmitt. At times there were more than 15 people playing music, and the audience was extatic throughout.Yondermountainstringbandgershuny

August 17, 2007

8/9-12: String Cheese Incident at Red Rocks, Colorado

...And thats a wrap. The String Cheese Incident played four incredible nights of music in their home state of Colorado at the ledgendary Red Rocks Ampitheater which marked the end of an impressive run of more than 14 years of performing as a band in one form or another.

All 4 nights had their own special musical surprise to them. The first night featured a Miss Browns Teahouse bookending a funky Chameleon. The second night's encore featured drummer Michael Travis in his best Michael Jackson impression, outfit and all for a hysterical Dont stop till you get enough. The Saturday show was packed full of rocking tunes and the whole second set was surrounded by Desert Dawn. And the final show which was one of the more emotional musical experiences of my life, had a surprise acoustic set, 2 monster electric sets that even had a giant octopus puppet rolling through the crowd, Keller Williams sit in, and a 4th encore of the blistering Texas. All I can say is THANK YOU SCI, it has been wonderful.

August 10, 2007

8/7 Hilary Duff, Portland Ore.

I have to admit that I never envisioned myself in the front few rows of a Hillary Duff show. But my journalistic and sociological curiosity got the best of me, and the show was quite different than any my preconceptions. For one, I envisioned an innocent teenage icon, with hordes of screaming tweens singing back each lyric. Well, the screaming tweens were in full force, but I was surprised to find 20, 30 and 50 somethings singing along as well. As far as the innocent teen icon, she held the icon status, but the innocence may have gone the way of Lizzy McGuire. She was scantily dressed throughout the performance, and was doing suggestive dances to the rhythm with her entire dance crew. In all honesty, the show was entertaining. Hillary does have stage presence, and her backup band consists of solid musicians that played groovable music, but my eardrums are still recovering from the piercing screams while my own innocence may have taken a small hit along the way. Hilaryduffgershuny

July 26, 2007

Rebel Alliance Jam, Blakes on Telegraph, Berkeley CA 7/22

Once again my travels brought me in to the Bay area for another unbelievable weekend of musical bliss. This time it was a weekend at the Greek Theater for two nights. Saturday nights show was headlined with The String Cheese Incident, Sound Tribe Sector 9, and The Disco Biscuits. This was an evening that featured some of the groundbreaking acts in the realm of live electronica. The String Cheese Incident showed off their diversity by bringing the electronic edge the first night, and following that with a completely different feel the following night. By enlisiting help from the bluegrass and americana feel of both Railroad Earth and Hot Buttered Rum String Band on Sunday night, S.C.I.'s musical diversity highlighted why so many people are willing to travel so far for their concerts.

Following an daytime bluegrass themed show at the Greek Theater, there was an allstar jam with members of all three bands that took place in an intimate 200 person venue called Blakes On Telegraph:

July 18, 2007

All-star jam w/ Moe, Allgood Festival 7/14 WV

The absolute highlight of the night, and possibly my summer of music so far was the late night allstar jam that was hosted by moe. All in all at least 20 musicians joined moe over the course of two plus hours, seamlessly transitioning from song to song and from band to band. Basicially a new musician or two would take the place of someone already on stage, and then join in the jam untill a completly different "band" was on stage. Members of Tea Leaf Green, New Monsoon, Perpetual Groove, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, and the Assembly of Dust all weaved in and out of the set to create an immense musical tapestry.

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July 12, 2007

7.8 High Sierra: Page McConnell & Mavis Staples, Quincy CA

Keyboardist and vocalist extrodinare Page McConnell, formerly of Phish fame, played two distinct sets on the festival grounds. His first set was an intimate solo show, where the audience was able to ask questions between songs. The fans were treated to emotional versions of Phish classics such as "Velvet Sea", "Strange Design", and the instrumental piano ending of "Squirming Coil". His second performance was on the Grandstand, and featured his new band whithwhom he is touring. Based on the amazing response from the croud throughout these performances, it is safe to say that he is truly beloved by his fanbase.

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July 10, 2007

7/6: High Sierra Music Festival; Quincy, CA

...And so it begins. Talk about being thrown into the lion's den. For my first post, I am going to cover the High Sierra Music festival, over the 4th of July weekend, which is centered around so much incredible music. This is the festival's 17th year of existance, and my 3rd year of attendance. Nestled in the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, this place is a perverbial shangri-la for both music and nature lovers alike. So without futher delay, lets just jump into the world of the Billboard blogosphere head first.Gershunyhighsierra1

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