Words: Dave Kear Photos: Patrick Jacobi
Two longtime Wilco fans and conscientious hedonists journeyed to Solid Sound 2015. One is a free-lance writer by trade and the other is a regular contributor to ChunkyGlasses. With a shared history of two previous Solid Sound Festivals, countless Wilco shows attended together, and a friendship built around their shared experience of love for the band, Dave and Patrick plan to describe all that is great about Solid Sound in a personal and experiential way. Think Chuck Klosterman at a Kiss festival. They will explore not only what they love about Wilco, but also why the band is important to them as they age, how their perspective has changed over time, and what it all means -- the Festival, the band, and life.
Their journey continues...
The Blue Benn
(Music Selection: "Polk Salad Annie" by Tony Joe White.)
PATRICK AND DAVE'S
OFFICIAL SOLID SOUND 2015 MIXTAPE
Patrick: So how are you feeling this morning, man?
Patrick: Yeah, I thought so.
Dave: Luckily, there’s the Blue Benn
Patrick: I know, this place has really become a Saturday morning tradition since our pal RPK introduced us to it back during our first Solid Sound. And it’s only what, 20 minutes away.
Dave: Just over the state line in Bennington, VT.
Patrick: Great diner food.
Dave: That’s high praise coming from a vegan such as yourself.
Patrick: I mean, I can always find something to eat, like give me a giant bowl of homefries, but this place always has something decent for the veg-inclined. See like, look here, tofu scramble. Perfect. I’m set.
Dave: I on the other hand am feeling particularly omnivorous this morning, so I’m going to have the chicken fried steak with gravy, two eggs over medium, buttermilk biscuit with still more gravy, and the homefries. And coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.
Patrick: Breakfast of champions.
Dave: Wow, I can really get off on these old school diner cars. Counter facing the kitchen. 6 booths across the aisle with those little personal jukeboxes that play Barbara Ann and Turn the Page. And pretty much the whole menu printed on multicolored paper and taped all around the place in big black letters. Pies and specials on a dry erase board.
Patrick: I could die here.
Dave: I very well may. Ask me again after the country fried steak. But you know, that’s a big part of what this Solid Sound Weekend is for me. It’s a boys’ getaway. It’s like when the men all run off to the hunting lodge in Faulkner, you know. We gotta get away from the women folk and littl’uns every once in a while. Wrestle the Rusty Bear. Eat a bunch of shitty food that’s bad for us and binge our minds on music.
Patrick: Then we come back home again at the end of the weekend, wasted and chastened and humbled.
Dave: Ready to face another week as a corporate drone or hen-pecked father or whatever your particular character may be.
Patrick: We better get back over there. I just got a text that says due to the threat of inclement weather, Wilco’s set has been moved up an hour earlier this evening. That’s going to shift some things around a little.
Dave: Think I’ve got time for a slice of homemade VT Maple Pecan Pie?
Patrick: “As I walk along and stumble.”
Dave: “Trains rumble through my head.”
Patrick: Man, I totally forgot. That Bill Frisell thing last night, The Great Flood.
Patrick: Hell yes.
Dave: I hate that I missed it.
Patrick: Have no fear. Guess who’s playing first on the schedule this afternoon.
Dave: No way.
Bill Frisell and Sam Amidon
(Music Selection: "Walking Boss" by Sam Amidon and Bill Frisell)
Dave: Think I’m going to start off with a little hair of the dog. Another one of those Summerteeth IPAs. Can I get you anything, my good man.
Patrick: I’m thinking Bloody Mary.
Dave: An excellent choice. The sign at the bar here says they make “The Best.”
Patrick: Do you think that’s just a clever marketing ploy?
Dave: C’mon, this is Solid Sound. Why would they lie?
Patrick: Good point.
Dave: Here you are, sir. How is it?
Patrick: Not bad.
Dave: But is it the best?
Patrick: May have to sample a couple more before I can decide. So, how’s it looking over there by the rail?
Dave: No seats so far.
Patrick: Well, let’s hang close, and maybe something will open up.
Dave: I should mention that this is the point at which me meet S., or is it J? I don’t think we ever find out his name for sure. Anyway, he’s a documentary filmmaker who teaches documentary filmmaking at a nearby College. At the recommendation of some friends of his who are big Wilco fans, he has purchased a 3-day ticket to the festival with very little prior Wilco knowledge. Having recently split up with his girl, he’s staying at a campground nearby and is facing the prospect of experiencing the festival as a lone wolf. That is until he runs into Patrick and myself. After that, our duo becomes a trio, and we spend the rest of the day like we’ve all been brothers from other mothers since the day we were born.
Patrick: Lookee there, three chairs opening up by the railing.
Dave: Better grab ‘em, Mavis.
S: Perfect timing, too. Looks like Bill and Sam are just about to start.
Patrick: Remind me to tell you my theory about Bill Frisell later.
Patrick: It’s not so much a theory as it is a cool idea. At least it seemed cool to me last night when I had it.
Dave: Sam Amidon’s a young guy with bushy brown hair. He’s one of the few musicians who’s been back for more than one Solid Sound. Multi-instrumentalist, encyclopedic knowledge of old timey tunes, Alan Lomax, etc. He can chant and field holler, and all in all is pretty much a musical wunderkind, but I don’t know, in some ways he comes across to me as a little too good, a little too polished and precious and serious about his art or his craft or whatever he calls it.
Patrick: Frisell on the other hand is gray and trim with a boyish face and black t-shirt and lowkey Vans on his feet, looking kind of like a jazz sideman on his day off. It's all gravy as far as he's concerned and his playing is controlled and clean, but still full of intelligence and emotion. I’m not a huge Sam Am fan, but the combination works. Ambient and atmospheric.
S: It's surf music in space.
Dave: Totally. Bill does have this spacy surf guitar sound, ethereal grooves. Not sure how much rehearsal these guys have done. Feels very free and improvisational around the bones and roots of traditional folk songs that I guess are what Sam Amidon is known for.
Patrick: There’s not a ton of movement going on onstage. It’s all in the music, so I take the opportunity to look around and snap some shots of the buildings and architecture of Mass MoCA. It’s tough to imagine a cooler locale than this crazy old factory space. Red Rocks, maybe. But these archways and overhangs have so much character. The bridges and passages that span overhead and the river running right through the middle of the factory grounds. In those windows over there are people looking at paintings, and sculptures or standing looking back at you. Maybe you’ll see yourself. It’s hard to tell. The music keeps knocking the time in and out of whack.
Dave: Highlights for me are a fairly traditional version of Walking Boss with Frisell rounding out the sound with licks and fills and spaces and noise. I think that was the song Solid Sound put on their Official Spotify Music Sampler.
Patrick: And they do a downtempo version of Tired of Waiting for You that Frisell covered on his Guitar in the Space Age! record. Sam takes the lyrics so slow and lowkey, does this guy ever open his mouth to sing. Makes you wonder just how long this other person has made him wait. He has basically gone from being tired and bored and frustrated over into the land of flat ennui.
Dave: Nice mellow way to start Day 2 of the festival. You can’t rush into these things. Saturday is a marathon.
Patrick: I need another Bloody Mary.
Dave: Yeah, I’m going to grab a beer on the way to the other Courtyard for the NRBQ set.
S: Okay, so tell me now your theory about Bill Frisell.
Patrick: It’s more of an idea.
S: Okay, your idea.
Patrick: Bill Frisell is an avocado.
S: Please elaborate.
Patrick: I mean, he’s good any time, including by himself, and no matter who you mix him with he only makes them better.
S: Ha. Yeah, yeah, I can see that. I’ll second that emotion.
Dave: Hustle up, boys. Sounds like NRBQ has already started.
(Music Selection: "Magnet" by NRBQ)
S: Whoa, talk about a total tonal shift.
Dave: These guys are crazy.
Patrick: Man, how many people are onstage? It’s like an extended family up there. Some people are just hanging out.
Dave: The band is kind of jammy, but they never get out of control, never take it into unstructured territory. I don’t mind a jam or a solo so long as it tells a story I can follow, one thing stemming organically from whatever came before. With forward progression and never collapsing into a formless mess.
S: That keyboard player looks like the love child of Neil Young and Ted Nugent. He’s got his hair pulled back in a sloppy pony tail and dances and cavorts all over the stage.
Patrick: I think he must one of their oldest surviving members. Look at how he slaps the keys with those big paws, no concern for whether he’s playing the right notes. And yet somehow it all works out and comes together as the signature sound of the band.
Dave: Meanwhile, that lead guitarist looks like he wasn't even born when some of these songs were first performed, but he sings them like they were his native tongue, and he kind of reminds me of Derek Trucks' playing with the Allman Bros.
Patrick: This is a party outfit with serious chops.
Dave: They are having a fricking blast.
S: Smiles from ear to ear.
Dave: This is great.
Patrick: It’s excellent. Who else is going to cover Thelonius Monk and make it sound like Little Feat?
S.And then close out the set with some old song from the 1920s called the Music Goes Down and Around and Comes Out Here.
Patrick: - People are dancing and grooving and hugging and moving. The momentum starts its slow build toward the big show tonight at 8pm.
Dave: Now, if only the weather will hold out.
S: Yeah, what have you guys heard about that?
Patrick: Rain. It’s definitely going to rain. The important questions are when and how much. That’s why they shifted the Wilco set an hour earlier, but you never know. That means a lot of the evening and afternoon stuff is getting moved, so we may not get to see everything we planned to like Parquet Courts and Richard Thompson.
S: Well, who are we going to see next?
Patrick: I’m going to use my press credentials…
Dave: Fancy shmancy.
Patrick: …And takes some pictures of the Jessica Pratt show. Kevin from Chunky Glasses is a fan, so we should definitely get some coverage of that one.
Patrick: So, I’m thinking you guys can come back with me to the small court yard to watch some of that show.
Patrick: Or you can go get another beer and get me another Bloody, and then get in line for the comedy show.
S: Who’s doing the comedy?
Patrick: Tig Notaro and Paul F. Tompkins, both of whom are pretty incredible.
S: Works for me.
Patrick: Let’s walk back that way, and you guys can branch off from there, or stick for the Pratt show if you feel so inclined.
Dave: He’s a man with a plan, ladies and gentlemen.
(Music Selection: "Night Faces" by Jessica Pratt)
Patrick: Alright, I will see you boys in a few.
Dave: Rock on, Rock Journalist.
S: Whoa man, these are some snoozy tunes. Not sure if it’s right for an outdoor music festival.
Dave: Yeah, but I’m digging it. She has this crazy delicate reed of a voice and plays acoustic guitar with a guy accompanying her to fill out the sound.
S: To me it sounds like the same song she just stops when she feels like it, and there is applause, then she starts back up where she feels like it, and then after an hour the show is over. Which isn't a bad thing.
Dave: No, no, not at all. It's like each song or segment of song is a dispatch from another world, that place where she goes when she closes her eyes and sings in that little girl voice. Kind of an old school San Francisco or British folkie waif kind of thing she has going. She's got something alright, and I'm down with it. Not to mention, I'm just so happy to be here and be alive and not dead from last night and the night before that. I sway a little, I hardly even register the words - just this emo folky chanteuse who ought to be playing a small club or coffee shop or library concert somewhere. But that’s Solid Sound for you. Moments. Small events and moments.
Paul F Tompkins
(Music Selection: "Street People" by Bobby Charles)
Patrick: I am definitely going to need another Bloody Mary after that.
S: I’ll grab one for you. You guys head on in and get us a place in line for the comedy. Dave , another beer?
Dave: Does the pope shit in the woods?
S: I’m not sure about that.
Dave: Summerteeth IPA, kind sir.
S.You got it.
Patrick: Nice guy.
Dave: Salt of the earth.
Patrick: What’s his name again?
Dave: I think he said S.
Patrick: I thought he said J.
Dave: Just don’t call him late to dinner.
Patrick: Boo hiss. Bad joke.
Dave: Well, this is the comedy show after all.
Patrick: Except these guys are funny. Have you ever seen Paul F. Tompkins before?
Patrick: I could live off his John C. Reilly impersonation for six months like some kind of comedy sustenance. It is hilarious.
Dave: This is a good change of pace, too.
Patrick: Definitely. Get inside somewhere dark and air conditioned. Sit down awhile. Rest your dogs. Listen to someone talking and telling stories instead of playing instruments and singing at you. I read an article with Tweedy where he talked about the design of the festival being like this with places in between the music so you can recharge and get the ringing out of your ears, and your bladder isn’t just one big plastic cup of beer. You know some festivals there’s so much music one right after the other you get exhausted from standing and it all just blurs together in one big sweaty howl. . . . There he is with the drinks. What do we call him, S. or J?
Dave: You yell S., and I’ll yell J.
Patrick: Okay. S!
S: Bloody Mary for you.
Patrick: Thank you.
S: Summerteeth for you.
Patrick: Perfect timing. There go the lights, and here comes John Hodgman to emcee.
Dave: Hodgman has been coming up here wearing various comedy hats since the Festival started. It’s always good to see him kind of like a benchmark or touchpoint of our festival experience. Like getting samosa’s from the Samosa Man.
Patrick: Who isn’t here this year. Where the hell is Samosa Man?
Dave: I don’t know, man, but it’s bringing me down to think about it.
Patrick: At least he wasn’t around last night. There is nothing better for a vegan after a few drinks to soak up the poison in my guts than a couple of the Samosa Man’s fried veg goodies.
Dave: Let’s not give up hope. The guy is from Vermont after all. He’s on his own time. Maybe he’ll be out there tonight.
Patrick: Fingers crossed.
Dave: Hodgman does his boorish nerd thing which always gets laughs, but he doesn't waste any time announcing the first comedian and getting out of the way.
Patrick: I love Paul F Tompkins. They guy is like the MVP of comedy of podcasts, the way Bill Frisell is shaping up to be the MVP of Solid Sound 2015. And his 45 minute set does not disappoint. He threads together these great stories about his life, going as far back as his father in World War II. Not having a driver’s license until he was 40. A doctor who uses an amputated child’s foot as bait in a crab trap. And closes with a trip to the Magic Castle, an exclusive magicians’ dinner club where the only way you can get invited is to be a magician, know a magician, or else stay at the Magic Castle hotel.
Dave: That evidently has a really strict dress code. Like they won’t let him in wearing black jeans.
Patrick: Yeah, heh, because “denim is the least magical of fabrics.”
S: I think this Tig Notaro person is going to have a really tough time following Mr. Tompkins.
(Music Selection: "You Can’t Always Get What You Want" by The Rolling Stones)
Dave: The energy shift is like going from NRBQ to Jessica Pratt. But you just have to roll with it.
Patrick: I think that’s the beauty of this festival. If you keep your eyes and ears open along with an open mind, the moment will coalesce, you know, all things will be revealed. The transition will create itself and make its own kind of sense.
S: Is that a man or a woman?
Dave: I think it’s a woman.
Patrick: Tig Notaro is a woman. You can tell that as soon as she starts to talk, but the look is part of the act, or it’s part of who she is, and that goes into the act, and she tells a joke about getting patted down by a lady security screener at the airport who isn’t sure she should be touching her or not. She keeps going back to her supervisor and mumbling something, to which the supervisor keeps growling, “Yes, I’m sure.”
Dave: She’s so lowkey and deadpan, whereas Tompkins is such a gregarious personality. It does take a few minutes and a few jokes to make the shift, but I think she’s every bit as good. These are two Ace Comedians at the top of their game, and I feel really lucky to get to see them bring the funny.
S: Yeah, they’re both excellent storytellers with totally different styles.
Patrick: Notaro is a queen of the slow build, talking about her Mississippi family and casting Santa Claus in an independent movie and the way people laugh and the Beatles and the Rolling Stones until we’re all just pulled along with her, cresting from one laugh to the next. This is some killer comedy.
Dave: Wonder if it’s started to rain outside in the meantime.
Patrick: Only one way to find out.
(Music Selection: "Still Together" by Mac Demarco)
S: Rain, rain, go away.
Patrick: It’s barely a sprinkle.
Dave: That sounds like Parquet Courts is already on over there in the Courtyard.
Patrick: Yeah, and it looks like Thompson is just finishing his set on Joe’s Field. Damnit. They’re definitely shuffling to get everything in before Wilco goes on at 8pm.
Dave: Who’s up after Richard Thompson on the Joe’s Field Stage?
Patrick: Mac Demarco.
Patrick: Yep, I say we get in pretty tight for the Demarco show then hold our spots so we’re up close and personal when Tweedy and the Boys hit the stage.
Dave: As always the man with the Panama.
Patrick: Come again.
Dave: A man a plan, a canal.
Patrick: Got it.
S: I’m going to get more drinks. Same as before, guys?
Patrick: Sir, you are a gentleman and a scholar, and I knew that only good things could come from our joining forces.
S: Ha. See you soon.
Patrick: Man, I sure wish I knew that guy’s name.
Dave: Doesn’t seem to be affecting our budding three-way bromance in the slightest.
Patrick: I guess not. Speaking of bromance. What’s up with Mac Demarco and his band of merry misfits up there?
Dave: These guys are a bunch of nutjobs
Patrick: Do you know his music much?
Dave: Just what you sent me in Spotify. I’ve liked what I’ve heard, and I know he’s one of those guys who doesn’t take the whole music making process seriously,but these guys are like a bunch of junior high kids grab-assing and cracking jokes in between songs.
Patrick: Yeah, but then they play.
Dave: Exactly, then they play and Mac has great music.
Patrick: That’s the only way this kind of sloppy stage show works. Because the music is so good they just come across as quirky madcap artists, getting their kicks and laughing at life that has placed them on the big stage at a Wilco Festival somewhere in the middle of nowhere Massachusetts.
Dave: Maybe it’s because they’re Canadian.
Patrick: I don’t know what it is, but somehow it works, although I could see how a lot of people would find it annoying as hell. But it’s rock and roll, you know.
Dave: Look at the lead guitarist. He has long blond hair and a blond moustache and plays with his shirt off. He dances barefoot and stalks the stage and bumps and grinds in a silly simulation of some other guitarist who actually takes himself seriously.
Patrick: Mac’s voice can whine sweetly and go down to a guttural growl. Still Together is the center piece. The version I’ve heard is so quiet and gentle, like a lullaby, he even says good night to his wife or girlfriend at the end before he turns off the tape recorder. But this version is like a Luther Vandross show-stopper extended jam.
Dave: Perfect way to end the set. By now it's starting to sprinkle a little harder, but we're all getting into high festival mode, bouncing and bobbing and laughing at the crazy Canucks alternatively rocking us and making us laugh.
S.I’m back. What did I miss?
(Music Selection: "Let’s Not Get Carried Away" by wilco)
Patrick: You guys hold down the fort here. I’m going to try to slip up and use my press credentials to get into the photo pit. Gotta earn that Chunky Glasses paycheck.
S: How much are they paying you to do this?
Patrick: Let’s see…carry the 1, move the comma…
Patrick: Money would only muddy the issue. We are like Music Journo-Nomads, wandering the earth and filing our dispatches from this or that venue. You never know when we might strike, when one of those gawking faces mooning up at you from out of the audience will belong to one of us.
Dave: Or you could just call and ask our wives. We make sure to schedule ahead of time.
Patrick: Or work gets in the way.
Dave: Or kids.
Patrick: Or a million other things get in the way.
Dave: But not when it comes to Solid Sound. This festival is sacred. This is our third one, and as soon as the dates are announced, those days become sacrosanct and holy. No other scheduling or conflict or Act of God can touch them. It can all just hurry up and wait until we get back on Monday.
Patrick: Or Sunday if Dave's wife tells him he needs to come home early.
Dave: Which she normally does.
S: Wow, okay, cool. Yessir, then you better get down there to the pit. Looks like Wilco is getting ready to take the stage.
Dave: I don’t think you can call this kind of rain a sprinkle anymore. It’s steadily coming down at this point. Since last night I've been worried all day that the sky is going to break open and the show is going to get cancelled and the only Wilco memory I'm going to have is the half-heard acoustic show that I had already peaked and passed on into a fuzzy twilight by the time the show got there. Truth be told, I’m kind of starting to have to pee. I mean, I have been drinking Summerteeth and Wilco Tango Foxtrots for most of the afternoon, but I’m not missing this one. We have great spots amidst the puddled blankets and those damn canvas camp chairs, and then a few more people leave in front of us and we have even better spots. And we are going to stick, doggone it. Unless the thunder and lightning come and drive us all away we are going take our stand right here and rock. This is way too important to hit the head now.
Patrick: (in split screen from his spot in the photo pit.) The band sounds great tonight. All the clouds and cobwebs of the night before go blowing away and we are getting a by God straight up plugged in Wilco Rock Show!
Dave: Opening number is I'm the Man Who Loves you with Glenn standing on his stool in rock god pose that they agreed last time he would retire and only bring out for the Solid Sound Festival, and from that moment we know we are in good hands.
Patrick: This is a massive setlist, and yeah its starting to rain harder now, but who gives a shit, this is the Alpha and Omega of why we came here. Why I sat on a bus from DC to New York, and then we drove 3.5 hours further North. What we have waited for the past 2 years to be a part of again, and with our mouths open and singing, I don’t even feel the rain anymore. Classics and B-Sides and Rare Japanese Imports. Laminated Cat ends with a blistering jam. Hotel Arizona, I've maybe only heard that one live a couple of times.
Dave: But the real high point for me is one that I’ve never heard played live before, and it’s been on my list for years - Let's Not Get Carried Away. And they kill it. Then when the song seems like it’s over and done with, Glenn goes into a John Bonham drum solo, and all of a sudden we're back full band to the chorus and that great Tweedy scream, "Oh, no, honey. Let's not get carried away!" Bangarang.
S: I shoot a lot of video on my phone. Live performance is my thing. Like I said before I hardly know the band, but they are something special no question. This is a sizable show stretching past the 2 hour mark, and finally the rain gets the best of me, and I still have to get back and make sure my camp site hasn't been washed away. (Patrick has come back from the photo pit, and we all shake hands like men and exchange emails.)
Patrick: And like that he slips away into the night, never to be seen again. I’m going to miss that guy.
Dave: Me too.
Patrick: Sure do wish I could remember his name, though.
Dave: Which just leaves me and Patrick like the two ridiculous fanboys that we are and have always been. How can you not be ga-ga for a band this great. We belt lyrics and nod our heads and bop and jive as the rain falls and our fellow addicts get their fix. It's a good night.
Patrick: It's a fucking righteous night. Late Greats. Kingpin (“living in North Adams!”). Monday. Impossible Germany. Via Chicago.
Dave: I'm coherent tonight. I know all the words. I am making memories and actually remembering them. This is the the Day #2 groove, and I'm finally into it.
Patrick: We try to get them to come back out for a second encore, but by then it's raining harder than ever, fairly downpouring actually.
Dave: And I should not have held in all those beers for the past two hours. This situation is getting dire. So off we slop and slip through the cardboard and mud to the port-a-johns then back to the bus shuttles in the sloggy deluge.
Patrick: I don’t know about you, boy, but I’m not quite yet ready to call it a night just yet.
Dave: No way, man, I’m too fired up from that show.
Patrick: And I’m hungry.
Dave: Ooh, yeah, when was the last time we ate?
Patrick: The Blue Benn like 12 hours ago.
Dave: I have to say that chicken fried steak has held up remarkably well. A steady diet of oat sodas didn’t hurt either. That Summerteeth IPA was some good food.
Patrick: For me it was the Bloody Marys. Be sure to put that in the article. Bloody Mary is the perfect festival survival food. It’s got veggies and alcohol in it, and sky’s the limit in terms of garnish.
Dave: What if you put an avocado in it?
Patrick: You mean, a Bill Frisell? Well, that would just make it better. You can roll all day and rock all night on those bad boys.
Patrick: But now I’m craving something a little more substantial.
Dave: We could get back off the bus and see if Samosa Man ever made it.
Patrick: Nah, I’ve stood in enough rain for the evening, thank you very much.
Dave: Understood. You know, since the Wilco set started early, that means we got out early. I think the kitchen may still be open at Hops and Vines over in Williamstown.
Patrick: That’s not too far from the motel.
Dave: Within flopping distance for sure.
Patrick: Then by all means.
(Music selection: "Play It All Night Long" by Warren Zevon)
Dave: There’s four of us at the bar. There’s me and Patrick and the Man and the Woman. We don’t catch their names, either, probably to protect the innocent who get swept into our gravitational field over the course of the weekend. Isn’t it enough that they had to put up with our chatty banter the first time, much less to put them through it a second time on the printed page.
Patrick: Still, though, ain’t no people like Wilco people.
Dave: Seriously, what an interesting bunch. That guy S. or J. or whatever, while you were in the pit, we got to talking about documentaries and why people make them. He said there are the journeymen makers who crank them out according to a form or method that makes them much more regular and prolific. But he prefers the organic approach, the passion project digging in deep and shooting enough footage that you hopefully can tell a complete and compelling story when it is over and done with. It’s all about the story.
Patrick: Yeah, man, and people on the road like that guy C., I think it was, traveling here with his girl from St. Louis. The guy just gave me a poncho no questions asked. All of us for one weekend loose in the wide world, out here looking for something. Seeking and searching. That’s why we stand in a muddy, stinking crowd in the middle of a downpour looking up at the stage. For that something, whatever it is. I think it’s selfish. It has to come from inside you, and the music activates it or aggravates in you, teases it or tempts it a little closer to the surface so you can feel it for a second and go Yeah.
Dave: I sure felt it tonight.
Patrick: Sure did.
Woman: Were you guys at the show?
Man: Solid Sound?
Dave: Was that not awesome?
Woman: This is our 4th Festival. We’ve been coming from the beginning. Everytime they are just excellent.
Patrick: Yeah, this our 3rd one. They do not disappoint.
Man: The rain doesn’t, either.
Dave: What’s that?
Man: Disappoint. Another Solid Sound, another rainstorm.
Dave: Into every life, my man.
Man: You got that right. Another round?
Patrick: Don’t mind if we do.
Man: Barkeep? Unless we’re holding you up from closing shop.
Dave: The bartender says that he closed an hour ago, he’s just putting the place to bed for the night, but we’re more than welcome to hang and have another, so that’s exactly what we do.
Woman: Every time we fly into Logan and then drive out here. We always stay in the same hotel and then go to the festival. And I always have to find my Pat.
Patrick: Pat Sansone?
Woman: Exactly, yes. Whether they’re doing a book signing or I just catch him walking around the grounds, I’ve got to find my Pat and get my picture taken. Every time, I always do. 4 festivals now.
Man: She has a huge crush on her Pat.
Dave: And you’re okay with this?
Man: Like she’s going to leave me for the guy? Pat needs his groupies, too.
Dave: We were just talking about the kind of people who follow this band. I wouldn’t say it’s all walks of life. It’s usually people with a certain amount of music intelligence.
Patrick: Likely liberal leanings.
Man: Artistic. I’m a professional actor back home.
Woman: Probably middle class. It costs money to follow a band around and travel to some small New England town just to see a concert.
Man: And there has to be a certain amount of privilege to think freely and pick and choose and find your way to this band, because they aren’t exactly radio darlings or Top 40, you know.
Dave: What the hell’s that?
Dave: I like them because Tweedy’s voice is easy to sing along with. Sometimes they get called the US Radiohead, but I can’t sing along with Thom Yorke the same way. Plus his experience doesn’t sync up with mine the same way.
Patrick: No, no way, Tweedy gets it. I told you, if I ever wrote a song like Via Chicago, I’d just fill my pockets with rocks and walk into Lake Michigan or something.
Woman: I think Pat’s just dreamy.
Man: It’s all good, you know.
Patrick: And so it is, and so we must go, because all the lights in the place are off except for the ones directly over the bar where we are sitting. Like we are under spotlights, like this last brief moment has been preserved and held there just a little bit longer than all the other moments that have taken place all around us.
Dave: I do believe that is last call for me.
Patrick: Let us go then, you and I.
End of Day #2
Tune in for the conclusion of Patrick and Dave's journey tomorrow!
Check out the full gallery of Patrick's shots from 2015' Solid Sound Fest below.