Oh the decisions!
After a long week, I had left the decision to leave after work on Friday or first thing on Saturday morning to a “game-time” decision. I realized mid-day that I was going to trek up to the Poconos on Friday night – hoping to see some music, but really wanting to get settled in so I could have one full day of festie love, instead of getting up there on Saturday morning, rushing and getting settled, and then finding music just to pack up the next day. I have to say, the decision to go on Friday night was the right one.
Driving close to 3 hours from NYC, I got up to the camp, and after a bit of confusion trying to find my bunk, passes and parking, I settled in, made our bed in our cabin, met my new cabin mates for the weekend, and tried to suss out the situation.
I pretty much just followed the music. I took a walk past a gorgeous lake, where the full moon was bright and clear. I walked over the footbridge into the other part of the camp – the Equinunk part of camp. I passed the courtyard of cabins, found the beer, passed the pool and the slide, and walked up the hill to the “E-rena.” (get it “E-rena” for “E-quifunk.” Yes, very tongue-n-cheek.)
I had no paper to take notes. I had no camera to take pictures. I would have to experience and write that down. Excuse me in advance if I forget anything.
Day 1 Highlights: Friday
I heard JJ Grey & Mofro while walking to the E-rena. I got to see The New Mastersounds KILL IT on the stage on Friday night. The scene, I have to say, was totally chill. Crowd age ranged from mid-twenties to mid-fifties, I’d guess. People were friendly and nice, with an odd frat-boy overtone (due to free beer, I’d say), but none of the “frat boys” were rude, obnoxious or mean. They were having just a great time with their buddies, listening to great music just like the rest of the hippies/festival freaks.
But back to the music. The New Mastersounds have a presence, they have this amazing energy which got us all dancing, all moving, hooting and hollering – this was the first night after all. So happy that there was another two nights of this. I felt like I was finally shedding the stress of life off my body as I shook my hips (not twerking style, let’s be clear, but the regular shaking of hips that you do when you dance!), and shook off the week, the month, the summer. I looked up and saw the sky and the trees. I found the portapotties. I found the beer. I hugged friends I hadn’t seen in a while, and those I just saw at The Brooklyn Bowl. James Casey (sax, Lettuce, Trey Anastasio Band) was MVP of the whole weekend. I caught him playing with almost every band.
This was a great first evening.
I tried to stay for Boombox. I stayed for a few songs, but I couldn’t last too long. They have a definitive dub/electronica style that I can only really listen to for a few minutes. Sorry guys, but the place was still packed with the crowd bouncing along as I wandered away, down the hill.
I ended up seeing some friends from the city, and the next thing you know, I am standing next to the drummer for The New Mastersounds, Simon Allen, and we chatted for a moment – long enough for him to tell me, “I had a magical moment as well, I was looking at these guys I play with tonight, and I thought I was the luckiest guy around.” I told him that was the sweetest thing I had heard, and then the moment was gone. And I was back down the path, and over the footbridge to my cabin.
Hide & Seek, Your Lady (She’s Shady), Country Ghetto, Brighter Days, Somebody Else, Dirtfloor Cracker, 99, Shades of Crazy, Tame A Wild One, WYLF, Ho Cake, Orange Blossoms, Slow Hot Sweaty, Everything Good, On Fire
New Mastersounds Set List – Friday
Way Out West, Miracles, Confusion, MRG, Pure, Yo Mama, Each To Their Own, Talk Is Cheap, Fastman, Summer Camp, You Mess Me Up, 33, Idris, Feva, Soulshine, Nervous, You Got It All