June 1st, 2011

Free Press Summer Fest: A Guide to Saturday

More than 70 acts will grace the handful of stages at this weekend’s Free Press Summer Fest III. Eleanor Tinsley Park will be inundated with festival-goers, vagrants, drunkards and God knows what other sorts of weirdness.

It’s a mess. A jumble that can easily be seen as too much work. Why not just wait for the headline act to get your jollies from this festival? For one, Ween is the headliner Saturday, and do you really want to procrastinate until Sunday night to get off the couch and see Weezer? Nope. Not gonna happen. I’ve seen that movie one too many times.

That’s why I’ve created a fool-proof plan of action to get myself through the festival without stumbling into the wrong music. Here’s how I envision Summer Fest going down:

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Main Stage | 2 p.m.
Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears
The festival opens Saturday morning–fat chance of getting me outside before noon. No, I suggest arriving at the festival around 1:30 p.m., in time to catch Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears hit the Main Stage. This young funk and soul band has just to kick to get me in the festival spirit. The music is well layered and can knock a smile into your face.

Budweiser Stage | 2:30 p.m.
Junior Brown
This train’s a straight shot through classic rockabilly. Thick with country drawl and hot on the hillbilly speed, Brown slings an electric and steel guitar. The music is clean like the early days, too. No sexy lyrics. This band comes to work.

Warehouse Live Stage | 3:45 p.m.
Wicked Poseur
This Depeche Mode-like duo straps on guitars and lays down their soul over electronically produced dance beats. The show should be interesting for its energy and creative use of noise.

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Warehouse Live Stage | 4:30 p.m.
The Donkeys
If Wicked Poseur gets you too wound up, The Donkeys should help diffuse the tension. Their sound harkens back to The Beatles-meets-Van Morrison-meets-The Velvet Underground. Harmonies and melodies are what propel this band over the top. A good way to cool down during the day.

Main Stage | 5 p.m.
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings
If your looking to start the festival later, catch some old funk and soul with Sharon Jones. I never though “America the Beautiful” could be hip until I heard Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings lay it down… two times! This band is outstanding, as is Jones’ vocal presence.

Night Owl Stage | 6 p.m.
The Ton Tons
I assure you this band has nothing to do with the beasts from Hoth–neither Rebels nor Jedi will be a part of the making of this show. The Ton Tons are more of a chocolaty-covered jazz treat with an extra filling of blues and rock. This band isn’t not too far from Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside; The Ton Tons are less quirky with a harder rock ‘n’ roll edge.

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Budweiser Stage | 7:05 p.m.
Tobacco
By this time all the booze and festival food will either have you wanting to head home or start acting foolish. If you go for the latter, head to the Budweiser Stage to catch Tobacco. This will be the perfect venue to cast inhibitions to the wind and dance your heart away. The techno/electronica group puts out some good vibes that live somewhere between Aphex Twin and Massive Attack.

From this point, I will likely be dancing my happy ass all the way to the car–not back to the Main Stage for Ween. I’d prefer to drive to the closest available shower to change into something that doesn’t reek of beer and sausage. Then it’s back out for more punishment at Fitzgeralds. The Balaclavas are playing the Summer Fest after party and I really don’t want to miss that show.

Words and (silent) music by Jordan Overturf, out-of-the-Loopster.

— The Loop Scoop

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