Langerado Day 2: And then there was light – Festivals

Posted by Brian Waters

Langerado :: 03.07 :: Big Cypress :: Florida

Waking up for the first full day of shows can sometimes make you forget important daily items.
It is possible to get up in a sleepless daze that will cause you forget to put on some early morning sunscreen. Being late to the first show is a common occurrence due to overzealous morning campsite building. It is also the first chance you will always get to meet those interesting, but always friendly tie die type neighbors next door. The year at the 6th annual Langerado might have taken the cake on fascinating neighbors, or at least ones with creative names. Now I have met a good amount of hippies at festivals that all have out of the ordinary, all natural names. It’s sometimes hard to believe that some people’s actual legal names could be something like Sunshine, Waterfall, or Moon Light. Today I might of found the most absurd hippie name to date, so I started off today’s blog with it. I met a girl with the legal name of Sundrop on Friday morning hanging out near my campsite. Diving deep into origin of Sundrop, I found out her parents legally named her this in 1986, which is 26 years after the cola drink came out. Maybe they thought their daughter would be sweet, overactive, and only be seen in certain counties. Something tells me that anyone named Wind Dancer later in his or her adult life will not make the choice to go into a business career or politics. If you want your child to do things such as dread their hair, give up on corporate activities such as bathing, and devote their lives to following Phish, it’s a simple formula. First take the weather condition outside when they are born and then combine it with the street you lived on as a kid to create your hippie name. For example, my name would be Sunny Oaks. Create your own hippie name for fun, just please don’t name your kids this way.

The first act to begin the Friday festivities would be Nashville’s own The Dynamites. Nashville had a small presence of local music scene performing at 6th annual Langerado festival including The Dynamites, Ben Folds, and Will Hoge. The Dynamites were the opening band to play on the main stage of Langerado, understandable named the Everglades Stage. After three instrumental songs, the band brought out Charles Walker to bring some soul to the Dynamites’ funk. Charles Walker’s was impressive with his Apollo Theater like presents and the tolerance to kept a lime green suit at least until the last song. After thanking the audience, The Dynamites went to artist tent to sign copies of their new cd Kaboom! The only thing I was disappointed in The Dynamites show was the fact that this was my first time seeing them being a fellow Nashvillian.

One frequent connection the press and festival goers have alike is sometimes bands just do not show up. Langerado unexpected number had late cancellations from Ben Jelen, Avett Brothers, Vampire Weekend, and last minute stage change for Dan Deacon. While back at the media tent, I was able to help set up sound for Jules at for an interview and acoustic set with The Walkmen. After waiting around for 45 minutes on the band, I changed locations to catch the tale end of Matt Pond PA. Later I found out the band needed some much needed prep time before the show due to a case of sunstroke obtained at the festival. It did not slow them down during the performance, playing for the full time length. Luck was not on their side during this set while the sun blazing upon them at the Chickee Hut stage. It is still puzzling why it was named the Chickee Hut, yet it was just an open stage that was no different than any others. After playing a few new songs from an upcoming untitled album, Hamilton Leithauser told the audience that “This going to be the Bob Dylan portion of the show. Not really, we just use a harmonica during the song.”

Later Jules said she did get the interview with The Walkmen after their show. Make sure to check back at in the next month for an interview with The Walkmen and other artist from Langerado.
“So who was that band?” a very common question after seeing the band !!! for the first time.
Fans would later find out from other campers that the band is pronounced Chk Chk Chk. The band is a mixture of early 80’s electro pop beats, a steady, firm walks down the bass line, and dance rock guitar rifts that makes the band sound like they could only be from New York.

It would be impossible to not mention !!!, without refer to the lead singer Nick Offer pulsating stage charisma. Nick Offer energetic onstage presence was even hard to contain to just the Chickee Hut. A version of the two-step kept recurring during the show as if Nick had created it himself. While listening to show, it only seemed natural for Nick to move in this fashion. Later I imagined Nick viewing other artist at the festival, never once pausing with his matchless dance style. People might not have known the correct way to say !!!, but this was probably one band they will look up after the weekend over. Nick Offer later thanked the crowd at “didgeridoo” for being a good audience, I think he enjoyed the set. For a festival predominately fill with hippies, out of the everglades’ swamp appear the indie kids crowd for Built to Spill. Vacationing from their vinyl record stores for the weekend, indie rock fanatics were flocking to the Chickee Hut for Built to Spill.

Being that I have never seen Built to Spill I pressed my luck with staying in the photo pit for the entire show. Normally photographers get to stay for the first three songs of the artist set, but at smaller stage this rule is less enforced. Built to Spill is not really an vivacious band, especially after following the sweat dripped performance of !!!. Built to Spill was the calming early 90’s indie rock I needed to hear before I ventured to the Beastie Boys. Seconds after hearing “Strange” I remembered the need to rush to the Beastie Boys to get a spot.

A feat that is normally impossible to accomplish at a large festival is being able to glide your way to the front of the stage minutes before the headlining band plays. During my brisk speed walk to the Beastie Boys I found it astonishing how easy it was to get up close. The Beastie Boys will always bring back teenage angst against my parents who denied my right to party when they preformed with Rage Against the Machine the summer of my 8th grade year. Ever since then I have only been able to watch dvd concert footage and music videos with vivid caprice of seeing them in concert. The start of Mix Master Mike putting down the first vinyl to the tables would get any fan heart pumping with anticipation for the opening song. Expecting the type of Bonnaroo bass for the show, I was extremely disappointed at the sound mixers for the set. It was already frustrating that the levels were all too low, but when the song “Sabotage” which Mike D prominently yells into the microphone ended up loosing its intensity. Soon after Mike D told the crowd, “You better watch out because Mix Master Mike is about to drop kick all you alligators back to the swamp,” the gators apparently working in the sound booth started to adjust the levels. Along with some of their signatures – rhyme-passing, three-way raps including Body Movin‘, Super Disco Breakin‘ and Intergalactic, the Beastie Boys played what might have been one of their early, pre-rap punk songs. The Beastie Boys show did fulfill my dream of finally seeing the band that made me think I could rap just because I could flow along with the cds.

After the Beastie Boys put everyone in hip hop mood, Bassnectar kept it coming at the Swamp Stage. Looking though the crowd it was obvious that more people were dancing to this drum n’ bass dance set than the Beastie Boys. Later Bassnectar mixed a polka song with drum n’ bass, which combine with hippie dancing, created something close to Polish rave body gyrations. It made me hungry for a gyro, which might be the best festival food available. Sound Tribe Sector 9 capped off the night playing until 4:00 a.m. STS9 was followed by a thunder storm that later hippies would clam to be god applauding the band for putting on a good show. I spent the rest of the night holding up two sites of my tent to keep the rain out and equipment dry. Normally at festivals people get tired due to the heat, Langerado ironically enough drained me due to rain.


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