Hoxeyville Music Festival 2011: Day Three
Words & Photos By Greg Molitor (ReMIND Photography)
Festival Sundays are relaxing. Signaling the approaching end to a typical festival gathering, these days are often filled with nonsensical jokes, thirst-quenching drinks of water, and growing smiles that remind us why we came. This particular one, August 21st, mimicked the familiar casual form as sunlight, sending everyone in motion for one last celebration, broke over the Hoxeyville horizon.
Absorbing the day’s events at a leisurely pace, my morning began with conversations of the previous evening’s Umphrey’s McGee show. Most I spoke with echoed similar sentiments of being awed by the power of the Umphrey’s, a huge act for the size of this festival that clearly came to wow the Hoxeyville faithful the night before. To see Hoxeyville not only raise the bar with talent in 2011 but have said talent be well received is a great sign that points towards continued growth for years to come.
I caught random bits of music here and there throughout my Sunday travels, but there were two acts whose shows I made sure not to miss: Ultraviolet Hippopotamus and The Mickey Hart Band. The first of the two, Michigan’s own Ultraviolet Hippopotamus, represents everything there is to love about live music. Offering dynamic instrumentation, energetic phrasing, chops galore, and brilliantly crafted songs for your heart, these Hippos not only offer the total package for any fan of music but do it with such consistent force that it’s impossible not to be drawn into their progressive performances every time they grace the stage.
Much like their previous year’s performance, Ultraviolet Hippopotamus dominated a fast-paced set that began with the fan favorite “North Coast” that had Hoxeyvillians rushing towards the stage upon its opening notes. “North Coast” worked itself into another fan favorite, “Yin Yang.” With newly added twists and turns, the Hippo classic featured the first monster jam of the day and breathed live into the crowd with its trance rock rhythms and syncopated symmetry. The rarely played “Move Your Ass” was the surprise treat of the set. Before the tune began, bassist Brian Samuels switched to mandolin and welcomed to the stage a guest bassist whose name I unfortunately did not catch. Those at Hoxeyville who were lucky enough to witness the “Move Your Ass” performance reflected their appreciation by throwing on their dance pants and boogie’n down to the special occasion. Add the jaw dropping version of the “The Marine” that preceded to the equation and what we received was a Hippo show for the books. These guys never fail to amaze me.
Setlist: North Coast > Yin Yang, Hey Tommy, Background Music > Giants, The Marine, Move Your Ass, Tugboat
My time away from the stages was filled with friendly laughter until it was time to return for The Mickey Hart Band. Previously unfamiliar with this project, I was overly impressed with what I heard from the collective. Guitarist Gawain Matthews flat-out blew me away with his playing. As the band created textured layers of sound over Hart’s leading rhythms, Matthews channeled raw, gritty psychedelia by ripping through modal scales in exploratory fashion. The group’s take on “Fire on the Mountain” was undoubtedly the highlight of set. Walking out of the photo pit, I saw many fathers and mothers singing the song to their kids as they danced together in the festival fields. It was one of those moments that make you grateful to be apart of something so meaningful to so many people, a timestamp that can never be taken away.
Having already torn down my campsite due to work obligations at 8:00 AM the next morning, I made the walk to my car and took off towards Lansing. Hoxeyville 2011 was a success on many fronts. The cleanliness of the grounds, the volunteerism, the incredible music, the community… everything and everyone worked together towards something greater throughout the entire weekend. Offering the perfect mix of family vibes and well-established musical acts, Hoxeyville 2011 got it right yet again. It was one of the better festival experiences I’ve had in quite some time, and I’ll certainly be back in 2012. Big thanks to those who put countless hours into preparation and execution because these types of events are what keep the scene alive. See you next year Hoxeyville!
Greg’s Photo Gallery (Day 3)
Hoxeyville Day One Coverage
Hoxeyville Day Two Coverage