YarmonyGrass 2011: Day Two
Words By J-man
Photos By Carly Marthis & J-man
Our camp came to life collectively as the morning sun beat down on the tents, creating a canvas oven. We attempted to clear our heads from the previous evening's nonsense. I continued right where I left off, only to find out that it was 8:00 AM. We inflated our secondary air mattress, inner tubes and floaties and made our way past the main stage to the eddy where we dropped in with our drinks in hand. The whole day would be spent floating down the Colorado River, playing frisbee, drinking and generally relaxing, as the music didn't start until 4:45.
As we headed back to drop into the river for one last float, we passed the main stage to see Billy Nershi and Scott Law doing a California guitar set. It sounded good, but as the river called us, we headed in. We caught a little bit of Andrew McConathy & The Drunken Hearts which did little for my musical desire.
The evening's press conference was cancelled once again and the action picked up with Grant Farm featuring Keith Moseley. Though I felt like Moseley added very little to this project, Andy Thorn and Tyler Grant took the music to the next level. Thorn's aggressive and melodic banjo blew me away while Grant shredded tastefully, moving the crowd. Grant Farm was the surprise of the weekend.
Greensky Bluegrass followed on the main stage. This band has come a long way since their humble beginnings, and on the brink of releasing their newest album, their popularity and sound has grown to larger than life status. They were joined by Tim Carbone who further elevated their music and extensive jams. One thing I noticed during this performance more than any other was their over-utilization of effects. It got to a point where it began to take away from the music. Ultimately, I was blown away by their set and heavily impressed with the depth of their jams.
After the Greensky set, we made our way to the second stage at the back of the concert field. The deck was near empty when we arrived and began to fill in as Grant Farm, Keith Moseley and Tim Carbone set up. It was great to see Grant Farm go from the main stage to the side stage for a more intimate performance.
As we listened to Grant Farm on the side stage, we watched the main stage come together for the most anticipated set of the weekend, The Trancident. Four sixths of The String Cheese Incident (Michael Kang, Kyle Hollingsworth, Jason Hann & Michael Travis) would be performing together and headlining Saturday's festivities. The anticipation and excitement built as the set began.
Within the first ten minutes of the set, all of my hopes for productive and interesting musical possibilities went down the drain. The music was simple, repetitive and downright awful. The set was almost completely electronic sounding and within twenty minutes we were headed back to camp.
As we climbed into our tent, I heard the Trancident break into "Valley of The Jig". For a brief moment I considered throwing my shoes back on and heading over to watch what I had hoped was the turning point of the set, but as quickly as the tease came, the music fell back into complete garbage.
I fell asleep thinking about how much I had enjoyed the festival. It pained me to know that the "joint set" would follow and include many of the musicians that I enjoy, but I could not make it through the fucking Trancident. What a shame.
YarmonyGrass is by far one of my favorite festivals. I hope to attend on an annual basis and encourage others to do the same. The vibe, the location, the river, the music... It's simply incredible.
J-man & Carly's Photo Gallery
YarmonyGrass: Day One Coverage