Saturday, October 04, 2008

Forward Music Fest - Recap Part 1

As I previously mentioned, I attended the inaugural Forward Music Fest in Madison two weekends ago. It was a great time and a great setup, and I only wish that I would have had more time to catch all of the great shows that weekend. As it worked out I ended up seeing a couple of good shows Friday night and a big punk matinee on Saturday, after which I left to attend a friend's wedding reception. It was a busy weekend and I pretty much wore myself out. I didn't fully recover from the sleep deprivation until later on into the next week, because Sunday night ended up a little late as well due to the Packer game.
Friday afternoon I met my father for a delicious lunch at Picasso's and helped out at the shop. Afterwards I went to dinner with him and my mother, prior to heading downtown to pick up my wristband. The Fest was arranged in a format much like South by Southwest in Austin, TX where you purchase a wristband that allows for access to any of the venues associated with the Fest at a first-come first-serve basis. For an extra $10 you could get a guaranteed access pass to one show only - I chose to get one for the punk matinee even though I was relatively sure access would not be an issue. I picked up my wristband and pass at the Overture Center lobby and checked out the schedule. I made my way over to Cafe Montmartre to see Crane Your Swan Neck open up the night. I staked out a spot at the bar and got a pint of Lake Louie while the band started up. I hadn't really heard anything from this relatively new local band, but I was quickly won over by the music. Crane Your Swan Neck plays an intriguing mix of indie, folk, and rock with a Euro-tinged gypsy feel. The band seemed crowded on the small stage, consisting of a lead singer/guitarist, accordian/keyboards, violin, guitarist/clarinet, bass and drum kit. I listened to their set and had another beer, definitely enjoying the start to the Fest.
I walked out of the Momo excited for the next stop on my itinerary: the High Noon Saloon and my favorite local band, the Blueheels. E Eugene and I had seen them in action the weekend before, opening for Backyard Tire Fire at the Annex on a rainy Friday night. I was rolling solo to this show but I didn't worry, because once the music started I would be among friends. The band opened with a song off their new album Lessons in Sunday Driving and the show was off and running. I got right up front (in fact I'm the guy in the center of the picture above) and sang along. I love the shows that the Blueheels put on, full of energy and excitement. The set flew past, over before I was ready for it to be. I picked up a shirt for E Eugene at the merch table and called up Capt. Ramm. He was downtown with a few friends, and though I would have liked to catch a few more acts that night I left to go meet up with them. It was an excellent opening night for the Forward Music Fest, and I was looking "forward" to the next day.

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