Photography by Steven Philips StSteven.com Story by Jess Fresquet and Steven Philips
Madsummer Meltdown officially started last Friday, so I can only report on the Thursday pre-party from rumor and innuendo, but from what I heard it was a good crowd, a good party, and great music from Steal Your Face. We arrived Friday afternoon in time for a set byMason Porter, a folky, rocky, bluegrass band from Philly, where they are a part of the folk music scene.
We set up camp and headed back to the main stage for Flux Capacitor. This Reading based trio of brothers is THE jam band of central PA, and they played a great and very original set, although it was music that may have been more suited for a very late night performance slot of 6am vs 6pm.
The Horse Flies played the sunset show, and it was a most beautiful evening. They are a solid band with a great fiddle player. The field filled up with hoopers, and the fire spinners were doing their warmups for a fire show they performed as Max Creek took the stage for the headline set. They are one of the most solid and tight jambands around, and they were so relaxed and comfortable with their playing and cues that everyone soon got caught up in their great energy. By this time the crowd was thick and the dancing got up to full speed, along with the bonfire, which burned in the back corner. The vendors were all set up, and food was being served to the hungry crowd.
Moving inside to the late night barn, we wasted no time getting to the Consider The Source set. They played their unique brand of psychedelic rock with middle eastern influences, and virtuoso playing. The music was enhanced by an amazing light show run by John Olsen, who has been on tour with the band, and has been really killing it on visuals.
Electric Soul Pandemic picked up where Consider The Source left off, but not before Knitetbitch entertained us with their crazy shenanigans during set break. They are like a cross between a 90’s rock band and a comedy routing, and it was great. We danced until dawn, and then stopped by the fire for some relaxing before hitting the tent.
Saturday was a day you could ease into since it wasn’t too hot, and continued the beautiful weather trend. It did get hot in the afternoon, but there was a spray station, a spray tent, and a slow steady breeze, which made it cool in the shade. We were really hungry and enjoyed some good food from Shady Grove, the new Stuffed Pretzel guy, and an organic frozen treat. Then it was time to stroll through the vendor area, while listening to the afternoon lineup on the main stage, and heading over to the Musical Madness stage, which hosted some of the bands that played at different times on the main stage. If you planned your schedule right, you could catch the bands you wanted to see and still have time to stroll the nature trail or hang out by the creek. Or if your favorite band was doing multiple sets, you could really see a lot of them.
Personally I caught Knitebitch on an indoor 6pm set Saturday, and late night short sets Friday and Saturday. Photographer KarlMW repeated is quadcopter photoshoot that was so successful at Some Kind of Jam (hit him up to order prints!) I can’t wait to see the human MAD! Chestnut Grove played an awesome set, and they were followed by Toy Soldiers who did some nice blues rock.
I can’t say enough about Turquaz. I like funk music, and I like good female vocals. I like a big band with horns and good stage presence. Turquaz has all of this, and consistently put on great shows at Jibberjazz events, at Stir Fry Music Revival Festival, and at other local spots. Ozric Tentacles was the headliner most people were looking forward to, because they were so great two years ago at Madsummer. Well, they did it again for sure. I love that band and I wish they played more US gigs, but not they’re off to the Europe portion of their tour. Latenight Saturday was Tiny Boxes, and The Jauntee, and both were great. Of course Knitebitch in between. The sun was fully up by the time I crawled into the tent for some much needed rest.
Sunday morning’s acoustic offerings were just the right type of relaxing music for wandering around, catching the last bit of the weekend, and then packing up. It was time to go home, but the good news is that the fabulous Schuylkill Haven Fairgrounds will be the site of this year’s Meeting of the Minds, and I can’t wait.