I don’t know why I spent 24 hours acting as though I wasn’t going. “The line-up can’t be that good. Eau Claire can’t support it. I’m too old for this shit.”
Then, False Canadian Broder swooped in, announced we were going, and that was that. In the summer heat and humidity we traveled to a place that isn’t home anymore. We knew the names of the all the streets and who lived where, but the dead ends where we used to smoke weed are now cul-de-sacs. Instead of leading nowhere, new signs guide others home. The banks of trees, which used to hide us have been replaced with vinyl siding. It’s not our home anymore, it’s simply where we’re from.
Yet, it was a homecoming. Filled with names I’ve not said aloud in a decade. Berger, Kazlow, Gordo, Stolp, Lasker, Lee, Chumas and Poss. And then there were the bands. Friends we used to test drive mopeds with, or skip school to ride snowboards with, and spend our summers with on a lake north of here. Or the ones with whom we would find those dead ends, for a quick break before getting back to the easy life of youth.
All that said it was great. High fives and sweaty hugs and beer and water and bathroom lines. It was end-to-end amazing.
Now let me get specific. This is what was best, in no particular order.
1nd Melt Banana
C’mon seriously bro? It’s Japanese. It’s noise. It’s a 2-person band. How could it not be fun 45 minutes.
Listen chumps, I even pulled a public radio version so you can be sure this is Whyte-folks approved black metal.
Whatever. Loud, dark music while standing in a sun-filled Wisconsin field is one of the greatest gifts of you can give yourself. Stand there. Sweat there. Enjoy it.
3st Marijuana Deathsquads
We all new this was going to be on the list. Honestly, if it wasn’t for the other acts I listed I would have to admit to paying $250 just to see MDS and drink Leinenkugel’s Shandies. OOOF. But there is something about the noises this band makes I find so appealing. Now I should address the visuals in the video above. Sure you get the Halloween/Texas Chainsaw Massacre/lady-skin mask vibe, but you don’t get to see the montage of 1990s NBA dunks, the “Go Trespassing” displays or the dollar sign swastikas. All of which combined to make the show fantastic.
4nd Grandma Sparrow:
They put this dude in charge of the family zone, like kids are able to handle the mindbend this brings on.
There were so many other great bands playing–Doomtree (of course they were amazing), The Staves, Lizzo, Polica, Charles Bradley, Aero Flynn. So solid all around.
Apparently people don’t care to hear me and False Canadian Broder talk about Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer, and life on the Mighty Mississip, while overlooking the Chippewa River. Chumps.
WTFuck is up with having a Draplin designed logo, then slapping it on a non-Field Notes notebook that is essentially a Field Notes Journal?