This past weekend Mic and I made the trek to Mohawk, NY (aka moe.hawk) for the 12th annual moe.down festival. We left around supper on Thursday and somewhere along the way we decided to go all the way to the venue and queue up rather than do the usual Walmart sleepover. It was a great call as we landed ourselves a prime pole position for the opening Friday morning. The only draw back was, no sleep. As one can imagine, our fellow moe.rons were pumped and decided to party hard through the night by the side of their cars waiting for first light when they would open the pen and herd us in to the field/parking lot. The parking area was a little muddy from the recent fallout of Hurricane Irene but no worries for Mic and I as we were rolling JEEP style.
This was year 2 for moe.down at Gelston Castle and obviously they had listened to the fans' complaints and made a number of improvements. Larger parking area, improved roads and pathways, free hay wagon rides from parking to the top of the hill, a much larger camping area, a big screen between stages, and $5 showers. That said, Mic and I opted to avoid the rush to haul everything up to the camping area to score a site for the tent. The JEEP had already proved how comfortable (and dry) it could be so we decided to tailgate it all weekend. It was a brilliant move as the last day was a downpour followed by a mudfest, all of which we avoided. Winning!
Friday night's opener was Ween and as per usual Gene Ween stole the show with his strangeness and his voice. Thankfully it was not a repeat of what may have very well been his worst performance ever back in January for 3,000 Vancouver fans.
Saturday was another beautiful day. The annual afternoon set from moe. was light and fun with the highlight being the moe.ment that they brought up all the kids on stage to show off their costumes and crafts they made in the kids tent.
Saturday night brought TV on the Radio and 2 sets of moe.
Sunday started with a bit of rain and an impromptu shower for me (thank you Mother Nature) following by more sun and humidity... and more music.
Then came the storm. Finally the predicted forecast came to pass and the skies released a downpour. The Levon Helm Band wisely decided to push back their start as the skies were flashing with lightning and the sound of thunder never far behind. The man at the mic convinced the crowd to push back out of the kill zone, and rightfully so after three stage collapses this year one right here at Ottawa's Bluesfest. And of course, no weekend music festival is complete without a little impromptu mudslide (see pics at end).
Here's a little glimpse at some of the more colourful moe.rons. Enjoy.
Finally, it was only by luck that Mic and I managed to get out of the mud bath/parking area - JEEP or no JEEP. The cars were already jammed in at this point - some stuck in the mud, some slammed up against others as they tried unsuccessfully to navigate the slop. The tow trucks were useless until at least some vehicles (the few 4x4's) vacated the area and made space. Oh well, all part of the adventure.
Cheers and thank you moe. for another great .down.