I’m getting old! That, or my winter music schedule is making me soft with all these shows at venues with seats and tables. Just 4 hours straight of standing at Hodi’s Half Note last night, and roughly 4 hours straight of standing at the Aggie tonight, and my legs are exhausted. I think I must dance a bit more than I consciously realize or something in between taking shots with my camera, but even so I can’t imagine right now how I survived the whole 3 days of New West Fest. I couldn’t do a 3 day festival like that right now without lots of breaks and maybe a dedicated massage therapist on hand to keep my feet from getting so sore.
I did come home with two copies of the Von Stomper setlist from tonight’s show, and ~400 pics (total, but more Von Stomper than the other 2 bands). I shall see about getting one of them signed by the band eventually. In my humble (or maybe not terribly humble) opinion, Von Stomper’s set was the best of the 3 bands tonight, with lots of energy. Even when Wolf Van Elfmand’s guitar broke a fret seemingly mid-song 1/3 of the way through, these guys were able to keep the show going without losing steam while Wolf went off to borrow a guitar from Good Gravy.
Good Gravy was great, as one would expect, but their voices sounded strained and tired long before I left. Hopefully they are not catching one of the colds everyone seems to be getting this week. I wished we could have had a longer set of Von Stomper (who was running out of time and rushed their last 4 songs), and a couple ‘super-group’ songs bringing members of Good Gravy and Von Stomper together would have been cool and would have helped stretch Good Gravy’s voices a bit more comfortably. Still, when I left the Aggie Theatre shortly before 1am, the venue was still nicely packed, and the two lower sections were full of dancers, so as shows go, this was a pretty successful one.
The other band tonight, Miscomunicado, was an interesting considering the rest of the show, playing electronic dance music, with no mandolins, hand drums (or any ‘real’ drums, just percussion via computer), banjos, or acoustic guitars, just an electric guitar, electric bass and computer. They were quite good, but the crowd they seemed to appeal to was not quite the same crowd as would be really looking forward to Von Stomper or Good Gravy. All 3 bands played music one could dance to, at least, but Miscomunicado would have been a better fit for the show at Hodi’s tonight with Shatterproof. If I could have swapped in a band of my choice to open tonight it would have probably been someone like Broken Bow, or (getting into fantasy band territory) a band assembled around Josh Lange and some of the Dead Jam &/or bluegrass jam players playing songs along the lines of Phish’s “Possum” song.