The Best Weekend of the Year

Well, Shoe Fest 2013 has come and gone, and the let down has set in. What a great weekend. Even more so than last year, everything was just perfect. Camped right across from the Uncommon Pavilion Stage, I was able to kick back and enjoy a lot of the music right from my campsite. Oh, and the music. I don't even know where to begin. First of all, Cornmeal on Friday night was mind-blowing; they were almost more funk than bluegrass (Wavy Dave was on fire all night), and then former fiddle extraordinaire Allie Kral came onstage to bring the house down. Copecetic got everything jumping with their insane brand of rage-grass. Old Shoe was extra crispy all weekend, bringing more and more energy with every song until the end of their sets were glorious cacophonies of twisting, bending musical exploration. Family Groove Company did not disappoint;squishy keys and guitars over Janis Wallin's ever-solid groove got everyone's blood pumping before This Must Be the Band came on at 1:30 a.m. The premier Talking Heads cover band in all the land, they are always a must-see. Chicago Farmer led everyone in his typical Arlo Guthrie-style sing-a-longs with gusto and Afternoon Moon took us all to space with their ethereal, Midwest-prairie crunch. EGI was another highlight, combining the laid-back groove of the Dead with technical prowess reminiscent of Umphrey's McGee and Moon Taxi. Jaik Willis was one of my favorites, his high-pitched yelp, crisp beatboxing, and masterful guitar work are always a highlight of any show. Other highlights include Thinner Teed, Zmick, and Tyrannosaurus Chicken. It was really great to have the grill going all weekend, and the river was even more beautiful than I remembered. The beer and food were great, the music was stellar, the campground was short, it was the best weekend I've had in a very long time (approximately since last Shoe Fest). Now we begin the wait for next year...

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