1:22 PM, Lindbergh Field Airport, San Diego, California
Seven hours later than expected, I’m sipping a beer and waiting to hop aboard a Frontier Airlines (the one with the animals on the tail and the free DirecTV in the seats) flight to Denver. I arrived at the airport at 5:20 AM, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, only to realize I’d forgotten my ATM card. I then made the first of a series of colossal judgment errors. I got out of line, went home, and began to look for it. I’ll spare you the gory details but suffice it to say I’m no Patton when it comes to making decisions under fire.
All that’s behind me now. What lies ahead is three days of brotherhood, camaraderie, and good music. I feel the way about Denverfest that I imagine lots of people feel about the Pitchfork Festival, or Street Scene, or any one of the giant festivals that goes on every summer. Events like Sessions Fest and Denverfest may lack the big names, but at least they provide genuine good times.
Elitist that I am, I can’t help but think that most stadium shows are the cultural equivalent of shopping at Wal-Mart. I like my musicians at a human scale–separated by inches, or feet, not by hundreds of yards, a rugby team worth of yellow-jacketed weightlifters and several million dollars worth of marketing.
When I get to Denver I’ll grab my rental car and head immediately to the venue, hopefully in time to see Fucking Orange, and definitely with enough time to spare to catch the Forecast and Kylesa, the highlights of my particular evening.
The Forecast will be new to me, but they are tight with friends of mine and therefore make the team automatically. I saw Kylesa for the first time this past year at the Fest in Gainesville. It was late, I was very, very drunk, and in retrospect I have no idea where I was or whom I was with, except that I’m pretty sure Jason Hendrix was there, and I’m pretty sure Chuck French, from Git Some and Planes, was there too. And the kids from Fifth Hour Hero. Us, and 100 or so of our closest friends saw Kylesa put stoner metal, psychedelia and grunge into a blender and hit “liquify.” I think they may be scenemates of ASG, a band that works similar territory but with a little too much bro-down for me to get very excited about it.