Sometimes some of the best moments at festivals like these are when you're not even seeing music. After Neko Case, I had a couple hours before Deer Tick, and this meant some wandedring was going to happen. I was able to see some of Arlo Guthrie, some Del McCoury and some Tim Eriksen. All were pretty good, although I definitely liked Eriksen the least. Just walking around the harbor and looking at the boats and tents is pretty cool. It's somewhat relaxing. And, amazingly, we've gotten no rain here even though we're enjoying 98 percent humidity and complete overcast.
But when this festival is written up in the history books (who knows who writes them), there are going to be multiple paragraphs about the local acts. The Low Anthem put on a good set yesterday, and today, Providence's Deer Tick drew a more than capacity crowd to the Waterside Stage, clearing outdrawing Eriksen, who was playing to a half-empty space at the bigger Harbor Stage.
This was probably a good thing since this was, by far, the best I've seen Deer Tick. As many of you know, they've played the New Haven area about three times in the last year (and it should have been four, but the show a couple weeks ago was canceled). They just killed. This is a band that's slowly becoming a band. It all started as a solo act with just a name, but now it's a group, a strong quartet.
As you can imagine, the songs from 2007's "War Elephant" went over the best. Singer/songwriter John McCauley jokingly referred to set closers "Ashamed" and "Art Isn't Real (City of Sin)" as the band's "MySpace greatest hits," and it was clear the audience knew them the best, singing along loudly enough McCauley could just sit back and play guitar.
Before Deer Tick started, I was able to eat some Thai food. Mmm. Well, now I'm on to see some Joan Baez before Elvis Perkins in Dearland begins. We'll talk soon.