Thursday, October 09, 2008

27 September 2008: Silver Jews @ (((folkYEAH!)))

27 September 2008
Silver Jews @ (((folkYEAH!)))
Fernwood Big Sur
Highway 1, Big Sur [Map]
Drinks consumed: It was a weekend of camping. There's no such thing as counting.

I wasn't sure what to expect from this festival. Surely we assumed there would be hippies, freak folk people, and city hipsters, but we weren't sure if it would be extremely crowded or just weird. Fortunately, it was one of the most chill festival crowds I've ever seen. Fernwood did a great job hosting the event, keeping the store full of cold beer for us to buy when our supplies began to run low (which happened quite frequently). The bartender also makes a hell of a bloody mary.

Dave Berman, Silver Jews

The highlight on Friday was, for me, SF-based Citay. I've seen them a couple times now and I actually think they are more interesting to see live than to listen to at home (but I like their albums too). They don't wear weird costumes or jump around or anything, they just play sweet, soothing music. It was perfect in the redwoods setting of the Fernwood campground.


Honorable mention for Friday goes to Tussle, who were also great. Loser of the night was Entrance Band, who unfortunately played Saturday as well. I wasn't that into Devendra Banhart's latest band, Megapuss, but they did put on a good show. On Saturday, if I remember correctly, we enjoyed Little Wings, Little Joy, and Beach House, whose music can best be described as "pretty" and "airy" a la Aislers Set.

Silver Jews via fish eye lens

But the main reason we even went to this festival, as you may have guessed from the images accompanying this post, was to see Silver Jews play under the stars in Big Sur. Corny, yes. But was it awesome? It was, in fact, amazing. Thanks in part to Koshi stationing himself at the front of the stage with his camera during Entrance Band's seemingly endless Saturday performance, we were basically up against the stage when the Jews came on.

I've been a Silver Jews fan for years but I have never seen them live. I couldn't imagine a better setting. There's no point in listing the songs they played since Koshi got a pretty readable shot of the setlist on stage (which my friend nabbed after the show):

Berman reminds me of an indie rock Hunter S. Thompson for some reason. Maybe it's the glasses. He roams around like some kind of deranged rock and roll preacher, tangling the mic cord along the way. He sounded great, he looked great, and the show was fantastic.

Let's just say that I had Berman's voice in my head for about 4 days after the show. That was a very good thing.