I most hated to miss Michael Kiwanuka, Blitzen Trapper, Trampled by Turtles, and Ben Sollee (I only caught about 10 minutes of one of Sollee's sets and was planning to catch a full set later), but there definitely were some highlights in those first couple of days. The back-to-back of Spirit Family Radio and Langhorne Slim & The Law to kick off the festival Thursday afternoon was awesome -- I was right at the front for those. After dinner, Emelia joined me for an evening just the two of us. First up was the Gogol Bordello set -- it was wonderfully frenetic, and Emelia had a great time with it -- dancing for part of the time and bouncing on my shoulders a little left her delighted. Not surprisingly, her favorite tune was "Stop Wearing Purple." We next went to the hula hoop place and hung out there a little bit -- the proprietress had befriended Emelia last year, and Emelia loved seeing her again (and again) this year. We then walked around some, taking in the strange (to her) sights that start coming out in the evening -- last year Emelia was generally in bed by dark, so she delighted in seeing the funkier side of FF.
On Friday, I took in both sets of Jason Isbell, fully enjoying both performances. The first was on the porch stage, a very small and intimate setting -- I got there early and was able to sit in the third row for it. It was just Isbell, and he played a number of quieter tunes, and finished with a lovely cover of Townes Van Zandt's "Pancho & Lefty." For the second one, on the main stage, I moved up to the front, and ran into my Turntable friend Lua -- I had first met her in person at last year's festival. It was great seeing her again, and we both took in a fantastic full-band set from Isbell. Lua had been expecting just to take in part of the show, but was wowed by Isbell, whom she didn't know especially well before the set. It didn't hurt that accompanying Isbell was a musician that she knew and who was filling in (or just now joining the band, something Isbell indicated when Lua asked him during the merchandise signing after the show) as the second guitar.
All-in-all, a shorter and less wonderful event than I would have wanted, but I/we still had a great time while we were there.
|Emelia's Hoop Tower|
|Love is all you need|
|All dressed up at the Children's Universe|
|Getting feathers in her hair (as of this moment, they're still around)|
|The family during a more contemplative moment|