Wow, that was a really cheesy headline. Sorry. But seriously, Music is Art’s name doesn’t even begin to cover everything the festival has.
Yesterday’s acts ranged from interpretive dance to escape artists and everything in between — children’s performances, hair (temporary) coloring, orchestral music…seriously, everything. Buffalo’s performing arts community has some incredibly talented people, and this festival is easily the city’s best chance to see it all in one place.
The only problem with that? There is so much to see that you can’t possibly see it all — easily the most disappointing realization of the day. I didn’t spend any time at the country/bluegrass/americana/hip-hop stage out front or nearly as much time as I should have checking out all the art vendors. And I was running back and forth between the main stages so much that I completely missed out on the party that developed over at the DJ stage. I did, however, become a pro at climbing around the Albright-Knox steps.
A quick rundown of my personal highlights:
- Finally getting to see Nelson Starr and the Benjamins, The Innocent Bystanders and Free Henry! Also, discovering Iceberg, who, as I mentioned on Twitter, remind me of Barenaked Ladies for some reason.
- Being completely surprised by a band I believe is named Junction 5. They’re young (or, at the very least, they look young), but man, can they play their instruments well.
- Magician Greg Frewin and escape artist Jonathan Bryce — or, more accurately, the crowd’s reactions, which ranged from “How’d they do that?!” to “Ew, why would anyone hang upside down in a straightjacket??”. Watching their tricks was entertaining, but it was more entertaining hearing everyone’s commentary, kids and adults alike.
- Seeing some great women musicians. I, sadly, missed Dallas Pace (there was a little incident with a very bad sunburn), but I enjoyed Erin Sydney Welsh and Grace Stumberg immensely. I caught a short set of ’90s covers by Stumberg at Tudor Lounge back in April and was really excited to hear her own material. She most definitely did not disappoint.
- Totally un-music-related, but Oh. My. Gaaaaaaaahd, the tacos from Lloyd Taco Truck are just epic. So epic that I also had a burrito for dinner later on.
Favorite quotes of the day:
- Robby Takac on The Lake Effect: “Five men with microphones and no instruments!…I’d rather have surgery myself.”
- Lorraine O’Donnell on Music is Art: “We’re so lucky, and I have to say personally, as a member of the cultural community…if it wasn’t for Robby Takac and all the people that work with him, we wouldn’t be here right now.”
- Robby Takac on the Mark Freeland exhibit: “Mark was always so excited about this. To me, it feels like, to not have him here would be too weird, so we involve him every single year and make sure he’s represented, because I would have asked him to be here, and he would have said yes.”