Take Root 15th edition 2/2
Part two of my Take Root #15 mini review, in which I will make good on my promise in the first part to reveal the act that blew me away and the rest of the bands that made this edition such a great festival.
From Sam Baker (see part 1 of the review) I headed to the Foyer again where Ethan Miller of Howlin Rain just took of his sweat-drenched jacket. Looking at the band and taking in the enthusiasm of the crowd it looked like the band was rocking and soon I was frontstage and got to see the band at work. Lots of energy, volume cranked way up and the band was fully in it. A great set from what I saw.
However once the doors to the main hall opened I ran in there as I had to get myself a good spot for the act of acts. The one gig that I wanted to see more than any other gig. In a near dark hall the Wovenhand built up a huge droning wall of noise. It was hypnotic, stunning… overpowering. A restless leadsinger David Eugene Edwards chanting into a beautiful vintage microphone and a stunned (or hypnotized) crowd. I first saw 16 Horsepower (the band from which Wovenhand was formed) in 2004. It was intense with David Eugene Edwards sitting on a stool as if in deep trance singing and fighting inner demons. The stool no longer on stage was a shock (it has been on every gig by either 16 Horsepower or Wovenhand I saw) but the immense heavy sound of the band, bordering on drone/metal was absolutely incredible (so you probably guessed by now: this is that band). The best I ever saw of them.
How was I going to have any kind of objective impression of any band after Wovenhand? Slipping back into the Kleine Zaal, I was unfortunate enough to only hear the last minute of Maggie Bjorklund so I really wasn’t ably to form any decent opinion of that. Only got to shoot a few photos, got myself seated and the band got op, thanked the audience and was off. I’ll have to go and see them next time.
On the Entreehal stage Jesca Hoop -backed up by a great band- was playing a very nice set. Wearing a stunning dress Jesca certainly stood out, but musically she also certainly stood her ground. Great songs drawing influences from jazz, blues and country.
Back to the Foyer I found that location filled from front to end for Reigning Sound. It sounded good, but I wasn’t able to see a lot of it as I wanted to get in the main hall in time. Next time…
The main hall was set for the last act of the evening -headlining the festival- Calexico. The venue was about completely full when the band got on stage and where Wovenhand was disconnected from the crowd, Calexico talked, showed to have a great time and had the crowd eating out of their hand in no time. Personally however it didn’t really win me over. Sounded great, don’t get me wrong, just not really my thing.
I dropped in on Richard Buckner in the Kleine Zaal and he too was just ending his set. But I got a bit more this time and rough as Richard may look, it sounded fantastic. A shame for him he was up against the crowd-favourite Calexico. He deserved a much bigger crowd.
While Calexico was still doing their thing in the main hall, the Entreehal stage was (for me) the place to end the festival with a fantastic performance by Awna Teixeira. A fantastic voice, great stories between the songs, playing guitar, mandolin, ukulele or harmonica and supported by Bart de Win on keys Awna -half of the popular Po’ Girl outfit- was a treat, the perfect ending to a near perfect festival.
Looking back at the photos, remembering the performances I really have to congratulate the organisation on having done a fantastic job once again.