What A Long Strange Trip...

I am back and showered from the Wakarusa Music Festival, held annually outside of Lawrence, KS. This was our second year going, and I really enjoy myself there for
several reasons.

One: The bands. In two days, we caught sets by Mates of State, Arrested Development, Pete Francis (of Dispatch), Blackalicious, The Flaming Lips, State Radio, Brett Dennen, the Old '97s, and Ben Folds. I have few complaints about any of them. Mates of State were so good that I went to the Bluebird to see them last night with two of my gal pals. Flaming Lips put on an unbelievably entertaining show. Wolverine entertained himself by committing to keeping balloons aloft. Hearing Arrested Development play "Everday" took me back to 8th grade. Brett Dennen made fun of really dirty hippies without them realizing it, solidifying his awesomeness.

Two: I'm nowhere near the dirtiest hippie there. Really, I've got nothing on most of these people. Which, if you can ignore the stench of patchouli (which I only smelled three or so times, exponentially less than the smell of vomit and weed) is awesome because it means you can wear whatever the hell you want and you will probably not be anything out of the ordinary. My hair, after not showering for a few days in the hot sun, looked like Felicia from Friday, but no worries. Slap on a bandanna and my hair still looks better than a balding man with shitlocks. I debated taking the plunge and buying a straight-up hippie dress (yeah, THOSE dresses in the window at Sunshine Daydream) but thought better. So serious, we saw dozens and dozens of people dressed exactly like our front-porch mannequin. See all those girls just walking around all day in bikinis? Yeah, well, at least they have a top, which is more than I can say for the lady with her boobies painted like fairy wings sitting behind us last night.

Three: Proximity to awesomeness. We had several encounters with musicians--Chris got his picture taken with my hair twin, Chad from State Radio, and we saw many artists checking out other sets. We were also able to stand fairly close if we wanted to, or set up chairs and chill at a reasonable distance.

Four: Wakarusa is the perfect size: big enough to attract big names, but small enough to minimize the hordes of assholes. I couldn't deal with a biggest festival. I'd have a panic attack but no one would know because I'd probably look just like numerous shroom-takers or other nutsos freaking out.

Five: The weather was really good, considering it was Kansas in June. They cancelled the shows on Thursday night and advised campers to leave the campgrounds because of a tornado warning, but Friday was all sunshine and high 70s. Saturday was hot, but really, really windy and partially cloudy, which mitigated the heat, although I got a crispy burn around my neck and face. I put on sunscreen, but since I got my face rocked off, it didn't work, I guess. We had a fat little camping set up, complete with cabana and sleeping tent, which kept us comfortable while we played dominoes and pontificated on the shows.

Six: People watching. Sweet Jesus, it's awesome. First of all, you've got to estimate that approximately 25% of all patrons of music festivals are downright weirdos. Easily. Couple that with the fact that 75% are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, and you're bound to see some awesomeness. One of my favorite things to watch is white guys dancing. Because they don't very often, in my realm of existence, and they do in mass numbers here. It is usually Advanced.

My favorite person I saw the whole weekend was a middle-aged dude in acid-washed jeans, a tye-dyed Chiefs t-shirt, and a fat mustache that made me ask, "Developmentally delayed, or just on meth?" No joke, this guy danced like a four-year-old girl in a field of puppies and unicorns. It was so great. I also like to watch People In Bands I Don't Know, who are wearing jeans, a turtleneck, and a stocking hat in June, in Kansas. Or Chicks With Bands I Don't Know, who wear stiletto heels. At a festival. Where it rained for the previous two days. Hey look! It's Guy Who Sells Polished Crystals! Over there! It's Girl Panhandling Money For A Ride Back To Maryland! (How the fuck did you get here?) Oh, snap, it's my nemesis: Dude With An Earth Tattoo Who Can't Be Bothered To Recycle His Pilfered High Life Can . I also saw several Dudes Carrying Around Skateboards, even though we're IN A FIELD SURROUNDED BY GRAVEL ROADS. Seriously, there's one main paved road, and cars and golf carts pretty much have the monopoly on that.

Seven (and this is really just for like, two people who read this. You know who you are.): Guess who I saw at Wakarusa and had to walk really fast in the other direction on the off chance that this person recognized me? Sterling Brown, AKA Big Sterl. Seriously, I almost called Hawaii to tell Missy that I saw her ex.

Anyway, here are some of the pictures from the festival. Chris took most of them.


Stephanie said...

Sterling Brown? Seriously? (Was I one of the two?)

Susan said...

Last time I saw Sterling he was ridin' a mower as a form of transportation.

Bob said...

Sterling Brown? You mean that guy hasn't died in a blaze of glory yet? Amazing!

Seriously, pure energy, that guy.

Jaelithe said...

That sounds like way more fun than I've had in a while.

I need to get out more.