Wednesday, June 06, 2007

ELFest, one more time

Wow. Whoa. Yikes. Thanks. Seriously, thanks. June 2 and June 3 will go down as two of the greatest days of my life, and it’s all thanks to you the musicians, you the fans. You the people in the blue house who smiled from your screened-in porch at a massive collection of musicians named after a sea mammal. You the people who huddled together in a muggy basement to watch Natural Monuments. You who had tarp water dumped on your head during Chris Bathgate’s set.

And thanks to you, Annie Moss, my lovely partner in blogging, the organized one, the “what-do-we-do-if-it-rains” one, and the only person who could’ve pulled this off.

It may come as no surprise that the Great Lakes Myth Society set was my favorite part of the weekend; it could earn this title based solely on the two terms that it has now lent to the festival-going parlance: “roof people” and “encore possum.” Between the stripped-down tunes and the crowd/band interaction, it was one of those blow-your-brain-through-the-back-of-your-head moments. Who thought you could bring an atmosphere of barroom camaraderie to a soggy backyard? The beer-swilling sing-alongs — and the shouting they inspired — drew the festival’s only noise complaints, but I wish the neighbors would have just come over, tipped back a PBR and joined the community.

Because that’s what this weekend was all about, a celebration of a community. A community so respectful, they’ll shut up for 45 minutes so the precipitation doesn’t drown out Chris Bathgate; so invested in music that they’ll shake to The Novel Citizen, even if they’d never heard of the band before they took the stage; so welcoming that they’d embrace a wannabe rock journalist and a fast-talking shutterbug who just wanted to give something back.

Good lord, this is schmaltzy — I’ve got more Mitch Albom in me than I’d like to admit. And that’s probably why I cried during “Heydays.” But I was feeling a little stirred-up when the Narwhale played “Night Lights,” and the water works started going again during the Canada set.

By now, most of you know I’m moving to Austin, Texas at the end of August, continuing my music criticism pursuits as well as my relationship with the greatest female to ever walk this planet. I like to think that there’s events like ELFest that happen down there, but I know there isn’t, because there’s one thing missing: the Michigan music community. This is a great time to love music in our state, and ELFest is but a tiny — though amazing — part of it.

Damnit, Erik, now I'm all choked up. He said everything perfectly. Thank you all for helping to create one of the most amazing weekends of my life. Thank you all for helping to support the music and community we have grown to love so dearly.

Erik, you are going to be missed. Thank you for being so passionate about music, thank you for BLOGGING, thank you for inspiring me, thank you for keeping me sane, thank you for being such an amazing friend.

So, who wants to play ELFest 2008? =)


Blogger Brandon said...

I love you guys. I miss Michigan in summer.

9:55 AM  
Blogger Zachy said...


9:56 AM  
Anonymous katie canavan said...

Yay! Love!

Also, I will totally play. A solo set.

Also.... Austin correspondant?!!?

your Chicago correspondant

10:29 AM  
Blogger Kyle said...

you two are almost as cute as This Is Deer Country in that picture!

thanks for being so great to us. i doubt the Narwhale would be anywhere without the support of you guys (and brandon).

11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that made me a little teary. congrats again, guys. i love you both and i don't think anyway would pass down doing this again next year.


erin ;)

9:42 PM  
Blogger Mike English said...

I wish it could be ELFest all the time.

9:39 PM  

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