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From Beach Road Weekend: Friday Sound Bites

By Courtesy Margo A. Silliman
By Margo A. Silliman, Crimson Staff Writer

CAAMP

Indie band, Caamp, performed a lively set, bringing energy and crowds to a gloomy first day of Beach Road Weekend. Down to the rainbow strap on lead singer Taylor Meier’s guitar, the band exuded brightness, making up for the clouds and rain. The weather didn’t stop fans from enjoying tracks like “Books” or “All My Lonesome.” Meier can only be described as bouncy — spinning around while playing the guitar, shaking a tambourine, or swaying incessantly to the rhythm while smoking a cigarette while performing “On & On & On.” His spirit was infectious to the crowd where fans of all ages could be seen jamming out. Caamp alternated between soft indie and bursts of folk-rock, their sound foreshadowing the bands to come.

The Head and the Heart

The Head and the Heart is the archetype of a folk festival band, from the large array of instruments to the rotating cast of frontmen. While lead vocalist Jonathan Russell explained he was feeling under the weather, the raspiness in his voice worked with The Head and the Heart’s acoustic sound and amplified the camaraderie in the crowd as Russell asked them to sing along during a particularly difficult verse. Matt Gervais, backup vocalist and occasional guitarist, performed with enough energy for the whole band; he danced as if he was their biggest fan and daringly jumped into the crowd, taking every chance to interact with the audience. And what can’t Charity Rose Thielen do? She rocked out on the violin, guitar, and keyboard, while simultaneously singing duets and back-up vocals. When it came to their most anticipated jam, “Rivers and Roads,” the band’s performance showed the full extent of what they could do live. Their soaring vocals were louder and those beats hit harder than in the typical recorded version while the audience cheered as Thielen belted the final lines of her solo, “Rivers ’til I reach you.”

Patti Smith and Her Band

Patti Smith and Her Band performed with the same strength and spiritualism that characterized the 1970s, the decade during which she first rose to fame. While Smith — now well into her ‘70s — didn’t have much dancing going on, she made sure to keep up the energy in the audience in other ways, talking about nature and her songs in a way that highlighted her experience as both a poet and songwriter. She paused to thank mother nature and encouraged the crowd to feel their own power between songs. She dedicated “Because the Night,” a track she co-wrote with Bruce Springsteen, to her late husband Fred Smith who she refers to as “still her boyfriend” despite his passing. She also dedicated “Waiting Underground” to her late friend Allen Ginsberg, a poet and activist. With peace being at the forefront of her agenda, Smith’s performance both transported and uplifted her fans.

—Staff writer Margo A. Silliman can be reached at Margo Silliman at margo.silliman@thecrimson.com

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