So … did you see us? Did you see some guy with a weird hat and an un-needed blazer with a Frederick Playlist T-shirt underneath introduce some bands? Did you come say hi? Did we give you a beer koozie? Did you laugh? Did you cry? Did you … have an umbrella?
In The Street came and went this weekend, and we would be remiss if we didn’t bring it up. Bouncing around from stage to stage, making new friends while catching up with old ones, it was a hell of an afternoon (and a hell of an exhausting afternoon, but that’s neither here nor there). Because Five Things is pretty much our move these days, here’s what we learned:
1. Holy cow, Market Street is long. Like. Holy. Cow. Market. Street. Is. Long. When you have to introduce Mayweather at the Carroll Creek Amphitheater at 3:15 and somehow make it over to the Going Green Block Beer & Wine Garden next to Olde Towne Tavern to introduce The Jug Band at 3:30 … yikes. Making things harder was the revelation that Frederick is a town filled with slow-walkers. Which is fine and all, if you don’t need to sprint 4,921 blocks in 10 minutes. But we digress. In fact, we still even had some energy left in us to head over to the fairgrounds for this.
2. Have you checked out our YouTube page recently? We have a gaggle of videos up from this weekend (thanks to Ms. Rachel S. Karas) and they are most certainly worth your time. Among the artists featured are Mayweather, The Jug Band, The Frederick Catoctones, Higher Hands (above, and more on them in a second), and Jeremy McComb. If nothing else, you can check out how rainy everything was. Yet feat not, because … .
3. … The rain eventually subsided and we got to see for the first time precisely how popular In The Street is. Sure, it wasn’t until after we were soaking wet due to the running and the rain, but even so: There’s no denying how affecting this thing continues to be when it comes to this fine city of Frederick, Maryland. Once the sun was out, the crowd doubled (if not tripled) and everybody – everybody – appeared to be having a pretty great time. If you weren’t there, you missed out.
4. While it was great to see some familiar faces – any day you run into Mark from Old Indian, Matt and E.J. from The Knolly Moles and the dudes in Twin Radio is a good day – we left the event oozing with admiration for a few of the bands we caught for the first time. First was the de facto farewell-from-Frederick show that Carousel Rogues offered up to kick off the festivities. Having never met or listened to them before, it sure was sad to hear that they are on their way to Nashville now. Lovely, lovely people. Then, there was The Jug Band, who is hands-down the funniest band Frederick has (especially the bass player, who didn’t not remind us of Bill Murray in some weird way). Eclipsing everybody else, though, was our introduction to Annapolis’ Higher Hands, who sit right up top with Brooks Long & The Mad Dog No Good among our favorite local-ish bands. Oh, boy, are they good. Oh, boy, are they good. So good, in fact, that some of us even offered to help the drummer out when his kick-drum beater went ka-put during the band’s opening song. We left believing this, wholeheartedly: If we see the name Higher Hands on a marquee, we’re there.
5. Now, what’s a great festival if you can’t cap it off with a solid night of entertainment (sans a Brantley Gilbert concert, of course)? Nothing, we say! Nothing! That’s why we dipped over to Cafe Nola Saturday night to check out Seaknuckle for the first time, and wow, were they impressive. Checking out a Seaknuckle show is sort of like getting punched in the face for an hour-and-a-half and it is amazing. Better yet was the company – it’s always a good night when you can talk drums with Chris from Heavy Lights and watch his singer Ryan bop from person to person, being the charming devil that he is. The only mishap? We weren’t able to make it in time to check out Blind Man Leading. There’s always another night, though, friends. There’s always another night.