A Little More Personal

Hey, ya'll -- here's how I've spent my weekend.

I traveled back to UpState New York via a very very long bus ride to my dear old college town (which is about an hour and a half's drive southeast from my actual hometown) to attend an annual year-end concert that my college helps throw with all of my college friends. It was a last hurrah of sorts, as it'll be the last time I see any of them before I officially graduate from college in less than three weeks.

Gah, it's so scary to write that!

This concert is dubbed "OH FEST", and is a collaboration between the two colleges that are housed in this particularly sleepy rural town in UpState New York. This is the first time I returned upstate since I first officially "moved" to Manhattan back in January, and I finally understood the mixed feelings of all of the Long Islanders and New Yorkers who came to my college and just how middle of nowhere it kind of is. I don't think you really appreciate something until you don't see it every day, and I think I took its simplicity for granted. I surprised myself by how New York City I have become. I actually found myself missing the crowds, and the skyscrapers. I guess NYC really is the life for me...

Anyway, to explain OH Fest's significance, it was originally thought up during my freshman year of college as a means to generate funds for our sleepy little college town and foster more positive community. So every year we have this all-day festival, which includes a street fair down the length of Main Street with various fair foods, ice cream, kiddie rides, a Battle of the Bands contest, and special sales at the resturants that dot the street. Then, around 6, everyone heads down to the nearby field and there is a major concert.

During the first OH Fest, back in 2006, the bands featured were and Blues Traveler and Rupert Randolf and the Family Band. Yeah, I know. But we didn't have a ton of money, so you make do with what you have. The second year, we had Emerson Drive and Everclear. Last year was Black Violin, Almost Queen and Head Automatica. It was arguably the best Oh Fest in terms of bands. Almost Queen is a Queen cover band (with quite possibly, the best cover band name ever) -- and I know that sounds like it would be lame, but it was actually incredible. It's the closest I'll ever come to seeing Queen live, and they really looked and sounded like Queen. And just as "Bohemian Rhapsody" was cued up, the skies overhead opened up and it downpoured. So me and all of my closest college friends rocked out to BR in the rain. It just doesn't get more rock and roll than that. At least not where I went to school.

This year, we featured four bands (to fit in with the fact that it was the fourth festival, fourth year). The show opened with Seperate Ways, a Journey cover band -- which we hoped would capture how amazing Almost Queen was last year. Sadly, they were supremely lacking. Their Steve Perry's wig was downright awful, and he was wearing an outfit that attempted to mimic Sir Steve's from the "Don't Stop Believin'" video, although it was clearly bought at Forever 21. And they didn't even do "Wheel in the Sky". Lame.

Next was Razhel, a beatboxer formerly of the legendary Roots Crew (who I've now seen twice via the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon show!). After a few minutes, we could clearly see why is no longer with the Roots, as he was not exciting as we hoped. Most of the songs he performed were rap songs from about three years ago, and then he broke out random impressions from Lord of the Rings and Transformers. Strange.

Then was rock/pop band The Ataris. I don't know much about them other than their cover of "Boys of the Summer", which they of course played last. I can't really knock them -- they sounded good live, and the one song I knew sounds much better live than the studio cut. And I'm pretty sure they changed the lyrics to the bridge to: "I saw an *NSYNC sticker on a Cadillac." And it made me kind of happy.

The finale was Eve 6. I knew three of their songs, which was a big improvemement from just about every other original band that played OH Fest ("Here's To the Night", "Inside Out", "Think Twice.") They sounded pretty good live, and the lead singer, who spoke in between songs was histarically random. ("This song was NOT written by a pirate." "This song is about grocery shopping." "We're not playing that song but we'll play its equivilant.") When they did play "Here's to the Night", which was toward the end, my friends and I all hugged and swayed -- it was particularly pertinent for us as was often used as a "graduation song" when it first came out.

As always, the concerts at OH Fest are always a mixed back, but it was still quite a bit of fun to hang out with my friends, most of which I hadn't seen since December or January.

I have just one more week at my internship, then it's on to attempt to find a real job and apartment. Wish me luck. I'll continue to post as much as I can. Toward the end of the week, expect a special post with the link to a special playlist of songs featuring artists from the label I interned at so you can all indulge with me in my accomplishment. :)

1 comment

Paul said...

oh gosh i used to love eve 6. I had two albums of theirs but wasn't sure what happened to them afterwards. Oh Fest sounds like the type of thing Rusted Root would've played at (that's a compliment!)

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