Grand Point North - Burlington, VT - Sept. 14/15

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    Grand Point North - Burlington, VT - Sept. 14/15

    Great festival up in the beautiful green of Vermont and right on the verdant bosom of Lake Champlain last weekend.  Beautiful setting, incredibly nice people, and outstanding music and fun.  The crowd reflected nearby UVM but also plenty of older hipsters and quite a few kids grooving on the grass.  Highlights:

    Grace Potter & The Nocturnals - it was their party, and they headlined both nights.  Nothing like a two-fer to really get to know a group, and I came away impressed.  Grace is a force to be reckoned with, and her band are all seasoned and highly capable.  I'll be interested to watch their career and if they achieve the breakout success they seem headed for.

    The Avett Brothers - I've been a fan for a while; They could have their own festival.  (Even Grace admitted that following them might have been a mistake.)  These guys are the real deal and obviously having a blast being out-there folk-rockers.  Plus, their cellist Joseph Kwan was out of his tree good.  Brilliant: the end of the night jam with Grace & Co. on "All You Need Is Love". 

    Galactic - New Orleans brass funk + spacey jams = mind blown.  Impossible to sit down during their set...absolutely infectious.  They have been playing together for a long time, and it shows.  AND, they had special guest Corey Glover (of Living Colour) on vocals, howling like the lake was on fire.  It was, kinda. :)

    Dr. Dog - Recent faves of mine and they didn't disappoint.  They carried the dominant theme of the weekend, which was: "forget what you hear on radio, this is what we REALLY sound like".  And they sounded goooood.  They have this twisted little psychedelic edge that's quite cool and right up my alley.   First show for me.

    Sam Roberts Band - Another indie fave of mine, they're more of a straight-ahead rock outfit with thoughtful lyrics and lots of good vibes.  More well known in Canada, perhaps, but well worth the time.  A killer sax player never hurts, either.  Another first.

    Carolina Chocolate Drops - Much better than the last time I saw them, they're also starting to grow on me.  Lots of soul in all the right places.

    Add in some great local Vermont talent (Waylon Speed!), which is part of the mission of the fest, and it was just an all around fun time.  Weekend tickets were very reasonable at $65 apiece, and even the concessions had a local flavor and didn't try to soak you.

    Not a big place, either, but it never felt crowded.  We were up front on the rail when we wanted to be or chilling on the lawn.  Bonus: both stages were right next to each other, so no more than 5-10 minutes in between acts...which is good when the lake wind is kicking up, and you need to get moving again...!!

    Already looking forward to next year!

     

     
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    Re: Grand Point North - Burlington, VT - Sept. 14/15

    Thanks for the writeup.   As you know, I have a thing about looking at lineups, and after looking at many, it's very refreshing to see how many artists / bands get a career jumpstart from festival appearances.   Not only that, since many festivals draw an overlap of repeats in the audience, it's a chance for those concert-goers (you) to watch a band mature and grow; and if it's the converse, and the band is not making progress, well, that's going to happen, too.    I noticed this esp. in the comment re: the Carolina Chocolate Drops.    They must seque well with the bands at the festivals where they appear.  They seem to be paying their dues, and whether they upgrade in terms of skills, musicianship, and ultimately popularity, time will tell.   As a side note, I think it's cute that the band has the "chocolate flavor" in their name,  since the festival was located at the home of Lake Champlain Chocolates.  :)     

    Surprised that the Avett Bros. "warmed up" for Grace Potter.   I saw that the Avetts have a new disc out, too, so they're mega busy.  Not a huge fan myself, but bet they're good live.    As mentioned as a side note elsewhere, there's been a slew of new albums lately from the mid-career and long-timers, many of which are at the top of the heap, garnering fan enthusiasm and loyalty.  (ie, DMB, The Pet Shop Boys, Bob Dylan ...)    

    Haven't had a "festival of the week" for a while (but I saw one just today ...), so thanks for filling the void.  

     
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    Re: Grand Point North - Burlington, VT - Sept. 14/15

    In response to MattyScornD's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Great festival up in the beautiful green of Vermont and right on the verdant bosom of Lake Champlain last weekend.  Beautiful setting, incredibly nice people, and outstanding music and fun.  The crowd reflected nearby UVM but also plenty of older hipsters and quite a few kids grooving on the grass.  Highlights:

    Grace Potter & The Nocturnals - it was their party, and they headlined both nights.  Nothing like a two-fer to really get to know a group, and I came away impressed.  Grace is a force to be reckoned with, and her band are all seasoned and highly capable.  I'll be interested to watch their career and if they achieve the breakout success they seem headed for.

    The Avett Brothers - I've been a fan for a while; They could have their own festival.  (Even Grace admitted that following them might have been a mistake.)  These guys are the real deal and obviously having a blast being out-there folk-rockers.  Plus, their cellist Joseph Kwan was out of his tree good.  Brilliant: the end of the night jam with Grace & Co. on "All You Need Is Love". 

    Galactic - New Orleans brass funk + spacey jams = mind blown.  Impossible to sit down during their set...absolutely infectious.  They have been playing together for a long time, and it shows.  AND, they had special guest Corey Glover (of Living Colour) on vocals, howling like the lake was on fire.  It was, kinda. :)

    Dr. Dog - Recent faves of mine and they didn't disappoint.  They carried the dominant theme of the weekend, which was: "forget what you hear on radio, this is what we REALLY sound like".  And they sounded goooood.  They have this twisted little psychedelic edge that's quite cool and right up my alley.   First show for me.

    Sam Roberts Band - Another indie fave of mine, they're more of a straight-ahead rock outfit with thoughtful lyrics and lots of good vibes.  More well known in Canada, perhaps, but well worth the time.  A killer sax player never hurts, either.  Another first.

    Carolina Chocolate Drops - Much better than the last time I saw them, they're also starting to grow on me.  Lots of soul in all the right places.

    Add in some great local Vermont talent (Waylon Speed!), which is part of the mission of the fest, and it was just an all around fun time.  Weekend tickets were very reasonable at $65 apiece, and even the concessions had a local flavor and didn't try to soak you.

    Not a big place, either, but it never felt crowded.  We were up front on the rail when we wanted to be or chilling on the lawn.  Bonus: both stages were right next to each other, so no more than 5-10 minutes in between acts...which is good when the lake wind is kicking up, and you need to get moving again...!!

    Already looking forward to next year!

     

     

    [/QUOTE]

    When I read this, I laughed because one of my neighbors went and said it was cold. Glad to hear it was a good show.  I was tempted to drive up on Saturday, but saw Florence and the Machine (excellent) Friday and it would have been a bit too much.  Looing forward to a review from you or Yoga on this weekend's festivities.

     
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    Re: Grand Point North - Burlington, VT - Sept. 14/15

    In response to yogafriend's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    As a side note, I think it's cute that the band has the "chocolate flavor" in their name,  since the festival was located at the home of Lake Champlain Chocolates.  :)     

     

    [/QUOTE]

    LCC was onsite, too...selling their Grace-inspired "Grace Under Fire" chocolate bars.  I had a taste, and they were yummy...dark chocolate with red pepper and pistachio.  Spicy and rich...just like her!

    Another shout-out to the folks at Skinny Pancake (which appears to be a racket in Burlington, because they're everywhere).  They, too, were one of the food vendors and were grilling up some very tasty crepes.

    Interesting aside...one of the smaller acts were Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers, who were new to me.  When I got home, I looked them up, and Nicki is married to Tim Bluhm, the founder of Mother Hips (and also a Grambler and studio owner), a long-running jam-type band from SF.  And coincidentally, I had first seen Mother Hips on the small stage at the HORDE tour in 1995, 17 years ago.

    I can only guess who of this lineup will still be kickin' it 17 years from now....

     

     

     
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    Re: Grand Point North - Burlington, VT - Sept. 14/15

     

    [/QUOTE]

    When I read this, I laughed because one of my neighbors went and said it was cold. Glad to hear it was a good show.  I was tempted to drive up on Saturday, but saw Florence and the Machine (excellent) Friday and it would have been a bit too much.  Looing forward to a review from you or Yoga on this weekend's festivities.

     

    [/QUOTE]

    It was a little chilly, but only if you didn't dress for it (lakeside VT in Sept...duh).  We actually camped out both nights, and we were fine.

    Good call about FATM.  They're high on my 'to see' list, as well...

     
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