Photos by Boston Concert Photography
For a handful of years, I’ve been lucky enough to spend the last weekend in July at The Fort for Newport Folk Festival, partaking in what many call the best weekend of the year.
Note: I still don’t say this openly around family, but for some reason I’m comfortable putting it on the internet.
I bring that up for good reason. If you spend a long weekend with Newport Folk, it takes a toll on you both physically and emotionally. It’s the best kind of exhaustion—but make no mistake—it is most certainly exhaustion. Once-in-a-lifetime moment after once-in-a-lifetime moment leaves your body completely void of enthusiasm and, in some ways, really suffering from the separation blues.
Normally, my post-fest routine involves a solid week of drying out and recuperating. But this year, with the wife and kids visiting family, I decided to try a different tack. I would hit a few shows in the week after Newport to try and transition slowly back into reality.
Thankfully, the music deities provided a few great opportunities for me to do so. The first was Rayland Baxter at Atwood’s and the second was Trampled By Turtles and Spirit Family Reunion at one of my favorite venues, the Columbus Theatre. Visual evidence of that amazing show, attached.
SFR opened up the show to an already crowded main theatre down in Providence, and by the time they’d finished their set of foot-stomping, big-lunged hollering, there wasn’t a dry brow in the place. The energy and the temperature were on the rise.
As with most Trampled By Turtles shows, the anticipation was palpable. As the lights dimmed and the music started you could feel that the audience was primed to blow the roof off the place. Thankfully, the roof remained intact, but the energy and enthusiasm certainly reached a pitch that night that I’ve yet to see in the main hall of the Columbus. As the band made their way through the set, they took us on an emotional rollercoaster similar to that of the previous weekend. And everyone in the house was on board for the full ride. It was worth every drop of sweat from beginning to end.
Did my little experiment work out? Well, all three of the acts I took in are Newport alum, so that certainly helped the separation blues.
As far as the physical exhaustion… that’s what Red Bull is for, right?