Sunday at Newport Folk 2016 in Photos | And So It Ends

Sunday at Newport Folk 2016 in Photos | And So It Ends

The last look back on Newport Folk is always the hardest to write because that is when the reality of it being over truly sinks in. Everyone involved lives off the festival vibes for weeks, sharing stories, posting photos, and writing reviews to keep the internet flush with memories of a weekend well spent.

The bands that took the various stages on Sunday were nothing short of spectacular. Sure most of us have seen these wonderful musicians in other venues across the country, even across the world, but when each and every one of them step out from behind the curtain that holds the Newport banner something special happens. Maybe it’s the significance of the day that hits them, overwhelming their heart and soul for an all too brief moment in time. Perhaps it’s the roar of the crowd in a setting where thousands have gathered before to watch artists, most of whom are now icons, cheer them on as they take their place in music history. Whatever the answer may be one thing is sure. That moment for the individuals who stepped to the mic, guitar in hand, would never be forgotten and it brought many to tears.

I could break down each performance we took in that Sunday. I could go on and on about how amazing it was to watch Ian Fitzgerald play a stunning set with Smith & Weeden, or how fucking happy Phil Cook looked playing alongside The Blind Boys of Alabama. I can spend some time telling you how Son Little poured his soul out during his time on that Harbor Stage, and how Christopher Paul Stelling (who last year poured his soul out on the very same stage and walked off an engaged man) showed up on the Museum Stage and shook the rafters with his voice and a lone guitar. Oh, and don’t get me started on Kyle Craft’s star making performance in the museum where he pretty much guaranteed himself a spot on the official roster for next year.

This write-up could wax poetic on how the set from Converse Rubber Track winner Sam Himself floored us all with that baritone voice of his ringing off the walls, and how Dublin musician Conor O’Brian, aka Villagers, created an intimate setting with strings and harmonies that captivated the packed Harbor Stage. On how the boys of Middle Brother kicked up our tired heels and reminded us all why Matthew Logan Vasquez, John J. McCauley, and Taylor Goldsmith are Newport regulars. The post could also try an explain what a joy it is to watch Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros bring even more energy and happiness to a crowd already filling to the brim with both.

This last look back post of the year is about all of that of course but it’s so much more than someone like me can truly comprehend. When you see musicians who aren’t on the roster for the year show up to to support their friends that are playing and then join them on stage, that is the beauty of Newport Folk Festival. When you see the smiles on your friend’s faces (or the tears on their cheeks) after a moving performance, that is the beauty of Newport Folk Festival. When you see festival organizer Jay Sweet standing behind the scenes, singing every word, with a look of utter amazement at what he is witnessing, that is the beauty of Newport Folk Festival.

All of us here at Music Savage truly want to thank everyone involved with pulling off yet another tremendous outing. Your hard work and tireless devotion to this festival makes for memories that will stay with thousands of people for years to come. Words alone can’t describe what covering these three days means to us, so here are some great photos from our very own Steve Benoit of Boston Concert Photography to help.

See you fine folks next year!