Monday, September 24, 2012

Animal Collective/Flying Lotus - LA Weekly

Animal Collective & Flying Lotus
Hollywood Bowl
Better than... shrooming while watching the Emmys.

The Hollywood Bowl is not the venue for working out new shit, that is if you don't count Herbie Hancock's unfortunate ode to peace last month. Barry Manilow did not show up on the Fourth of July looking to test out new material. Anita Baker hit quick and frequent with her radio jams. Nonetheless, last night's bill at Hollywood Bowl's World Festival dealt largely in the unfamiliar, for better and worse.

The night opened with Huun Huur Tu, a Siberian throat singing quartet that would make any man with an Ethnomusicology degree feel socially relevant (Class of 2003!). The group dug deep into the overtone hums of the genre, creating an amazing blend of low and high that is unlike any other genre. Their traditional set was weirdly divided by producer Carmen Rizzo, who provided electronic, sand-swept sounds, reminiscent of a Sting album. Thankfully Rizzo was only up briefly before allowing the quartet to close out their set with an archaic precursor to the electronic sounds: drones, overtones and swagger.

Timothy Norris

Hometown hero Flying Lotus surfaced shortly thereafter. Has any performer on the Hollywood Bowl stage tried so hard to be anonymous? Lotus presented a set of mostly new material from behind a projection screen, rarely saying anything throughout his set. Granted that projection screen, run by the incomparable Strangeloop, was immensely engaging: Swirling around a table-bound Lotus, the projections took on the power of an Iron Man suit, taking his otherwise stationary body through a maze of effects. A cage was built around him, shit got 3-D for a minute, and it otherwise resembled the best laser light show you've ever seen.

The bass-rattling sounds he was generating, meanwhile, were from another world. There were very few samples that could be effectively Shazamed; bleeps and bloops fuzzed through the bowels of the crowd as a steady bass kept the beat but it all emanated from his two hands, whether through laptop, sampler or whatever else lay before him. Nonetheless, the combination of sights and sounds had most of the crowd pretty satisfied and it wasn't even 8:30.

"Where my grandma at?" he asked at one point. When he dug into a sample of the Beastie Boys' "Intergalactic" that the crowd rose to their feet; they also recognized "Mercy," but it was his new songs from his upcoming album Until the Quiet Comes -- look for our feature profile of him in the Weekly next week -- that really had folks shitting their pantaloons.

Animal Collective, surrounded by a stage that resembled teeth or toes (depending upon the lighting), situated themselves behind their instruments and mostly stayed there. Unlike Flying Lotus, a light show wasn't enough to carry the quartet and for much of the set, the audience sat awaiting something resembling a hit. Animal Collective worked through largely new material. As they pummeled through their industrial dance, the half-shell's lights flickered like a lysergic Looney Tunes opening while two energetic folks down front attempted to land a psychedelic plane with their glowing swords.

It wasn't until about 45 minutes into the set that the audience sprung alive, cheering for popular tracks that included "Brothersport," "Peacebone" and "My Girls." The band closed strong, giving the ravers and the sufficiently stoned something to dance for. Even vocalist Avery Tare sidled out from behind his keyboard for the fist-pumping "Peacebone" to give a throaty shout.

It was a daring bill for the Hollywood Bowl that seemed to divide more than it united. Flying Lotus on stage at the Hollywood Bowl was a major triumph for the L.A. electronic scene while Animal Collective seemed fairly unfazed by the enormity of the gig. Huun Huur Tu set just the right chord in their appreciation and unwillingness to compromise with the audience. Who knew?

Animal Collective/Flying Lotus @ LA Weekly

Friday, September 21, 2012

Cabeza de Vaca Orchestra - LA Weekly

Cabeza de Vaca Orchestra presents Sunrise 
Downtown Independent

Jimi Cabeza de Vaca (yes, that is his real name) got his start playing keyboards over ten years ago with South Bay indie rockers dios. His ethereal keyboard contributions pushed the band to the brink of stardom, opening for acts like Grandaddy and Morrisey. Since then, Cabeza de Vaca has immersed himself in the desert-swept weird of Cal Arts, emerging as a preeminent instrumental voice in the world of panic-attack inducing sound collages. Last night, Cabeza de Vaca introduced a sound closer to his rocker days, offering a live score to the 1927 F.W. Muranua classic Sunrise that was both intense and melodic.

Why Sunrise? Cabeza de Vaca's response is unexpectedly romantic. "After watching and researching silent films, I've found that Murnau makes a beautiful film. Faust is really great and we had done that a bunch of times but Sunrise is just a beautiful movie. It's got a lot of magic moments. I wanted to do a love story. Something that isn't so in-your-face."

The film opened with a stirring, single guitar line that hovered between Neil Young's swampy noodling for the Dead Man soundtrack and a strange almost Mediterranean-indebted acoustic vibe. The nine-piece band, which featured three guitarists (Cabeza de Vaca, Josh Gerowitz and Dani Tull), provided an ambient swell that matched Murnau's moody and fog-ridden landscape. All the while, upright bassist Brendan Carn held down a free-jazz wandering that buzzed like a hive of bees while electric bassist Scott Bassman drew a more Serge Gainsbourg vibe, jumping through high register riffs as the rest of the orchestra huddled in drone.

Peppered throughout the more soaring moments of the film in a sort of repeating chorus were the vocals of Nora Keyes. Keyes, who has been one of the most consistent performers with the Orchestra (she and Cabeza de Vaca will be opening for Lavender Diamond on Monday under the name Ssevenss.) added a ghostly quality to prepared tunes that she had written. Her high, quavering voice echoed Nico in the midst of Cabeza de Vaca's Velvet Underground-churn. Keyes' opportunities burst with a harmony and clear melodic purpose that was less prominent in Cabeza de Vaca's previous outings.

The orchestra then built to a fifteen-minute turmoil under the weight of Rich Polysorbate's clattering drums, providing ample room for him to smash his makeshift kit. The orchestra provided a relentless drone that was a strangely poetic match to the onscreen images of a loose pig and a reconciling hero and heroine.

It is not easy playing for an uninterrupted hour and half and this is the most fully-formed performance from Cabeza de Vaca's roving gang of musicians yet. He has assembled an elastic ensemble that flows naturally through each relevant emotion and they have formed a cohesive sound that works whether supporting the romance or horror of silent film. With each new film added to his repertoire, Cabeza de Vaca digs deeper into a realm of obscurity yet manages to re-surface with a more honed and engaging cinematic experience.

Personal Bias: I've been hearing the Cabeza de Vaca Orchestra since it was the Cabeza de Vaca Arcestra. I prefer the old name.

The Crowd: Extremely quiet beards.

Random Notebook Dump: The Downtown Independent is a gem on a strange strip of Main Street. Their adventurous programming and booze license make them a prime date spot in a once-thriving theatrical neighborhood.

Cabeza de Vaca Orchestra @ LA Weekly

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Best Jazz Concerts (September) - LA Weekly

Fridays, September 7th, 14th, 21st
JazzPop w/ Mark Dessen, Vinny Golia, Aram Shelton
Hammer Museum
The Hammer Museum likes to sneak in great jazz performances with little fanfare, don't they? This is Bay Area bassist Lisa Mezzacappa's seventh year curating the JazzPop series, moving it one month later than the usual sweltering August run. I'm not sure where the "pop" part comes in, but Mark Dessen, Vinny Golia and Aram Shelton will bring three boundary-pushing sets to Westwood's boxy, stone palace. This is a great free series for an expanding scene and a challenging start to your weekend. What better way to follow up happy hour?

Sat, Sept 8
Billy Childs Trio
Local pianist Billy Childs' compositions swing just as hard as his performances. Lately his chamber works have taken him to Disney Concert Hall and abroad but for this show at Vitello's, Childs will be working in a straight-ahead trio alongside indispensable locals John Clayton on bass and Jeff Hamilton on drums. It is a rare treat to get the 10-time Grammy nominee in the company of such a great rhythm section.

Wed, Sept 12
Charles Owens Quartet
The Lighthouse Cafe
Charles Owens, omnipresent educator and honking tenor saxophonist, seems to pop up anywhere there is a bandstand. For this show he'll be hanging out by the beach backed by an organ trio that includes guitarist Steve Cotter, organist Mikal Najeed and drummer Don Littleton. Owens will no doubt dig into the soul-jazz bag and put on a little strut for the flip-flop crowd.

Fri - Sun, Sept 13-15
Christian Scott Group
Blue Whale
Young New Orleans-based trumpeter Christian Scott has a natty style, both on record and in person. His recent double-album, Christian aTunde Adjuah, is a sprawling announcement that incorporates everything that came before, during and after the sound of New Orleans. He is an adventurous young trumpeter with a lot to say; hence the unprecedented three-day stint at the Blue Whale.

Sat, Sept 22
Gregory Porter
The Mint
Los Angeles-born, bearded vocalist Gregory Porter is a unique voice on the scene. His gentle approach can make the ladies swoon and the Mint is probably the best venue for an intimate experience with a crooner with his level of unrepentant soul. His most recent release, Be Good, is full of charm and originality, pulsating with '50s jazz cat vibes but firmly rooted in a 21st century mindset.

Sat and Sun Sept 29 and 30
Watts Towers Day of the Drum and Jazz Festival
Watts Towers
Located next to the stunning Watts Towers is the Charles Mingus Youth Center. The volatile bassist was nurtured in Watts, as were a lot of notable jazzmen like Buddy Collette, Eric Dolphy and Big Jay McNeely. So it is fitting that the Watts Towers jazz festival has been successfully running for over 30 years. The free, two-day event will include jazzbos like drummer Ndugu Chancler, keyboardists Patrice Rushen and Mitch Forman, and trumpeter Bobby Rodriguez. It's a great annual tradition and an excellent excuse to go stare at the majesty of the Watts Towers.

Best Jazz @ LA Weekly

Wallace Roney review - NYC Jazz Record

Trumpeter Wallace Roney offers an album of pulsating
solo work and diverse moods with help from his
younger saxophone-playing brother Antoine. Along
with bassist Rashaan Carter, four drummers and three
keyboardists round out the rhythm section, trading
spots over the course of eight tracks. Each has their
own feel with a Fender Rhodes and an organ setting
the mood amid straightahead piano sounds but the
transition between tracks is fairly smooth.

The album opens with Wayne Shorter’s “Utopia”.
Although never recorded by him, it has the
unmistakable horn harmonies of mid ‘60s Blue Note,
with the Roney brothers staying in tight formation
over the head before they both offer up twisting solos
over drummer Kush Abadey’s slinky cymbal. The band
plugs in for “Pacific Express” with Aruan Ortiz
sneaking through the rhythm section with a clavinetlike
keyboard sound. The album makes a stylistic leap
forward with “Plaza Real”, giving George Burton a
track over which to float his oscillating keyboards.
Antoine dominates the melody before Wallace steps in
with a rapid-fire solo on the 10-minute track, Antoine
following quickly behind. Drummer Darryl Green
provides much of the momentum.

Organist Doug Carn joins the band for “Dawn”,
implying a soul-jazz feel until the band gets going with
Wallace’s sputtering trumpet over Carn’s clustered
comping. “Evolution of the Blues” opens with a
triumphant Charlie Parker reference before Wallace
tears into the form with help from Abadey. Antoine
muscles up on tenor to deliver a breathless honk.
“Ghost of Yesterday” features Wallace in muted
retrospection. Veteran Boston drummer Bobby Ward’s
brushes flutter behind Ortiz’ spacious piano creating a
soft palette over which the brothers stretch out. The
album closes with a solo drum performance by Ward
whose snare trembles over three rollicking minutes.

Wallace Roney @ NYC Jazz Record

Dave Douglas Twofer - NYC Jazz Record

Trumpeter Dave Douglas has released over 35 records
under his own name in the last 20 years. Greenleaf
Music, Douglas’ own label, has been a home to his
recordings since 2005, including the overwhelming
recordings of every note played during a six-night run
at the Jazz Standard in 2006. Here the label has dug
into Douglas’ back catalogue, releasing two albums
originally on Arabesque, recorded in 1997 and 1998.

Both sets feature the same tight quartet - Chris
Potter (saxophone), James Genus (bass) and Ben
Perowsky (drums) - with the 2-hour, 20-track collection
entirely composed by Douglas. These two recordings
are a fitting pair, highlighting the state of Douglas’
pursuits in such a brief timespan despite three other
albums being released in between.

“I was trying to see how much harmony I could
get into the game with just three notes,” states Douglas
in the liner notes. How much is a funny question. A lot
isn’t quite an answer to it. Three melodic voices can
just about make three harmonic relations but which
and when is where Douglas makes it his own.

Magic Triangle, which came out in 1997, was
Douglas’ 11th album and opens with “Everyman”, a
playful tune that has Douglas and Potter sharing the
same breaths, almost finishing each other’s sentence, a
trait that lasts throughout the recordings. “Padded
Cell” gives Perowsky more room to splatter across his
cymbals, taking things to the outer reaches of the
record. “Kisangani” puts a mute in Douglas’ horn for a
dirge-like spell aided by long saxophone tones and
sputtering kit. The album closes with “The Ghost”; far
from a wandering spirit, the track is a hard-hitting
launching point for the entire band including a nice
propulsive jaunt between Genus and Perowsky.

Leap of Faith, Douglas’ 15th album, followed his
major label release on RCA, Soul on Soul. The band
picks up right where they left off, a little more
aggressive and quickly digging into opening track
“Caterwaul” with more disjointed harmony while the
title track is a furious clatter that features Perowsky
fighting a swarm of bees behind his kit as Douglas
provides a merciless solo. The fairly straightforward
“Mistaken Identity” finds Douglas at his most gilded,
twittering over Potter’s engaging counterpoint. The
album closes with the goofily titled “Euro Disney”,
which offers up the classic Miles Davis “Theme”
ending, a fitting closure to an album that embraces
much of the bop crowd’s tight harmonic intimacy but
takes it into a future of driving drums and greater
harmonic freedom.

Dave Douglas @ NYC Jazz Record

Joy Road: Pepper Adams - NYC Jazz Record

Park Adams III already had a pretty great stage
name set in place two generations before his birth.
Pepper works too though. The baritone saxophonist’s
great career has been thankfully getting the attention
it deserves in the last few years. Adams passed away
in 1986, less than a month shy of his 56th birthday
but during that brief life, he managed to be a part of
every major jazz scene of his time, working with the
Detroit scene of the ‘50s, with Mingus in the early
‘60s, the birth of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis big band,
even the Lighthouse All Stars out on the West Coast.
He was in-demand until his passing, managing to
lug his baritone to over 600 sessions.

Motéma Records with producer Gary Carner
has compiled a five-volume tribute to Adams’ underrecognized
talent as a composer. The recordings
were done mostly in the 25th anniversary of Adams’
passing, covering all 43 of his tunes with bands led
by pianists Jeremy Kahn and Kevin Bales, baritone
saxophonist Frank Basile and vocalist Alexis Cole.

Volume 1 features a piano trio led by Kahn.
They open with “Muezzin”, giving bassist Rob
Amster and drummer George Fludas ample space to
stretch out. The trio works gently and swinging with
Adams’ compositions: “Etude Diabloque” and
“Bossa Nouveau” finds the trio sprinting while “I
Carry Your Heart” gives Kahn plenty of room to roll
up and down the keyboard. “Doctor Deep” gets the
most joyful pummeling with Kahn digging into the
quartal bag.

Volume 2 features Bales in a straightahead
quartet amped by guitarist Barry Greene. The latter
blasts off early, strutting over “Cindy’s Tune” but
Bales is no slouch keeping up the pace, trembling on
the low-end with precision. The band maintains the
high energy throughout their set with a bouncing
“Mary’s Blues” and the high harmonies of
“Apothegm”, slowing down only for the graceful
“Lovers of the Their Time”.

Volume 3 finally brings some horns with Basile’s
baritone-driven sextet. Trumpeter Joe Magnarelli
and trombonist John Mosca bring a rich, bellowing
frontline to the band. The bombastic “What Is It”
tests the limits of the hornmen’s embouchure while
“Joy Road” has an effervescent swing that provides
a nice platform for Mosca’s breathless rip. They close
out their disc with a striding ballad, imbuing “Urban
Dreams” with a sound as ethereal as the title.

Volume 4 brings back the Kahn trio with a boost
from baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan. He is in
top form, providing rapid-fire Adams-like lines
throughout the set. The lengthy “Patrice” and
“Hellure” gets swinging turns from Smulyan and
Kahn before trading popping phrases with drummer
George Fludas. The Strayhorn-esque “Julian” slows
the pulse while “Jirge” is a playful, labyrinthine
performance by the two leads.

Volume 5 is the most curious. Here lyrics have
been set to Adams’ tunes by poet Barry Wallenstein.
It’s always a delicate task of adding lyrics to a tune
long after the composer has passed. The group plays
it safe by sticking to the ballad repertoire. Vocalist
Alexis Cole gives very pure, straightforward
readings of the tunes, handling Wallenstein’s puzzles
with ease. Despite the addition of a vocalist, the
band still manages to stretch out on the tunes, with
the aforementioned “Julian” more upbeat and
building to nearly 11 minutes with help from the
horn crew. The set closes with an elegant duet
between Kahn and Cole on “I Carry Your Heart”.

The result of these five volumes is an
unbelievably thorough tribute to a saxophone
master. Clocking in at over five hours the box can get
a little overwhelming but it is for a worthy pursuit,
bringing a legend to the spotlight. It might be a
strange place to start for someone unfamiliar with
Adams’ work but its mere existence will do a lot to
increase awareness of the overlooked baritone saxist.

Joy Road @ NYC Jazz Record

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

FYF Fest: Day Two - Pure Volume

David Cross gets dirty. Literally (Photo: Beth Stirnaman)
Lessons learned before day two of FYF: Bring a bandana if you don’t enjoy the taste of dust, sunscreen is your friend, bringing extra Claritin can win you friends. Those three precautions towards the elements got me a long way. Day two was just as hot as day one, hovering in the low 90s but with a gentle breeze, heightened by the neighboring hills.

Los Angeles’ own retro-rocker Nick Waterhouse had an early afternoon set amid the Main Street Stage’s shade-less sprawl. His eight piece band worked through a collection of naugahyde blues, driven by Waterhouse’s crisp guitar solos and two saxophonists. Unbelievably, his band would not be the last to use a baritone saxophone on that stage.

King Khan, naked but for underwear and a cape, hit later in the afternoon with his raucous troupe. His band featured a three horn section (yep, a baritone, too!) but they were largely drowned out by the heavy beats and slashing guitar of his muscly band. Khan was both Sam and Dave, working up a soulful show that never let up for a minute.

Earlier, the lanky Father John Misty trucked out his band of rockers. They offered a pleasant straight-forward rock set that was rather hard to find on the festival grounds. They even managed to smuggle in an acoustic guitar for a few twangy gems. The only other place I saw an acoustic guitar was at the comedy tent.

Garfunkel and Oates, the charming musical comedy duo, gave a brief but raunchy, ukulele-driven routine that managed to incorporate Jonas Salk and virginity loopholes. David Cross closed out the comedy tent with an extended and intimate rant about colonics. His arrival on the stage was perfectly timed to the exploding sounds of Ceremony at the neighboring Spring Street Stage. Cross and the capacity tent had trouble communicating with many people towards the back, losing punchlines to the barrage of sound emanating from next door.

Bone-crushing sound was the special of the day on the Spring Street Stage. A little later in the afternoon Lightning Bolt, a noise rock duo from the Ocean State, blasted into the stratosphere with a jarring attack. Drummer and vocalist Brian Chippendale had on a demented clown mask with a headset so he could sing while destroying his drum kit that sounded mostly like it was underwater. He rounded out that menacing approach with a pair of shorts which seemed to lessen the impact of the mask.

The true limits of the sound systems, however, were done on the Main Street Stage. Floridian punk rockers Against Me! mightily thrashed the sound-board but it was nothing compared to what followed.

Dinosaur Jr., 90s alt-rockers, unleashed a relentless assault of riffs and the loudest electric bass I’ve ever heard. The Marshall stacks behind them trembled under the expectation. Midway through the set, despite having just leapt through 1994’s “Feel the Pain,” bassist Lou Barlow announced the need to slow things down. “We can’t take ‘em as fast as we used to.” The band then proceeded to play twice as fast as they had just played. If they had played twice as loud, planes would have fallen out of the sky. It was an amazing display of power that few bands were able to rival.

The Conor Oberst-led Desaparecidos did their best to keep the crunch going, adding another guitar and a post sunset light show to Dinosaur Jr’s charred landscape. They may not have convinced all the dads to stick around but a cover of the Clash’s “Spanish Bombs” was a nice olive branch.

Meanwhile, the moody Paul Banks summoned many Interpol ghosts with his performance. With a steady stream of flashing lights and a dour-looking band dressed all in black, the group worked through only their second gig as a unit. Banks sour drone hung somewhere between Michael Stipe and David Bowie while the tom-toms pounded menacingly behind him.

The second day made a little more headway in appeasing the rock crowd but the lack of diversity in the line-up could have been hammered out a little harder. The open-minded crowd seemed perfectly willing to check out whatever was thrown their way.

Nevertheless, the crowd was peaceful, the staff was peaceful, the barre chords were loud and thankfully, we have a full day to recover before returning to reality.

FYF: Day Two @ Pure Volume

FYF Fest: Day One - Pure Volume

Redd Kross' Steven McDonald brings the rock (Photo: Beth Stirnaman)

Is there a better venue to host over one hundred different performers and thousands of enthusiastic kids than the LA State Historic Park in downtown Los Angeles? The 32-acre park, which was literally a cornfield a few years ago, is a block from LA’s metro (yes, they do have one) and has enough space to support four massive stages, a dozen food trucks, a mall of vendors and even a small set of midway games. Most importantly, with temperatures reaching into the low 90s, the park provided enough shade for rosy attendees to hide-out before catching another act.

California punk rockers Redd Kross had an early afternoon set full of essential stagecraft (one foot on the PA, long flowing hair, high kicks), digging into a lot of material off of their newest album, Researching the Blues, warning all those pogo-ers in downtown that they “better stay away from downtown.” Clearly, it was a little late for that message.

In keeping with the throwback theme, the Glaswegian rock band the Vaselines enjoyed a bit of the limelight. They worked through a handful classics before a surly crowd, giving back as much as they got. “I’ll have to spank you later,” scolded guitarist/vocalist Frances McKee to a rowdy crowd member. “And then I’m gonna shit on you.” The three guitar lineup got the crowd moving, putting a bit of a twang to “Jesus Don’t Want Me For a Sunbeam.” The Vaselines were in fine form, doling out abuse to each other and the audience while keeping the beat heavy and the wall of guitars churning.

The comedy tent, which unfortunately wrapped up in the mid-afternoon, offered a handful of challenging comedians. Podcast godfather Marc Maron launched a set touching upon everything from mouth cancer to Hasidic jews while battling neighboring performers King Tuff for sound space. “What are they called?” asked Maron. “Oh, they’ll never make it.”

A few hours later the tent filled for Neil Hamburger who attacked some large targets: Paul McCartney, Britney Spears, photographers and his audience full of “pigs.” His snide delivery and throat clearing gargle had the audience begging for more as he provided a caustic set of music festival-friendly punchlines.

Adult Swim star Eric Andre closed out the comedy tent with a stage version of his live show. The goofy host and his jazz trio backing band worked through a series of live and taped routines. Midway through his set, he invited up Octomom, California’s most fertile woman, for an interview. The band relentlessly played while Andre attempted an interview. When the band finally stopped, he chopped his desk in half, stripped to his underwear, doused himself with a gallon of milk and ran off stage. Things never got much more spontaneous than that during the day.

Fucked Up front man Damian Abraham tried, bark-growling his way through the pit as his band churned wildly on stage while AA Bondy went a different direction, keeping things much more subdued with his sleepy rock band across the park.

Moody warblers Warpaint had a massive crowd for their oohs and aahs while Chromatics were equally moody with their dance beats and ethereal vocals. A strange cover of Neil Young’s “Hey Hey My My” turned the tune into a thumping dance dirge that felt wrong for so many reasons.

As the sun set, the lighting on the stages became much more extravagant and the sound got a lot louder. Drum machines were released from their cases and set loose on the LED-splattered stages.

Canadian blip rockers Purity Ring had an elaborate lighting set-up sequenced to their drums. The duo dealt in herky-jerky ’80s beats, inspiring more than a few people to quietly dance by themselves in the dark.

Sleigh Bells brought the stadium rock with a deafening sound and blinding lights. Vocalist Alexis Krauss pushed the limits of her raspy yelp while her bandmates stomped through the set with abandon. M83 followed, keeping the Reagan-era dance party in full swing.

Throughout the festival, the crowd was streaming back and forth, headed for the next stage, gripping their printed line-ups. Despite all the movement and sheer volume, the crowd was unbelievably mellow. While lines for food got a little long (25-minute wait), there was never a line for restrooms and a free refillable water bottle station was a generous offering. It’s hard to argue with the success of this event—if only they could figure out how to drop the temperature 20-degrees.

FYF: Day One @ Pure Volume