Tuesday, August 25, 2009


This was a rare year in which I went to Transperformance as a spectator, and not a performer. In the weeks leading up to the event I've been feeling a sense of relief. Every year it's the same thing: first you spend weeks trying to figure out which band to portray; then another couple of weeks choosing songs. About a week before Transperformance you realize there are songs to learn and haphazard rehearsals are scheduled. The day of the event you can't believe you forgot to get the wig, coat or hot pants. Blah, who needs the stress? Not me.

But then today rolled around and I was suddenly struck with, "hey, how come we're not a part of this thing? I LOVE TRANSPERFORMANCE". It's ok, being an onlooker can be just as fun. I got into spectator mode, putting together a picnic, explaining to my son what TP was all about, charging the batteries for my camera. Then a text came through from Henning. "It's sold out". We had one foot out the door. A crisis with a small child was inevitable. We decided to walk to Look Park anyway. At least it's a fun park, and we'd be sure to hear all the fun everyone else was having.

(Lucky #1) I used my one Get Out Of Jail Free card and called in a favor to a sympathetic band, who said sure, be our honorary tambourine player. We waltzed in and were soon enjoying the trippy sounds of Peter Blanchette recreating Ravi Shankar. It was the most people I had seen at a Transperformance, but everyone seemed to be doing their best to recreate the hippie vibe. Minus a lot of illicit substances, but I'm sure there was some of that happening too. The Young at Heart Chorus is a hard living crowd after all.

(Lucky #2) I would hasten to guess that the majority of people who go have never heard of most of the local bands on stage. That may be an overstatement, but get this - of the 24 acts who performed tonight I hadn't heard of 9 of them. But Transperformance seems to be the one event that brings all the local bands together and makes everyone play nicely (together). Not that there is a lot of angst in the scene anyway, but it's a good reminder that the scene isn't just a bunch of indie rock bands. It encompasses a lot of talented musicians who work within a varied bunch of genres. I feel lucky to be a part of it all.

(Lucky #3) I loved the vibe, man, of Lookstock. This was the first year that I can remember where people were all over the place, spilling on to the stage, running around the woodsy area behind the stage, climbing on to the 50 foot speakers and jumping off (slight exaggeration, though there was crowd surfing). A few weeks ago I had walked the bike path in Florence and heard the band Page 6 working out Crosby Stills Nash and Young. I had never heard of Page 6, but they sounded ok. A little rusty, but definitely passable. Later tonight, after I had come home early to put the boy to bed, I went outside and caught the last song of their set. It was amazing. Even from a mile away it sounded like I was hearing CSNY live, with waves of people singing along in unison. I felt lucky to be living in this town.

If I could have changed one thing it would have been for SFTD to be Creedence Clearwater Revival, with Tony singing lead. Sure, the Winterpills were great as always, but Tony does a smashing John Fogerty. Just ask him.

Above is a picture of Jason Smith and our Brian rocking the Dead.

1 comment:

Max Hartshorne said...

We waited and waited in a big line they said they could only let as many people in as left, so we gave up and went to have Chinese. it seems like this was 2000 people, more than ever before. next year we buy tickets ahead!