The crème de la crème of North East music festivals just wrapped up its 12th installment at the Indian Lookout Country Club, just outside of Albany, New York. True to form, this year’s musical array was a tasteful, banging combination of both electronic artists and organic band lineups. Headliners included: The Disco Biscuits, Bassnectar, Dillon Francis, Lotus, STS9, Madeon, and several others. We were also treated to a nice surprise performance by Thievery Corporation, who replaced Animal Collective’s time slot. Animal Collective were apparently unable to perform due to personal illness.
Save for a little drizzle and some hot ass sun, the event was smooth sailing. On festival day one, however, Twitter and Facebook were alight with some attendees complaining about the long line getting in. This was most likely compounded by the heaps of rain the area experienced just prior to the festival, which required some clever re-routing. Thanks to a solid and swift acting staff, the rest of the event had only a minimal car line at the entrance.
Throughout the festival, the vibe of the parking lot and camping scene was in full party swing after the late night performances. But for the most part, all of the foot traffic and social commotion was to be founded within the event grounds. Two tents and two main stages delivered an onslaught of constant music, while the sidelines heated up with unique food, clothing, craft, and beverage vendors. There was even a huge ass platform you could jump off of and land on an enormous blow-up cushion.
Highlights included an unusually groove-heavy performance by STS9 (as opposed to the spacey, abstract, and occasionally impersonal delivery), a Bassnectar experience coupled with an amazing lightshow—that turned the crowd into a rowdy group frenzy, and of course there was three days’ worth of the Disco Biscuits, dishing out the jams on their “home festival” turf. From this, one may begin to discern why some recuperation was required prior to this review!
Tent highlights included a high-energy crowd response to Koan Sound; Govinda, with his dirty yet beautiful Playa magic; solid dancing material delivered stylishly by Paper Diamond & Ryan Hemsworth, and a lovely late night set by Lotus on Friday. After performing their first song, Lotus guitarist Mike Rempel, held his guitar up high and took to the microphone with this not-so-subtle jab at all the DJs: “You guys remember this thing, right? It’s called an ‘axe,’ because it can axe through all of the bullshit.”
Hey, Mike… go with the flow. In the immortal words of George Clinton, “Free your mind and your ass will follow.”
Clean Vibes was also at the event, thankfully, and did their magical thing by assisting clean-up duties.
It was another amazing Camp Bisco, and the weekend ended on an exceptional note, I’d say, see you there next year.