Bri Blahg… Rothbury Preview And Cautionary Tale

1 07 2009

by Brian Phillips (@BrianBlahg)

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Rothbury, MI Weekend Forecast

The second Rothbury Festival in Western Michigan is, at this writing, a day away.

If sweating isn’t your thing the weather should be perfect. The Weather Channel says 70 with a few showers Thursday, and then mid and upper 70’s with sun the rest of the weekend. I’ll take that.

The gates open at 6pm Thursday with world music explorers Toubab Krewe. Traveling to Rothbury on a bus once belonging to Graham Nash is infinitely safer than their journey to Mali’s Festival In The Desert which involved a decommissioned Soviet era prop plane and a possibly drunk Russian pilot to match. We’ll have their story posted here soon, it’s a good one.

more video and text preview after the jump…

Late night you can opt for lots of flashy lights with Lotus and Disco Biscuits or the clever pairing of rappers The Cool Kids with alt band Cold War Kids. No not together, although I’m betting they could make it work.

Sure String Cheese Incident are making their only 2009 appearance Friday night with two sets at Rothbury, but don’t get caught face down in the brownie batter during the afternoon and miss Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley together with NAS.


(I’m serious. At Bonnaroo a few years back our campground neighbors made dope brownies on a bar b que and then slept through the whole first day. This was after their cheap set up fell over and they had to rescue their baked goods from the dirt. That was pretty stupid don’t you think? They were all grade school teachers too. Are kidz learnt real gud with these guys.)

Saturday jam band lovers will have to show herculean focus and pacing. The Black Crowes get things off to a rousing start at 5:30 to be followed by The Dead playing their only show of the summer. Their two set marathon ends at Midnight…. Just in time to pass the dutchie to Umphrey’s McGee. It’s a Hippy Triathlon is what that is. Not all will make it. Leave the weak behind to guard your cheese sandwiches. Seriously in looking at The Dead’s set lists from earlier this year I see some fun stuff like “New Speedway Boogie,” “Bertha,” “St. Stephen” and Tipper Gore credited with “percussion” on “Sugar Magnolia” at an April 14th show in D.C. Tipper Gore? Seriously? If memory serves she once led a crusade against obscene lyrics. Doesn’t “Sugar Magnolia” have a reference to donkey sex in there somewhere? I’m pretty sure it does. Shame Tipper Gore, shame….

Sunday the big talk around the camp fire will be Bob Dylan & Band. I saw Dylan a couple of years ago and if you’re expecting him to play guitar or play even one song you recognize think again. You know what though, if you just go with it and accept that Dylan is now a warbling 68 year old keyboard player you’ll be just fine. Bob Dylan has never cared much to be what you or I expect him to be and he’s not going to start now. Your Sunday will be full regardless with The Hold Steady The Hard Lessons, Grace Potter and Matisyahu. among others. Umphrey’s will close the festival late night.

Rothbury is well run, and the resort accommodating. You’ll get lots of fresh air too which never hurt right? Have fun!

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