LIVE: LarkFest, 9/19/09

Donna Baird of Sgt. Dunbar & the Hobo Banned
Donna Baird of Sgt. Dunbar & the Hobo Banned

You can read David Malachowski’s review of some of the LarkFest musical performances in the Times Union.

But LarkFest is just too big and too crowded for one person to try to cover five different stages of music all going on at the same time. Since the Times Union didn’t have time or space to mention the Townsend Park Stage or the Kids’ Stage, decided to go there.

And we decided to give you a totally different perspective of the fest, too, so here are a few performers’-eye views of LarkFest from the stage:

1. Were there any particularly vivid moments for you – either in your onstage or offstage mode?
MATTHEW LOIACONO: a). The Hanging of the B3nson Banner, Pt. 1, Pt. 2, Pt. 3… b). Dan Maddalone (from Barons in the Attic) Pie-In-The-Face, Pt. 1 + Pt. 2… (see pics at All Over Albany) c). Richard Mark Nolan Jr. (from Beware! the Other Head of Science) on fire, all day long d). The B3nson Family Affair Finale! Hearing that many voices holler “Troy is the place where Henry Hudson turned around…” was something I don’t think I’ll ever experience like that again.
AARON SMITH of SCIENTIFIC MAPS: Watching our new friend Foots dancing with our good friend Nick Matulis while my band played is a memory I will treasure always. Also, Dan Maddalone being struck in the face with two pies was pretty funny. Playing drums on the last Sgt Dunbar song while all of the B3nson bands jumped on stage which came dangerously close to exceeding the weight limit. Oh, and watching Nick Matulis play Richard Nolan’s back.
COURTNEY BIONDO: It was just amazing to see so many people I don’t know enjoying the performance and singing along to the covers I played.
JEN of WE ARE JENERIC: When I saw that we had our very own port-a-potty I was very excited.

Jen O'Connor, Nick Matulis & Eric Krans of We Are Jeneric
Jen O'Connor, Nick Matulis & Eric Krans of We Are Jeneric

2. Was it as much fun as you’d hoped?
MATTHEW LOIACONO: It was fun in a different way than I expected. I looked forward to bouncing around between stages and locations at least attempting to catch a bunch of acts and excitement, but I ended up firmly planted at the Townsend Park stage and enjoyed every minute! The proximity of that location was far away enough off of Lark St. to keep the crowd pared down to folks who really wanted to be there.
AARON SMITH of SCIENTIFIC MAPS: Even more so. We weren’t really near the huge crowd on Lark, The stage the B3nson bands occupied was tucked away around the corner, far from the horde and that made the day a lot more enjoyable. The crowd of people we had for our sets was just right and it felt like we were having our own little festival around the corner…just without all the fried dough, corporate run tables and gigantic multi-neon colored beverage containers. I’m told that’s what Larkfest used to be like.
JEN of WE ARE JENERIC: The weather was incredible, and the crowds were so fantastic, really engaged and excited.

3. What went wrong?
MATTHEW LOIACONO: Nothing! Nothing at all! I swear! (Pay no attention to my broken effects pedals…)
AARON SMITH of SCIENTIFIC MAPS: Everything went pretty smoothly as far as I know. Nobody threw any beer bottles and our set wasn’t disrupted by any difficulties. I did, however, read a random paragraph from the book ‘Lando Calirissian and the Starcave of ThonBaka’ during our set. If that had continued, things could have gone wrong.
COURTNEY BIONDO: My car got towed unjustly! Parked around 11am, no signs anywhere! Came back at 5pm and suddenly, there were signs everywhere that said “No Parking 8am-5pm” AND yellow tape AND no car…
JEN of WE ARE JENERIC: There were a couple of audience members who wound up on stage and really danced it out during one of our sets. They didn’t bother us, but I think that some of the people in charge were getting a bit nervous.

4. Did you see other bands? Who was your favorite?
MATTHEW LOIACONO: Calling out favorites is tough, and my perspective is skewed since I only caught the B3nson party. That noted, I must say that I was highly impressed with Barons in the Attic for bringing the NOISE at way too early o’clock (especially DYLAN on the drums! Wow!), humbled by We Are Jeneric for inciting chills on more than one occasion, piqued by the Lando Calrissian story reading by the Scientific Maps, proud of Matt Ferguson for bring the appropriate level of confetti to the Beware! set and not completely injuring himself later in the afternoon, and finally, to Sgt. Dunbar for an epic version of “Life Learning Languages”! Quite an excellent day indeed…
AARON SMITH of SCIENTIFIC MAPS: I saw all of the B3nson bands. We were working and playing constantly near that stage so it was tough to venture off towards the other stages. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite, but I will say that everyone I saw sounded amazing.
COURTNEY BIONDO: Didn’t have the chance to see other bands. Also worked the instrument making table in the kid zone.
JEN of WE ARE JENERIC: Since the B3nson Collective played from 11-4, I didn’t get a chance to see any other bands besides other bands in my Collective, but that was great. It isn’t often that we get to support our friends and fellow musicians by attending their shows all in the same day at the same place.

5. Would you do it again?
MATTHEW LOIACONO: Of course! In a heartbeat!
AARON SMITH of SCIENTIFIC MAPS: Certainly. That is, of course, if we’re asked back. I may have cursed once or twice.

Photographs by Michael Hotter (you can see more of his LarkFest photos here.)

Matthew Loiacono
Matthew Loiacono

1 Comment
  1. Chris says

    So awesome! You Local 518’ers can rock! I wish I had been able to make it down, but alas I missed a killer show! Rock on!

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