I love a music festival! Obviously. But really. When a new one springs up I can not wait to pack up the day camping supplies. The Summer Ends Festival, albeit not entirely new, restarted what they began in 2007. They took a hiatus during the worst part of the Great Recession, but this year they are back on. And what a line-up!
Headlining was Capital Cities, The Replacements and Foster the People. Other top acts included American Authors, O.A.R., Lindsey Stirling, Violent Femmes, Allen Stone to name my favorites. Cap Cities is my number one from Coachella and I can not believe how close we got to the stage. At Coachella we were so far away I wasn’t sure how many people were in the band. At Summer Ends Festival I could see the buttons on Ryan Merchant’s jacket. They are crazy performers. They synchronize dance and use other whimsical antics to enhance the show. Seeing them up close is a gas. They are nuts, those guys.
I always gotta do a weather report. It might be a bad habit picked up from my grandma who only talks about gas prices and the weather in all parts of the country. I’ll own it though, cuz when you are a festival goer Mother Nature controls the show. I’ve seen some crazy stuff she’s unleashed too, but what happened at Summer’s End Festival was one for the record books.
Friday was beautiful. Capital Cities and everyone preceding them rocked the gorgeous night out. We will call that the calm before the storm, because Saturday was a different story. Reports of a hurricane raging up from Mexico was due to hit Phoenix mid-day. And boy did it. The festival moved into the nearby Marquee Theatre. And while the vibe of being outside was lost, seeing these top acts in an intimate venue was spectacular. Outside, the hurricane winds and rain pelted the smokers on the patio and the nearby food trucks while inside The Replacements blew the roof off.
Between sets was weird. We all had to cram out on a concrete patio and make the best of nowhere to sit. We copped a squat on the dirty ground next to a rad couple and made fast friends. I always love finding other music festival lovers. They are my brothers and sisters from a different mother, and the camaraderie makes the best out of any situation.
Sunday was amazeballs. If you have ever seen the Violent Femmes, I bet chances are slim you have ever seen them in such a small and acoustically favorable venue. The crowd went nuts. One of the best sets of any band, anywhere I’ve been. Later on The Kongos and Fitz & The Tantrums were pretty good too, but I have to admit we were pretty spent by the time Foster The People came on. The last set was lackluster, in my opinion, so we bailed and headed home.
The skies were clear by Sunday night and we left with sore feet and a few new friends.