So – I’m not really a “fest” girl. In fact, of all the shows I’ve been to, I’m not sure I’ve ever actually been to a music festival. I’ve always figured it’s lame to pay $$$$ to see one or two fave bands play for 30 minutes at a pop. Still, I was drawn to Hootenanny because I thought it’d be a great way to introduce the kids to live music. Outdoor canyon … Orange County … my fave Lucero (to whom the boys have been listening since they were in the womb), and Rancid (whose music was the backdrop to Blake’s 3-year-old birthday party). The Hootenanny site lists “kids” prices, so I assumed it must be a family-friendly event. …
As time wore on, the husband and I thought better of our plans to take the monsters along, and we were glad we’d gotten a sitter as soon as we arrived. Though technically there were a few toddlers and kiddos at the show, it was definitely not a family oriented atmosphere. No blankets, chairs, or lying around at this show. Even the Hootenanny website prohibited “stuffed animals.” Just lots of standing … lots of crowded rockabilly/pin-up vendors … lots of drunk people … and lots of loud music. (Note: This isn’t a criticism, just a reality – in case there are any other music-loving mamas considering taking their kids to the show next year.)
Outside of the show not being kid-friendly, the other thing we noticed as soon as we hit the parking lot is that we were dreadfully under-dressed. This is an event where folks come decked out in their “cool costume” – I’ve never seen so many mohawks and pin-up hairdos in my life. And I’ve never felt so “alternative” just wearing jeans and flip-flops. (Again – not that I’m complaining. This one was my fave.)
We arrived just in time to see Bouncing Souls (awesome), and after a terribly awkward Miss Hootenanny beauty contest in which the girls were literally booed off-stage, Lucero finally took over. (Note to concert planning team: randomly waltzing a line of girls onto a stage when a huge crowd of fans is waiting for their fave band to start playing – baaaad idea! There was nothing these girls could have done to improve their reception.)
It was super hot and sunny, and it’s the first show where the boys didn’t seem like their heart was 100 percent in it. (I don’t blame them – the girl introducing them actually said they were Rancid, which shows she had no idea what was going on anyway.) Regardless, this was also the first time I’ve seen the guys in full light, so it was nice to get some nice photos of them without battling low-light issues on my camera.
After Lucero came Reverend Horton Heat, and then Rancid, who rocked despite the fact that this was their 20th anniversary celebration (to think I first saw them in 1994!).
So much energy – so much love for those boys – and in the end, glad we made it to this year’s Hootenanny, although I’m not sure I’ll feel a need to visit next year.