Mountainous Jammus Sixthus

Assistant/Web Editor Jessica Friedlander’s Mountain Jam Journal



(page 3 of 3)

Somewhere in between all the friends and frenzy, they present Levon with a huge birthday cake in the shape of the Hunter Lodge and stuffed with fiery candles. Our drummer does a lot of bowing and shaking (if he doesn’t feel the wind chill by now he’s cold-blooded), and his face seems stretched into an interminable smile. They start playing something great — either that Mardi Gras song or something else — but all I think about is how much I’d like some house-shaped fire cake right about now.

I’m stoked to hear personal fave Band classics “Up on Cripple Creek,” “Chest Fever,” and “Unfaithful Servant” — sung by the younger Hood who, in my opinion, could’ve relied less on the cue cards and benefited from a lesson or two with the great Rick Danko, most likely rolling in his grave, bless his soul. It’s still pretty excellent. They finish some two-and-a-half hours later with “The Weight,” in which the Midnight Rambler himself picked up his verse to thunderous applause. It’s at this moment — nearly midnight — that Melissa and I, probably suffering from the early stages of hypothermia, are ready to bizzounce big time. There’s nothing like the end of a concert that makes you realize how numb you are: We’re soaked to the bone by the day’s downpour and iced over by the wind, and standing on a steep mountain (literally with our toes pointed downward) for 15 hours can make the bones in your spine feel really, really misplaced, to say the least. We grab one last round of hot cocoa and coffee — liquid energy — and make a mad dash for the truck, parked conveniently 80 eternities away. We’re both emotionally happy but physically dead, and Melissa yells “This place smells like [the bad word for poo]!” most definitely due to all of the exposed armpits, muddy feet, and cigarette smoke. (Refer back to fourth paragraph now, please.)

Despite the loss of function in our toes and brain cells, we can’t stop chattering about the day’s events. It’s cliché, but everyone was so peaceful — there was a mutual, unspoken understanding of generosity and brotherhood, from the unified jumping (moshing?) crowd at Michael Franti’s show; to the peace offerings from Miles the Poncho Gypsy, Port Jervis Junkies, and Tom Petty Earpoker Guy; to the overwhelming waves of joy radiating from Levon and Co. to the music-loving masses and back again. It’s so Woodstock, but with more clothes, less drugs, and at a steeper angle. And that was just Sunday.

Did you attend this year’s Mountain Jam fest? Submit your (PG) photos, videos, and stories to jfriedlander@hvmag.com.

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