Elkfest 2013, 3 Days in the Streets of Spokane

Things go by so fast at festivals, sometimes it’s hard to decide how to cover it. Should you talk about the bands you love the most? Do you grab as much as you can like one of those vortex money-grabbing booths on The Price is Right and hope you come up with enough good stuff in the end? Well, Megan decided to go about it a little different… why not give a short, succinct review of as many shows you’re psyched to see as possible. We like it, and hope you do too. Without further ado Megan’s Elkfest review…

DAY 1:

4:30pm – Terrible Buttons:  

Terrible Buttons

Terrible Buttons

These Spokane kids, who played Treefort Music Festival earlier this year, claim to have been raised on ‘Weed & Whiskey’… and the crowd sang along like it was Spokane’s anthem.

I’ve been curious about where their name comes from, but I hate being the person that asks the question, “where does your name come from?”  I asked anyway and was told it was a 15 minute story…one day I will get the story for you.

6:30pm – Aan:

I was told I would most likely enjoy this Portland band…they were right.  Between a little swaying of the hips and having some mellow moments in a lawn chair, I am diggin’ this group’s tunes.

8:30pm – The Cave Singers

Sound curfew?! Eehh…can’t keep The Cave Singers from performing their encore with an alley full of screaming fans.  Hopefully we don’t get shut down for the rest of the weekend!


DAY 2:

1pm – Wolves in the Woods

This last minute surprise was a fun addition to open the morning.  Not in the original lineup but fit in nicely.

2pm – The Longnecks

I can’t seem to take my eyes off of the soulful singer in these amazingly blue pants…my ears won’t get distracted from this bluesy rock either.  Great stuff!

3:30pm – Organic Beatz: 

The Organic Beatz drummers, another superb act not jotted down in the lineup, have the afternoon crowd in a trance.  Kids are bopping up and down as the adults are zoned in on the pulsating drums.

Flying Spiders

Flying Spiders

4pm – Flying Spiders

This hip-hop collective crew is referred to as more of a community of respected Spokane artists…a truly eclectic bunch with a jam session feel that seemingly can include any other seasoned artist…which is why it didn’t surprise me in the least bit to see them layer on top of the Organic Beatz last song.

“This is kind of the ‘for the love of the music’ band.  No one makes any money in this group.  Everything that comes in goes straight back into the band, but no one seems to mind.” – Paul Flores.

6pm – The Grizzled Mighty

Wow.  The Grizzled Mighty may have been a mid-day act today, but that didn’t keep the crowd from chanting for an encore…and getting it.  Killer.

7:30pm – Battleme

Umm…I like him…them…emotional, rockin’, and great stage presence.  Enough said.  There’s a reason the Elkfest crew called Battleme ‘one of our favorite finds ever.’

Is it just me or does Matt Drenik look exactly like how I pictured Jesus growing up?

9pm – The Builders & the Butchers

The sun sets on The Builders and the Butchers (aka: “if the Decemberists were alcoholics”) as they close out Day 2 of Elkfest…also accompanied by some dancing females that hopped up on stage.


DAY 3:



2pm – Folkinception

Bring the kids out today for some dancing in the street as this perky band welcomes the scorching sun with their fun, bouncy set.   We are looking forward to their new album, and obviously, quite a handful of other supporters are too!

4pm – The Rustics:

My new favorite find!  Aside from being incredibly photogenic and having the most beautiful guitar I’ve seen in a long time; they have a sound that melts me in such a happy way.  They were also very sweet to my son, which always makes me a fan.  Stoked for their new album as well!

The Rustics just finished an awesome set with some freestyle jams featuring Elkfest’s booking king, John Blakesley…also the frontman for Spokane’s “Hey! is for Horses.

6pm – Blake Noble ft. Cody Beebe and Tim Snider:

These guys tore up the stage with all kinds of craziness involving vintage dresses, carrots, and a Darth Vader mask.  Great CD Release!!

8pm – Bryan John Appleby

This quiet Seattle-based artist may have been the only one-man band for the whole weekend, but he sure did keep that crowd pushed up to the front and fully engaged.



9pm – Pickwick:

Closing out Elkfest Day 3.  The crowd starting cheering their name 20 minutes before they even started…I think Spokane likes them.

Quote of the Night: “Don’t tell Seattle this, but Spokane is where our first real fan base started.  So thank you for that.”

The crazy antics of Pickwick ensue in the streets of Spokane…between a flailing Galen Disston and some mosh-pitting and stage-diving…this pregnant mamma had to keep her distance from the stage.

You know a band is amazingly respected when all of the other bands from previous days of the festival come back to watch them close the festival.  They also happened to be the only band that had a line up of fans waiting for photos and autographs ‘backstage.’



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