Upstate New York favorite ‘local’ band, moe., hosted their 5th annual snoe.down Music Festival over March 21st-24th in Rutland, Vermont at both Killington Resort and Spartan Arena. The weekend was full of moe., who gave an outdoor performance at Bear Mountain on Saturday to fans and winter sports enthusiasts, while performing Friday and Saturday evening in Rutland, as well as a special acoustic Sunday show for the VIP crowd at the Wobbly Barn at Killington. Throughout the weekend, guests had a wide array of musical acts to enjoy such as Marco Benevento, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk and Strangefolk.
There was no better way to kick off the first weekend of Spring and the start of festival season than with a weekend dedicated to winter sports and talented musicians. The weekend started for me on Friday at the K1 lodge at Killington. The lodge was packed with tons of skiers and boarders, loading up on food and checking out the first act of the day, Tauk. The electronic rockin’ sound soon filled up the room and brought in plenty of people off the slopes. Matt Jalbert was on fire with funky guitar riffs and Charlie Dolan was unstoppable providing steady, groovy bass lines. Alric “A.C.” Carter went wild on his keys during “I Want You (She’s so Heavy)”, causing the audience to cheer while Isaac Teel kept the pop and jazzy rhythm going strong on drums. Throughout the entire set, the four-piece band was smiling and grooving just as much as the crowd was. My favorite part was how each song escalated into the next song, with great transitions. When asked about the show and weekend, Charlie Dolan reported, “We thought the set went very well! It was our first time playing a show since we finished up our CD, always refreshing to play in front of a good crowd. It was definitely our first time playing in a ski lodge, hopefully not the last. The rest of the weekend was great! Obviously, since we got to see moe. play.”
Before their music even started, I was excited to see what would come out of The Primate Fiasco, just from the array of instruments they had. The band took the stage with a banjo, clarinet, sousaphone, saxophone and the classic drum set, all of which I have never seen together at one time on one stage. Best described as a psychedelic Dixieland jam band, The Primate Fiasco quickly drew a dance crowd just with their soundcheck alone. Their vast musical arrangements flowed from original works to covers such as Ween’s “Roses are Free”, John Williams’ great score from Star Wars and various genres of tunes that anyone can enjoy dancing to. The energy was at a constant high with each band member being a driving force of talent and sound. The lodge was turned into a Mardi Gras party from the bellowing of the brass section, the fast finger pickings of the banjo and jazzy beats. It was my favorite act of the entire snoe.down weekend.
The scenic drive from Killington to Rutland wove around the mountain side and river’s edge, leading to the main drag in Rutland where there was plenty of food options as well as hotels, all a quick walk to the Spartan Arena. Inside the venue were multiple stands set up that you could find at any parking lot scene, offering shirts, stickers and various other merchandise. The ice-hockey-rink-turned-concert-hall provided great sound throughout the venue. Dumpstaphunk hit the stage and unleashed the groove as everybody started to get down. The New Orleans band plays with the great soul of classic funk and mixes it with modern twist. Ivan Neville, the master of the keys, wears a permanent smile while he pours his heart all over the organ. The wide range of vocals that the musicians sing propelled all to shout out in unison. The newest member of Dumpstaphunk, Nikki Glaspie, is a no joke and a true female drumming machine. I couldn’t get enough of the bass bombs being dropped by Nick Daniels and Tony Hall and the intense guitar jamming from Ian Neville