With a third day of awesome sun and mountain breeze, many fans took advantage of the chair lifts for an even higher experience. Others staked out front row territory for the two sets of Raq on the side stage. Raq has received a huge response from their comeback shows in recent months, and this weekend was no different. Keyboardist Todd Stoops, with his normally worn tRAQ suit jacket draped on his keyboard stand, joked with the crowd, announcing that Sam Levey (owner of Westcott Theatre in Syracuse) had ruined his ensemble. (Sam, as well as friend Kyle Shay of KRock Jam Sessions, have been doing some ‘Stoops tour’ in matching tRAQ suit outfits in the front row.) Be assured, these Stoops fans are great guys and normally dig the ladies. It was like the whole crowd was one big group joking and busting on each other like old friends.
In years past, Sunday was the last chance for a mayoral candidate to petition the voting crowd with their qualifications for election as the Mayor of moe.ville, a title which has never carried any weight except some drunken notoriety the Sunday of the next year’s festival and very few “I’m kind of a big deal” points with the other ‘.rons. In prior years there were often bribes of free bacon, shots of liquor out of a cow costume’s teat, and chuckle-worthy posters on every porta-potty door and tent pole. There was noticeably less petitioning than usual, possibly because there hasn’t been an actual person winning the mayoral race in years. Cows, buttscratchers, squirrels humping Utica Club beer cans and ‘Tits & Whiskey’ have been some of the most current moe.ville political figures. This year Rex and Lloyd lost to “Ditch” – Ditch being a well-known location in “Turwookistan” camping area where the sketchiest of sketchy happens til dawn or later. And the mayor relinquishing their title from moe.down 13? That would be Gold Bond. The powder.
Stanley Jordan Trio was a huge hit for the weekend. A band with mind-blowing chops, Stanley can play his guitar like a piano and then seamlessly go into jazz comp chords with one hand while soloing keys with his other. This didn’t stop with Stanley Jordan himself, as his drummer then busted out one handed solos on keys while playing his drum kit with other hand. This talent on top of diversity of playing Mozart in the same set as Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl”, was something you walk away from still wrapping your head around what you saw.
That wasn’t the last the weekend would see of this Trio, for as moe. began their two sets, Stanley was welcomed back to the stage for “Yodelittle” -> “Meat” (finishing with force the “Meat” from the day before.) And again Stanley was up on stage to close out Sunday’s encore of “Rebubula” and “Happy Hour Hero,” this time with his drummer as well, before the customary fireworks ended the music for the weekend just after 11 pm. In a world full of terrible twists and tragic turns, moe.ville continues to be a solid staple for family fans of any age. Never a disappointment. Let’s hope that Mayor Ditch doesn’t do us dirty next year.
Photographs by Krest Winchester