Intrepid Travelers Celebrate Solstice in a Most Unique Way

For the third annual “IT Fest,” Intrepid Travelers treated their fans to a new location, a new vibe, and a new name: “Solstice.” At the gate, guests received bracelets that said “Start Your Orbit,” alluding to the astronomical significance of the summer solstice connected to the Earth’s orbit and our own personal orbit. The weekend featured 5 sets of Intrepid Travelers, each with a different flavor, yet connected together with the central theme of the solstice and the symbolism intertwined in the event: a central culminating point, a turning point, a point beyond which things will be different.

Friday featured two sets, with covers alluding to the solstice/astrological symbolism such as “Ain’t Wastin Time No More” by Allman Brothers Band and a pair of Pink Floyd tunes, “Astronomy Domine,” and “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun.” They also gave some nods to their Cinco En Mayo residency, with Donny playing a solo piano version of the “Jurassic Park Theme” by John Williams before launching into “Randoh’s Island.” Another choice cover was a 30+ minute bust out version of “Playing in the Band” that by the time they returned to, most audience members had forgotten was the original song being played.

Saturday featured a day set lasting about two and a half hours, as well as two lengthy sets at night. The day set continued with nods to the solstice symbolism, opening with a lengthy rendition of “Here Comes Sunshine” and also featuring “Here Comes the Sun” as well as originals that allude to the symbolism such as “Funnel” and “Stand the Heat.”

After a long break waiting for the sun to start setting, the band returned for the first of 2 sets at night Saturday. Keeping things fresh, the first set featured saxophonist/flutist Ellen Pieroni of Folkfaces for the entire set. The set featured original tunes owing themselves to horns such as “Party People,” “Trek It Out,” and “Get IT to You,” but also saw the band cover a wide array of influences, from Steely Dan’s “My Old School,” Snarky Puppy’s “Grown Folks,” Lettuce’s “Relax,” an upbeat bluegrass version The Beatles’ classic “When I’m 64,” the Derek Trucks Band arrangement of “Sahib Teri Bandi/Maki Madni” – a Middle Eastern folk song originally by legendary Pakstani vocalist Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and Herbie Hancock’s impressively difficult jazz funk fusion tune “Actual Proof.”

The last set showed no signs of fatigue from IT, as they treated fans with a set of some of their most lengthy and ambitious compositions as well as jam vehicles. Again nodding to the solstice symbolism of the festival and their Cinco en Mayo residency in one, the band opened with their own arrangement of a “Star Wars Medley” which follows as such: “Star Wars Main Theme > The Force Theme > The Emperor Theme > Imperial March > Imperial Jam > Imperial March > Rebel Strike > Rebel Jam > Cantina Band.” After a lengthy hip-hop fusion jam at the end of one of many new originals, “Shitpost,” IT played a heartfelt cover of “I Know You Rider.” Capping off the festival the only way they could, IT gave one final nod to the solstice theme with their ambitious composition “Final Voyage,” signifying the final voyage of the band and the audience before returning back to Earth.

One festival attendee, Leah Keller, summed it up best: “Solstice aka ‘IT Fest’ was an absolute blast last weekend. Best part of the summer so far. Thanks to the band for playing super tight, the covers were also on point and having Ellen Pieroni play with them for a whole set was a cherry on top of a perfect weekend. I highly recommend more homies to attend next year. It was a retreat away from the doldrums of real life at a beautiful new venue and full of super fam/purely amazing humans. I had a blast playing and boogieing down with everyone. Oh did I mention I paid $20 for 5 sets of music and camping in paradise? See you next year!!!”

Solstice setlists:
Solstice – The “G” Lodge – Hannibal, NY

Friday, June 22
Set 1: Woolify, Mind Wander, Ain’t Wastin Time No More(1) > On the Grass, Astronomy Domine(2), Lonely Skies, Captain Jon

Set 2: Photo Booth Youth > Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun(2) > Photo Booth Youth, Jurassic Park Theme(3) > Randoh’s Island, Maddy & Anna, Playing in the Band(4), On Inside

(1) Allman Brothers Band
(2) Pink Floyd
(3) John Williams
(4) Grateful Dead

Saturday, June 23
Set 1: Here Comes Sunshine(1), Dark Disease, Funnel, Here Comes the Sun(2), Authority > Stand the Heat

Set 2: Party People, My Old School(3) > Grown Folks(4), Relax(5), When I’m 64(2), Sahib Teri Bandi/Maki Madni(6), Actual Proof(7), Trek It Out, Get It to You (entire set with Ellen Pieroni on alto sax/flute)

Set 3: Star Wars Medley, All About It > Boomerang, Shitpost > I Know You Rider(1), Final Voyage

(1) Grateful Dead
(2) The Beatles
(3) Steely Dan
(4) Snarky Puppy
(5) Lettuce
(6) Devon Case on Guitar,
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (Derek Trucks Band arrangement)
(7) Herbie Hancock