Deer Tick & Friends Rock Newport Blues
Deer Tick & Late Night Shenanigans Newport Folk Festival 2012
There are dozens of online reviews from various writers that covered everything Newport Folk Fest. Through them you can hunt down playlists, artist additions and collaborations. I didn’t cover Newport Folk Fest. I wasn’t even aware that I would be covering anything… Until now.
These are my 1st hand experiences of everything Deer Tick had to offer after the sun went down Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights at Newport Blues Cafe.
First off let me start by saying that we, like a few hundred other people, got our tickets for Deer Tick months in advance online through the Newport Blues website. One, may I add that crashed for a short time due to an overwhelming demand for these tickets. I instantly knew, this weekend was going to overshadow any of the past.
Here’s how Newport Folk Fest works for a majority of Newporter’s. Friday night you hit the opening shows somewhere downtown. Usually Deer Tick, always at Newport Blues. Then Saturday you finagle a way for you and your nine best girlfriends to get out on a boat and jam out on the water consuming booze from various boats that you are tied up to, which in our case this year was 11 boats. No Big Deal. (Thank you Christos for an epic aquatic party!) Following the hours of swimming, floating and drinking, you get back to land, shower nice and quick, cram some food down your throat and try to get the swaying to stop. Then your off to Blues to see Deer Tick! Sunday is the day when most locals go into the actual show at Ft. Adams, then again race home, eat, shower blah blah blah, and book it back to Newport Blues with hopes and dreams off some surprise collaborations.
After getting out of work I was delighted and down right pumped to see the massive Deer Tick Banner hanging outside of the Blues Cafe! I went to take some shots to send to the gals rolling in from NYC. In the maybe 5 minutes I was out front I witnessed about 10-15 people trying to buy tickets to the sold out show! One group of guys even pulled over Chris Ryan, Deer Ticks Bassist, to ask what was going on that night as he was loading in, having zero clue who they were talking to.
Fast forward, The Girls are in town, now lets Rock. We arrived at the show in time to see Joe Fletcher do his thang for a few songs. I’ll tell ya, thank god I was wearing 4” wedges, that place was PACKED. The drinks were strong, the music was loud, and the crowd was buzzing.
Then, around 11, out came our favorite band. John McCauley’s hair has grown quite a bit from last summer and he was minus the captains hat, which is probably a good thing cause it seemed to be quite the fashion trend this year, and no one wants to be “trendy.” His voice was as raspy as ever, and when that gold tooth caught the stage lights and beamed out on the crowd, you knew all hell was about to break loose.
This night started my 3 day sleepless cardio dance party.
Man, I’ll tell ya, after trying to arrange numerous people for numerous events on so little sleep and still slightly intoxicated from the night before, it’s a wonder we made it anywhere on time for Saturday or Sunday.
After the Boat debauchery, and a quick dinner at Norey’s, I was literally running from the upper Broadway, through the crowds to downtown make it to Blues in time. I got there just in time as Deer Tick was just setting up. “Crap, hangover kicking in, Must. Have. Cocktail.” So, to the bar I went. Phew! Refueled!
Saturday night was by far the most Rock & Roll night of the weekend. With various appearances from the mixed bag that is Middle Brother, and Matt Vasquez of Delta Spirit rocking out, gracing us all with a exploding shower of Budweiser. You’re not Rock & Roll till you’ve been showered with a musican’s beer. They did everyones favorites, Ashamed, These Old Shoes, Lets All Go To The Bar, plus a little Beastie’s just to add to the awesomeness.
After the show, there was NO way we were about to go home. No way, not going to happen. What do we do at 1:30am? Welp, after a 6 girl sing-a-long to Ashamed in the bathroom, we hunted down the Deer Tick House. That, just, happened. We rolled in around 2am, had some ‘Gansett’s, lit some sparklers, met some new people, kicked it on the roof deck till about 4am, then it happened. Johnny was going to bed. It was time to leave. We exited gracefully, like the classy Bitches we are. At 4am. Nice.
Falling asleep at 5am, having to wake up a mere few hours later AND be ready to do it all over again is no easy feat. However, being the Rock Stars that we are, we made it work. There was no question. We can sleep on Tuesday.
We got to the show, and I know this is a Deer Tick article, but I have to throw in, how utterly amazed I was by Tom Morello. I mean, aside from him being one of the most socially and politically conscious people I’ve ever seen, the dude played guitar with his face! And, his favorite word seemed to be the F word, which is a personal favorite of mine, so I quickly developed a major crush.
We checked out Trampled by Turtles, The Head and the Heart, Of Monsters and Men, and Charles Bradley just to name a few. Charles Bradley reminded me of Toot’s and James Brown perfectly fused. He was so grateful that he was there, and that we were all there cheering him on. What an entertaining performer! He made sure to equally disperse hugs to the front row when he was finished. I mean, C’ mon! I didn’t think he could be topped… (Then I saw Tommy Morello droppin’ F Bombs everywhere.)
After the show, we boogied back to the Blues for the final night of Deer Tick. Aside from the previous two nights at Newport Blues, they also played a stage at the Festival itself. I, personally, was starting to lose momentum, and couldn’t even fathom how these guys were still going. Oh, wait. Yes I can. They’re DEER TICK.
Deer Tick performed their entire War Elephant album which starts with everyones favorite, Ashamed. Starting a show with a song that the ENTIRE crowd belts out, is not a bad way to start off. At one point, Julian Veronesi, of Titus Adronicus, who was on the boat with me ALL day on Saturday, as the quiet dude that didn’t say much, got up and joined Deer Tick and tore the roof off of that place! I was shocked that this quiet guy who didn’t say much… just rocked out like that! It was awesome!!!!
All in all, Sunday night was a wonderful way to wind down the weekend. After the show, we made it into the Musicians Vault in the back where there were various artists from the weekend, alongside music producers, magazine photogs, and our personal favorite, Mr. Jay Sweet, the Producer of Newport Folk Fest and local Newporter. Sometimes, when I end up in these situations, and I’ve been in a few, I make myself stop and look around, and take it all in. Its not everyday that you are surrounded my so much love, talent, dedication, and passion.
I did not make it to the Late Night that night back at the house, as I was being semi responsible, and 3am was already cutting it close when I had to work in the morning. But reports from my NYC gals, is that was epic, and once again, they were on the roof top, involved in sing-a-longs and I’m pretty sure there was a sunrise cocktail or two.
Thank you John, Ian, Dennis, Robbie, and Chris for a seriously mind-blowing weekend of music and memories. And thank you Jay Sweet. Wonderful job man.
Now… Back to real life.
See You Next Folk Fest Boys!
- Felecia Blue
“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” – Jimi Hendrix
(editors note: Felecia was the biggest rock star in the room every night and the Sunday night party ended at 8am Monday morning! – Christian)