2012 Jammin’ On The Wolf Music Festival


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Sleeping in was marvelous and all it took was one look to know that the rain was gone and this was going to be a beautiful day. A lazy day too. A late breakfast made way for some non-committal music stage hopping. It was really cool that both The Mustache and The Heard were on at the same time. The more funk the merrier, I always say. But it was kinda weird that two bands who sounded so similar were on simultaneously. The Mustache had a bit edgier, progressive funk approach, while The Heard was more like a straight old school funk band. Both were very good, but I couldn’t help but wish that one of them was playing later in the day.

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The rest of the day was spent bouncing around, eating ridiculous amounts of food, and catching bits and pieces of numerous different bands. Both The New Fuse and Taggart Transcontinental stood out as being quite fun, but it was all a warm up for the first real night of Jammin On The Wolf. This Must Be The Band did what they always do and totally killed their set. I can’t imagine any Talking Heads cover band being much better than TMBTB. Side note: they ended up being my parents’ favorite set of the whole weekend which is odd because not only were they completely unfamiliar with the Talking Heads’ music, they were convinced that they didn’t even like them just on name alone! Funny how live music can change your thinking so easily given the proper setting. The band got to taking requests pretty early into the set, and pretty much played all the hits I could have hoped for, including a hugely festive “Take Me To The River,” which ended up being a highlight of the whole weekend.

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Things were set up well for an awesome nightcap, with both Prophet Massive and Roster McCabe closing out stages. But it didn’t end up going quite as planned. In fact, what happened was easily the biggest bummer of the weekend. It’s admirable how exacting Roster is with their sound: they demand a dialed-in affair. But this sometimes works against them when their soundchecks take an inordinate amount of time and literally eats away their set. But I figured there wouldn’t be an issue; this was a small festival, who was gonna tell them to stop playing after only 30 minutes to keep with the schedule?

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Turns out, the festival absolutely had to shut them down. But I didn’t know this as I peeled away from their set after the first song to grab a few photos at Prophet Massive. Now, I’ve heard Jason Hann do this Prophet Massive thing a few times in the past and I’ve always generally had a good time. But on this night, I just wasn’t feelin it… at all. So after my photos were taken, I beelined it back to Roster’s set, ready to dig in for as long as they would play. As it turned out, I just barely caught the end of what would be their last song. It was a massive bummer as they were really getting wound up and it seemed like they could have played all night. Such a travesty to waste that momentum, especially when the tent was pretty full and everyone was fiending for more. Oh well, life is full of curveballs and Roster McCabe’s set getting the axe was one of them. But for this to be really the only negative part of the entire weekend just goes to show how well everything else went.

Prophet Massive was still playing as I dejectedly left Roster’s set, but I just couldn’t muster up the enthusiasm for his entirely over the top aggression. So I veered off towards the open field with some friends and spent some time stargazing. The sky was as clear as could be, the stars seeming like they were unfolding right before my eyes, expanding to a distance that made my brain churn with wonder. Coming from Chicago — where light pollution pretty much snuffs out any and all stars — this was a true breath of fresh air and, before I knew it, my mind was actually up there in space, thoroughly enjoying this vacation from the bustle & congestion of city life.

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Jeremy Frazier is the editor-in-chief of Soundfuse.