Adirondack Mountain Music Festival | Moose River Campground | Lyonsdale, NY | May 30th – June 1st, 2003

Photo by Michael Weintrob

Neatly tucked away in Adirondack State Park is sprawling Moose River Campground, a breathtaking lake and forest just north of Utica. A comfortable and intoxicating enclave where bass fill the sizable lake, wildlife run their animal planet alongside loggers, and farmers live off the land. The visionaries at Headspin Productions longed to assemble a diverse array of musical performers and have them inhabit the luscious campground, to have revelers come from near and far to frolic in this almost untouched natural playground. The product of their mission was indeed alive on the lake, at the 2003 Adirondack Mountain Music Festival, which took place the weekend of May 30th.

Photo by Dr. Shouse

In failing economic times, promoters are up against a myriad of competition in countless other festivals and endless summer tours. The challenge was issued to promoter and fan alike: a true smorgasbord lineup was mobilized. However, Mother Nature threw her curveball with yet more May rain. This kept away some folks who’d rather spend their festival weekend dry than rained upon and didn’t want to chance it. The rain on Saturday and early Sunday afternoon kept the bugs away, but for the most part did not deter the art or the fans’ ability to soak it all up. Those who endured were treated to a festival of epic proportions, and on the most intimate terms.

Photo by Brad Hodge

Three days of music, elevation, vibrations and progressive audio-spiritual intercourse began with the inimitable NYC organ and drum duo of Marco Benevento and Joe Russo. The sun was ablaze and people were still streaming in, myself included. The thumping bottom end and screeching upper registers wailing throughout the area… The winding wooded campground hugging the lake’s amazing glisten harbored the rolling groove, filling the venue. This was to be just the beginning of a monumental weekend for The Duo at the AMMF. DJ D-Sharp kept the campers’ heads nodding during changeovers to the next acts throughout Friday evening.

Photo by Michael Weintrob

The Duo’s early Friday set gave way to San Diego’s Robert Walter’s 20th Congress, also featuring Joe Russo, and whose crunkafied, impressive set began to show a cohesion between the new lineup still in its first year. The group is shepherded by masterful keyboardist Robert Walter, a true gritty veteran of the jazz jam world and founding member of the Greyboy Allstars. Walter shared shine with resident sideman and star in his own right Cochemea Gastelum, who blew up the spot with his inventive saxophone stylings, often run through different effects processors. Guitarist Will Bernard added meditative funky guitar and West Coast warmth, while young superstar Russo worked Manhattan overtime cooking up beats for this SoCal troupe. Mixing groove covers with selections from RW20 records Money Shot and Walter’s collaboration album There Goes the Neighborhood, the band’s brief but spirited set was choice.

Photo by Michael Weintrob

One of the more perfect musical compliments to the wondrous surroundings was the smooth and psychedelic sounds of Steve Kimock Band. The guitar virtuoso laced lovely serene fretwork over impressive progressive jazz and rock sounds, using a multitude of classic guitars like a Stratocaster, Mustang, as well as his beloved Ozark and Cripe. SKB intricately different tunes like “It’s Up to You,” “Electric Wildlife,” “Tongue and Groove” and an inspired “Hillbillies.” Kimock’s far-reaching, Zen-like snake charming melodies and layers resonated it an ideal environment, polyrhythmic illness sang way out around the lake and through the rapidly-filling camping area. The fall from dusk to night, a scenic backdrop for the ethereal sounds that poured from SKB, was a purveyor of sonic storm en route.

Photo by Brad Hodge

After another enjoyable D-Sharp interlude, those arriving and getting settled before dark were treated to a ninety-minute set of music by one of the finest electronic artists of all time, London’s Brazilian-born Amon Tobin. His DJ set, empowered by a foggy Adirondack sky tempting a whistle from the wind and trees, twisted wicked afghans of thunderous percussion and string and synth arranged big-beat terrorism, floor rattling drum and bass, and positively frightening aural imagery. Opening with big-beat rippling with Hendrix’s “Voodoo Chile,” the pounding drum-led tracks from 1999’s Supermodified, portions of “Nightlife” interwoven with rugged Cujo joints, juxtaposed against newer tracks from Out From Out Where, set the tone for a whirlwind journey. Highlights of the set included one of the illest remixes I have ever heard, straight up, Mobb Deep’s 1994 seminal street anthem “Shook Ones” set over an infamous jungle break harking back to the same era, with Tobin just killing the song’s chilling refrain:

Ain’t no such things as half way crooks…
They scared to death, they scared to look…

over the intro vocal loop from LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out,” and THEN gyrating this blend over four-to-the-floor relentless jungle. Tobin followed that masterpiece up with a super sped-up version of the song that introduced us to Snoop Dogg, 1992’s “Deep Cover” by Dr. Dre, complete with polyrhythmic breakbeat drums that recalled Slayer and Aphex Twin. Sets like this AMMF banger only solidify his reputation as a legend for those who fancy progressive psychedelia that knows no boundaries.

Photo by Brad Hodge

Sound Tribe Sector 9 has been meticulously developing a unique brand of trancey, jazzy, psychedelic drum and bass, and were the perfect compliment to the sinister Amon Tobin set. Reacting to the cacophonous sonic riddles their predecessor created, STS9, led by otherworldly drummer Zach Velmer and sonic architect guitarist Hunter Brown, delivered an upbeat and energetic midnight set full of climax and windfall, sultry beats and blasting rollers with alien-esque blips and such pulsing alongside the organic beatscience. The band seems to be rapidly getting better, more confident, pushing its agenda past previous glories, now adding three Apple computers onstage to manipulate the elements, add samples, layers, and programs to their technological and methodical brilliance. Again, as was par for the course for Friday’s magic, the venue and surroundings, in their splendid, understated beauty, severely enhanced the aural entertainment no matter who was performing.

Photo by Brad Hodge

Latryx’s Lyrics Born brought in the noise and the funk with D-Sharp on the wheels and Joyo Valarde on screaming and freaking back up vocals. The talented and energetic Lyrics Born delivered a heavily reggae/dancehall influenced hip-hop set full of sweet flows and positively ridiculous beats, most of which LB produced himself, and D-Sharp manipulated these instrumentals wickedly. Opening with a joint set atop Pharcyde’s “Passin Me By,” winding through raga bent rhymes, a few Latryx (LB’s group with Lateef the Truth Speaker) joints, the best jam of the late night from this Bay Area crew brought vocalist Valarde to the foreground. “Change My Mind” sent the crowd into a frenzy with its ruckus beats and ridiculous flow from Lyrics Born. Arguably, the weekend’s best performances were yet to come.Hard as I might try, it is incredibly difficult to convey the passion, integrity, energy, and profound sense of deliverance that raced through the Benevento/Russo Duo’s 3-5am performance, one of the last truly dry moments of the AMMF. Beginning with a collection of crunkafied originals and quirky jazz covers, the two invited Jessica Lurie onstage for flute and saxophone dynamics, as well as some serious sax from Cochemea Gastelum. The Duo and their esteemed and inspired company drove through the increasingly cumulous clouds with spastic grace, Marco’s shrieking B3 leads reactionary to Joe’s militant drum firepower, in turn domineered by Marco’s unwavering walking bass lines. As the action heated up in the late-night tent, more and more people streamed in and about the area, intrigued as to the risky business emanating from the tent, and over the lake. As a thick defiant mist began to arise from the lake, engulfing the atmosphere around the water, The Duo responded accordingly. In a flash of brilliance familiar to many in the Manhattan “Duo-know,” but until now oblivious to the Northeast massive, Marco and Joe unleashed a medley of some serious “next shit.” Beginning with a trio of Zeppelin covers, careening into Bill Wither’s “Just the Two of Us” (complete with both Marco and Joe’s cigarettes dangling as they merrily played away) Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” and then in what really brought the house (or tent) down, the 1991 grunge anthem “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” At one point, during some oft-plaguing technical difficulties with Marco’s rig, he just sprinted off the bench and took a piss in the lake. At another point in time he caught a Heineken bottle with his left land while never losing the song melody. The equally impressive original encore was just background music as the people pondered over the raw, unadulterated genius they had just witnessed. Some just walked away, listlessly into slanted rain that brought with it some vicious cold air.

Saturday morning AMMF-goers were greeted with a slighter, yet driving rain that really never relented all day and definitely dampened the mood and energy, as well as the actual campgrounds. It set the whole vibe of the fest in another direction, away from the mystical first day. By mid afternoon it was borderline pouring, and unfortunately this would keep away too many potential festival attendees. The AMMF would forge on through the rain, admirably, I might add, and most of the performers would not allow the steady storm to affect them either.

Lettuce saxophonist Sam Kinninger opened the day at noon with his new NYC funk band, whose smooth, greasy jazz grooves helped people get up and moving despite flooding tents and soaking clothes. This predicament kept many from getting down to the stage for the early set as we had to deal with the imminent wetness. A short funky set was just what the haggard needed to get ready for the freaky mindfuck that would come in the form of ninety-minute set from Oklahoma’s Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey.

After a short jam from Leslie Helpert, JFJO embarked on yet another tweaked early day set at a northeast festival, and they seem to a have the blueprint down pat (see Berkfest ‘02). Mixing organic jazz trio framework with horrorcore dissonance, Rhodes virtuoso/Melodica wizard Brian Haas had freedom seizures on the keys and blew serene melodies on the spooky melodica. Bass maestro Reed Mathis wailed up high on electric bass, lumbered and plucked the acoustic and even mixed in a little cello to the mix, all celebrated and illuminated by the spacious, lyrical drumming from Jason Smart. The rain began to pound a bit harder, and Haas and Smart seemed to take this as a personal challenge, watercolors running outside the lines of the arrangements. As with the many times I have the pleasure of watching this trio perform, my favorite composition of the hour and a half was “Vernal Equinox,” a melodica-led track that seems to reinvent itself each time I hear it, similar to JFJO, the eternal psychotic chameleons. Their colors would change again as the festival wore on.

As the rain poured down on the heads of campers and staff alike, DJ Roots warmed up the frigid crowd (or who was left) as people waited for Israel Vibration. Inclement weather caused the set to be delayed for quite some time, compounding the situation. Meanwhile, Sam Kinninger’s band played a strong set, this time over at the second stage.

Photo by Dr. Shouse

After Cecil “Skelly” Spence, Lacelle “Wiss” Bulgin and the Roots Radics Bandarrived and began the one-drop, the crowd was soaked and irritable. People made the best of it in terms of dancing, and Izzy-Vibes didn’t disappoint with a standard uplifting catalogue of righteousness. Blissful, empowering harmonies sung over the roots riddims did well, brightening up the AMMF spirit. Undeterred and ultra-motivated by their physical disabilities and impoverished beginnings, these reggae legends weren’t going to be detered from bringing the blessings by a little wind and rain.As both an example of the diversity and a weird booking even for today’s eclectic festival standards, British psychedelic prog-rockers Nektar played a set of interesting music. Reunited after more than twenty years of hiatus, these gentlemen had a sound that recalled King Crimson, Zappa meets Journey, with a little Boston cheese in the mix. Unfortunately the rain was pounding down and since people weren’t too familiar with the band, their audience was small. Fortunately for fans, there was a whole lotta boom bap going on at the second stage.

Bostonian turntable assassin Mister Rourke was literally putting on a DJ Workshop as the rain beat down on the AMMF massive. Result: a raucous, wet audience crowding under the tent to hear the Club d’Elf/Soulive assistant show people how this shit is done. Beat juggling, scratching, blending, and mixing, the technics virtuoso blessed the AMMF all day with choice beatscience, both at the workshop (which included a sweet obligatory tribute to the late Jam Master Jay) and some hot back and forth with able co-conspirator Axl Foley. The genres stretched from funk 45s to gutter hip-hop to fatback groove. All evening, spinning between acts and onstage with performers, Rourke showed everybody why so many people are talking about him and his merciless skills.

NYC jazzy dub-hop, thug rock Soulive hit the stage with a fury as the rain continued to assault the crowd. Let it be known that I am a huge Soulive fan. Seems like years ago that I was mesmerized by their seamless blend of rare groove, hip-hop, bottom end, and incredible musicianship. I have seen more than enough evidence that shows where this trio can take it when it is their focus, their vision. Lately, their performances have been devoid of that energy, that magic that made Soulive the most talked about young guns on the scene. Sure, their AMMF set had some seriously dope highlights, namely the “Bridge to Bama” that featured Mister Rourke scratching in some ill Talib Kweli vox, a two-step groove in the middle section, and some nice bass pedal boom from drummer Alan Evans and his brother Neal on Hammond. “One in Seven” and “Uncle Junior” were cool, however, not exemplary. Neal Evans is a tremendously gifted and energetic keyboardist, yet lately his playing has seemed uninspired, although it might be in part to his dogged equipment problems that seem to rear their head so often. I cannot say enough about guitarist Eric Krasno. The guy just comes up huge at all times, and even though Soulive as a whole was somewhat lackluster, Kraz never disappoints.

If it seemed like different eras/landscapes were being brought in, set up, and shipped out, then maybe it was because they were. In a matter of hours, worlds had collided, what with the JFJO/I-Vibes/Nektar/Soulive run, and things were gonna get weirder, and decidedly more rock ‘n’ roll, beginning with New Hope, PA’s Ween.

Photo by Brad Hodge

Much like the band that would take the stage afterward, Ween is a band that I have not “gotten” yet. I appreciate them, will see them on occasion, and certainly understand that they are doing something right. However, I do not react to their performances in the manic fashion some of my close friends, and minions of others, do. Yet, their AMMF performance was an opportunity to see the band in an intimate setting with many of these friends, and boy was it ever full of energy. Fronted by “brothers” Dean and Gene Ween, immediately these guys hit the stage in a rage. It was apparent they had been partying hard for some time. You could just see it in their eyes, and hear it in their profanity. They railed off song after song, with relentless rock ‘n’ roll bombast, for well over two hours. Their recently recovered drummer Claude Coleman was punishing the kit, all the while grinning away through shades, as the clouds stopped pouring water on our heads, and the band beat the crowd down with “Voodoo Lady,” “Dr. Rock,” and “Ocean Man.” They delivered a weird, harder edged “Push Them Little Daises” and a medicated “Roses are Free.” They even meditated with a slow, ambient number “Zoloft,” rocked out with “Touch My Tooter” and soon were back thrashing mad again with metal riffage and profane lyrics dosed with satire. The crowd ate it up, Ween fans and newcomers alike.I really thought there might have been some weirdness in the Ween/Disco Biscuits changeover (talk about worlds colliding!), but Mister Rourke kept it real on the tables, calming the storms. Extra security was unnecessary (sarcasm mode turned ON). Recently returned to Philadelphia, trance-fusion specialists The Disco Biscuits had been hanging at the AMMF since Friday, well before they hit the stage at almost 2am Saturday. I, for one, have never quite “gotten” this band either, despite prodding from so many around me. Again, like Ween, I was entertained, and certainly respect what they have built for themselves (as a band and scene from the ground up) I just never get off at their gigs like others do. This show was to be no different.

One of my favorite things about the Biscuits are their song titles, and they opened with one of my favorites, “And the Ladies Were the Rest of the Night.” I recognized a few of their songs: “Helicopters,” the obligatory Floyd cover “Run Like Hell,” and “Shelby Rose.” I found myself bopping to an ill reggae vibe, “Floodlights.” To me, the most remarkable thing about the Biscuits nearly three hour late-night set was the incredible lighting display from Justin Carey and intelligent lighting master Johnny R. Goode. Their manipulation of the Bisco light rig and its ocean of color, combined with the low clouds and the fog off the lake, was awe-inspiring.

In the middle of the all-night Bisco affair, another fire was ablaze over at the second stage, with Boston’s reunited Miracle Orchestra. Once a huge band with a full horn section (now down to a foursome), these esteemed players have gone their own way the past few years, most notably bass wunderkind Garret Sayers with the Motet and guitarist Geoff Scott with Club d’Elf. Tonight, all was to be forgotten and all was to be remembered. Each player wielded a giant songlist that encompassed their nearly five years together. Assisted and intensified by Mister Rourke and Axl Foleyadding their turntable witchcraft, Sayers, Scott, machine-like drummer Bill Carbone, and saxophone/flute/blip-controller Jared Sims connected and did not relent throughout their nearly three hour set, long on jazz grooves bent on house beats, light years from the way I remember them sounding in Boston years ago. No longer together, they say, but you would never know, the way Carbone and Sayers locked in all night, pushing the groove deeper and harder while Scott riffed off the sidelines and Sims investigated extraterrestrial sounds with his different horns, effects, and ideas. As the Bisco set raged, so did the Miracle, and long after the Philly foursome had come offstage, the Orchestra plus two was still rocking! The soundman wanted out, hell even the DJs had enough, but this Boston quartet was straight-up invigorated, and Sayers maniacal fingers and golden smile told the tale. The Miracle Orchestra had returned, and most triumphantly; at nearly 6am, their music finally stopped. The energy and love that flowed through these youthful players was evident.

Photo by Dr. Shouse

After two very late nights and one extremely wet Saturday, it was difficult to get up and going for Sunday. But if one needed any inspiration to get down, it came early and often throughout the definitive Session. Beginning just after 10am Sunday, we awoke to the sounds of John Medeski’s wailing B3 and Skerik’s skronkified sax ringing defiantly throughout the venue and deep into the campgrounds. Skerik was clearly up to the morning task, quivering and stutter-stepping his way around the stage, engaging Medeski repeatedly in a twisted game of cat and mouse; this hour of sensational improv was steered mainly by these two mammoth cliff-divers.Charlie Hunter did his best to keep things grounded, laying down smooth bass grooves, luscious textures, and sweet charming melodies on his patented 8-string guitar. The two freaks atop the sound would seemingly distract drummer Joe Russo from his pulsing jazzy grooves and bring his bashing along to their netherworld. DJ Logic, hardly rested from a long, messy night of traveling, tried his best to find space in which to work, sometimes succeeding and othertimes not so. Yet, when you had Medeski and Skerik run amok, and they were coloring way outside the lines, the opportunity was often there and gone before the DJ could queue it up. The Session was an incredibly successful experiment in modern free jazz, if there is such a thing, and if nothing else, hopefully food for further experiment between Skerik and Medeski. These two pushed each other hard, and fast, and seemed to literally feed off one another’s psychotic virtuoso.In MURS, PSC, and Brother Ali, you have a trio of underground hip-hop legends who each represent a region of the country and their respective hip-hop scenes. Taking the stage around noon, they whipped up the rapidly buzzing and drying out/off crowd something to bob their head to. The three are currently touring behind each of their new solo records, and brought intelligent, thought-provoking lyricism to the AMMF stage. Brother Ali blessed the crowd with tracks from his new record, including the song “Room With a View,” which deals with his albinism. PSC dropped gems from his seminal albums Extra Credit and Extra Credit II, linking up with his old-school Living Legends crewmate MURS. MURS has been blowing up a bit lately, recording his most recent album The End of the Beginning on El-P’s Def Jux. His aggressive set was heavy on battle rhymes and punch lines, as well as his newer record, yet he did drop some old Living Legend joints with PSC. My favorite was his skateboarding ode, done off a Tupac song, “Transitionz Az A Ridah.”

Kingston, Jamaica’s Culture was up next, not before an ill DJ Logic turntable set that really got the sluggish crowd moving. The positively regal reggae leader Joseph Hill led the AMMF massive through a set of music chock full of positive vibes, climactic choruses, and overall bright energy. Hill was dressed in leather and denim, a polar opposite of last year’s royal robe, and his performance, along with that of the Forces of Justice band, seemed looser than AMMF 2002 as well. The moody vocal style of Hill and the two complimentary harmony backups Albert Walker and Telford Nelson is one that stands out above many roots reggae artists, unique in its melody and approach. “Addis Abba,” “Tell Me Where You Get It” and newer herb track “Legalization,” matched with the now-vintage “International Herb,” sprinkled the set with diverse roots sounds, while the classic “Peace and Love” was certainly a crowd favorite.

Acoustic guitar wizard Kaki King warmed up the crowd with fret gymnastics as the blues behemoth Derek Trucks Band prepared to perform. I still had to pack up my campsite and belongings, and you can only be in so many places at one time, and remember, the stamina was reaching seriously diminished levels. I was forced to miss Trucks’ set, as I made the obvious choice and trekked back over to the second stage for the final Russo/Benevento Duo set of the festival.

Photo by Michael Weintrob

What the hell else can I say about these guys? They truly set out to take over the audience (and world?) each and every time they grace the stage. There seems to be intensity to their performances that I seldom find elsewhere. Overworked, under-rested, yet still ready to go, The Duo laced us with another graceful, bumping, energetic set of music that was full of choice originals and interesting conversation between the spastic Benevento organ and the swaggering Russo skins. Just when you thought the situation was about as perfect as possible, the two-some busted a cover of the ’80’s epic “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by pop-rocker duo Tears for Fears. So tranquil, a hark-back-to-yesterday-feel-good romp that seemed to make eyes well up. It gets better. Somebody brought up the name “Reed Mathis”(of Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey), and before you knew it, there he was, electric bass in hand. The Duo welcomed him into the fold mercifully, and people began to congregate. Soon the masses were bobbing and weaving to a new sound, a trio, the first time this weekend that The Duo sounded truly enhanced by their guest, whose ambitious melodies could be found soaring above the clouds engulfing the festival. Before long emerged The Trio, JFJO. So there they were, “The DuOddyssey,” and what transpired for the next half-our was, quite succinctly, The Future. What began as a hip-hop-like fatback groove evolved into cacophonous wonder that seemed to build with emotion, intensity and grandeur as each player fawned over the next. Four maniacal hands and four dancing feet on the Hammond, as Brian Haas tweaked about and headbanged away, Marco was bowing to Brian, Mathis leading with slightly distorted bass melodies while Russo relinquished his kit toJason Smart, who in turn respectfully demolished it as Joe egged him on with sticks on cymbals, exacting revenge behind his back. This nonsense went on for a good half-hour, before JFJO sheepishly excused themselves from the stage to an ovation. The Future. As if we needed anything else, Marco asked Kaki King’s manager if they could play one more, and they proceeded to hurl another frenetic “Darts,” the perfect closer to a victorious weekend for the Russo/Benevento Duo.DJ Logic continued his ongoing turntable work between sets as another of the most anticipated acts of the AMMF prepared the take the stage. Glancing out at the primarily Caucasian and somewhat haggard-looking crowd (we had been in the rain forever it seemed!), Aesop Rock could be heard backstage wondering aloud “Are these heads even gonna feel hip-hop?”

Traveling almost five hours and arriving at this rain-soaked, rapidly evaporating festival, his sentiments could be understood. But the fans that did stay for the Aesop Rock/El-P set late Sunday afternoon were in for a serious dose of hip-hop artistry. The Def Jux crew, already repped by MURS early that morning, would proceed to display raw lyricism, abrasive knocking sonic textures and some hardcore wordplay. Mightily assisted by DJ Wiz, the two hip-hop technicians shocked and awed the crowd with some sick skills, namely the well of vocabulary, emotion and breath control present within the flow of gangly Aesop Rock. His comical, lean and lanky stage presence was the perfect compliment to his significantly shorter, angrier counterpart El-P. “Ase Rizzy” dropped a few new bombtracks from his yet-to-be-released record Bazooka Tooth, as well as gems from his seminal record Float. The highlights from Rock’s contribution to the joint performance were both from his most recent record Labor Days, “I Alone,” and most certainly the expressive and catchy “Daylight,” which features a phenomenal bass and flute loop over which Aesop waxed philosophic, deeply and possessed.

El-P, on the other hand, had a bit of an attitude problem. Sure, many people in the crowd were unfamiliar with his newer, post-Company Flow joints. However, no reason for him to toy with the people as he did at times. Then again, he was plowing through Heinekens and his subject matter is a bit harsh. Jams from CoFlow’s FunCrusher Plus, released in the late-’90s, still sounded fresh, dissonant, and anarchistic (particularly “Patriotism”) as they did in their heyday. It was El-P’s newer songs, from his most recent release Fantastic Damage, which failed to resonate with the crowd. His ode to domestic abuse and its consequences went right over just about everybody’s head. Aesop Rock, however, definitely won over hordes of new fans, and looked like he had a good time doing so.

Photo by Brad Hodge

By the time Garage a Trois hit the stage most folks had left or were in the process. One thousand or so stuck around to see the quartet run through their new album, kind of just mailing it in, thanks in part to the diminished crowd and energy. The band still kicked their styley own crunk ‘n’ groove, but except a wacky “A Frame” and the set saving “Tchfunkta,” as well as an entertaining sit-in from the promiscuous DJ Logic. GAT was aaiiight, a far cry from JazzFest or even Hampton, when the stakes were high and the audience even higher. Stanton Mooreseemed like he was the only one awake during one some of the slower songs fromEmphasizer. Their performance at the AMMF seemed an afterthought, almost like the comedown after a high-octane experience.As the sun began to finally peek out from the clouds, a refreshing feeling came over me, proud to have witnessed such an intimate, profoundly improvisational festival, from the beginning to the end. Despite the weather, the AMMF 2003 proved to be a blueprint of things to come, of worlds colliding in a supernatural setting, with positive vibration and exploration through people, music, and collaboration.

Thanks to the AMMF staff, artists and volunteers who really went the extra mile, given the circumstances.

Words: B. Getz
Photos: Michael Weintrob, Brad Hodge and Dr. Shouse
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[Published on: 6/27/03]