The fifth Thing In The Spring came to a close the afternoon of Sunday June 10 with a very special set. To the surprise of many, Death To Tyrants had announced earlier this year that they would be performing a reunion show. I was disheartened when I realized that I was not going to be able to attend. Imagine my delight when their name appeared on the bill for this year's Thing. I'm extremely happy to have had a second chance and it was the perfect ending to an amazing art-filled weekend.
The festival kicked off June 8th at Peterborough Town Hall. The Town Hall's auditorium was the perfect step up as a venue for The Thing, featuring a large stage and ample space for seating, dancing, mingling, and merch. Later that evening entertainment moved down the street to Harlow's Pub for a late night dance party DJ'd by Redwing Blackbird's own Austin Wright. Saturday afternoon simultaneously featured both *broke: The Affordable Arts Fair and a Jem Cohen film marathon presented by The MacDowell Colony. In the evening we were graced with not 1 but 2 shows: one at the town hall, and the other at Harlow's Pub. If, miraculously, you managed to get up and out of bed Sunday morning Harlow's also featured a farm breakfast with cartoons - a mellow appetizer for the afternoon's grand finale.
Needless to say I was pretty spent by sundown Sunday evening. I relaxed at home reflecting on the festival, feeling refreshed and inspired to create. It sometimes just seems too good to be true to have such a rich art scene here in the Monadnock region, and even more so that every year we get to experience the showcase of talent that is The Thing In The Spring. I certainly never take it for granted.
I've deliberately chosen not to go into depth about each artist/band in this year's Thing post...there'd just be too much to squeeze in. Instead I'll let the music speak for itself. I have selected a single track from my bootleg of each indoor set. These tracks were recorded with a pocket voice recorder and thus are very raw, providing a fly-on-the-wall experience; don't expect sonic clarity, but instead let each track convey the atmosphere and energy of each performance. Accompanying each is a photograph by Elisabeth Fuchsia (her full set of photographs from The Thing can be found here). In some of the shots you can get a glimpse of Luke Ramsey's artwork as the backdrop for the main stage. Enjoy!
Friday - 01 - Mmoss
Friday - 02 - Daniel Higgs
Friday - 03 - Woods
Saturday - 04 - PG Six
Saturday - 05 - Brown Bird
Saturday - 06 - Nina Nastasia
Saturday - 07 - Mail The Horse
Saturday - 08 - Coke Weed
Sunday - 09 - Red Sled Choir
Sunday - 10 - Death To Tyrants
Personally, my highlights were the centering and spiritual experience that is Daniel Higgs, the foot-stomping swampy sounds of Brown Bird, and the intense instrumentals of Death To Tyrants. My utmost thanks and appreciation go out to Eric and Mary Gagne, all of the contributing artists, and everyone who helped put this together. Thank you all for a fun and truly memorable NH weekend!