High Sierra Music Festival 2018 Review and Experience Recap

High Sierra Music Festival Review

High Sierra Music Festival 2018

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Last weekend I volunteered with my buddy to work as a volunteer to attend a festival called High Sierra Music Festival. It has a great reputation and honestly I had a lot of fun working and meeting people.Β  I worked my volunteer hours for a free ticket mostly before the festival, so got to enjoy the vast majority of the festival without any responsibilities. I just had to work another 5 hours during the weekend to make up for some hours that we skipped on Saturday because my buddy and I got there late… whoops.

High Sierra was a ton of fun because of the people who attended. The bands were just okay, with the exceptions of some of the headliners and late-night acts. I definitely recommend trying High Sierra at least once because you will have a great time with some awesome folks.

We drove up three hours two weekends in a row, no biggie. It’s always priceless to enjoy a ton of new bands and music that I had no idea existed! I’ll tell you about the music and the bands first, then talk about the experience of volunteering at a music festival, then finish off with how the whole weekend turned out. I had a great time though!

First things first, the Bands

Chris Robinson Brotherhood

These guys blew me away, especially the lead singer, who I assume is Chris Robinson? I felt like I was listening to some early 70s rock band that was never discovered and still toured the country, their stage presence was incredible. Definitely a must see.

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

On the last night, I got a bit confused about which stage was which and ended up seeing the Chris Robinson Brotherhood on accident, due to thinking that the meadow stage was the grand stage. I ended up getting to see the last 10 minutes of their set on Sunday after leaving Chris Robinson early and they slayed it! Pretty sure they just play ‘f you’ the whole time and creating some incredibly intricate on the fly funk breakdowns with lots of meaningful distortion. Another must see.

The Floozies

Okay so the Floozies were actually one of the only bands that I knew of when I looked at the line-up originally. They were just as good live as they are in the studio, perhaps better because of the lead guitarist, Matt, and his multiple instrumental skills and the ridiculously good rhythm of his drummer brother Mark. Their unique combination of production and live instrumentation is fantastic to watch.

Lettuce

Jam Band is what I’m told they are termed? They had some great guitar solos and some fantastic lights. Well written music for sure, but a bit boring due to the lack of low-end. Would have really loved to see a DJ get involved with their set, but I understand that’s not their thing.

The String Cheese Incident

Again excellent music, missing something when it came to the live performance. It was almost as if I was watching a guy at work; he did this all day every day and that to me ceases to be art and gets into commercialism, but anyways, music was fantastically written, in my opinion lacked synthesis to fill out the sound.

Volunteering at a Music Festival

Volunteering was actually a pretty good amount of work, they expected me to work every minute of the 16 hours promised for a ticket. A little bit different from my experience at Lightning in a Bottle in 2014. Expect to wait around a bunch, 50/50 on getting fed and probably have to camp. My buddy and I were actually very well taken care of so thanks High Sierra! We were fed as well, not too shabby, but if we weren’t fed it wouldn’t be worth it imo and I heard that is often the case with volunteering at festivals.

Conclusions from the Weekend at High Sierra Music Festival

I have concluded that I like really good music of any genre. With enough craftsmanship and skill any genre of music can be transcendent. I did realize that jam bands aren’t quite my thing. Though I can appreciate the hell out of the instrumentalism. Lights are also a very important part of a performance for me. Both The Floozies and the Pigeons Playing Ping Pong had great light shows and that truly set them apart from the rest of the bands with the exception of the Chris Robinson Brotherhood who absolutely exceeded any expectations I had for the festival in general with the quality of their music and performance.

High Sierra Music Festival was a great time. I highly recommend waiting for a year with some bands that you like and going out to Quincy to camp for four nights. It was a blast (especially with a free ticket)!

 

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