I've been gushing for a while now how wonderful I've found this summer to be, but if I hadn't already realized it, yesterday at Compound Fest encapsulated the experience.
Though the all-day shindig began at 1 PM, I didn't end up getting there till about 5. That meant I ended up missing about half of the day's nearly two dozen bands, but as I realized that Arte Povera (the CB house band) was cuing up just as I dropped my twelver of Black Label into a pal's already iced cooler, I was content.
And when I immediately found an empty chair in the gaggle of cool folks a few other friends were hanging with, I totally forgot about anything in the world that might have been worth bitching about. Instead, surrounding by good company, I took in some good live music, quaffed a few beverages, and dug the perfect weather.
By the end of the evening, enough of said beverages had been quaffed and I started to put things into perspective, as I am often wont to do in any near (or better) state of inebriation.
The entire day felt like a family reunion to me, a really great one. I've only been around town for a couple years now and even the friends I spent most of the day with I've only been tight with for several months at the most. That's not a lot considering many of these folks were hanging with friends that they'd known sometimes for decades, people they'd been in multiple bands with, people who they'd dated and married and stayed friends with. Lots of connections, lots of time, and so comparatively I'm a pretty fresh face, which has as many pros as it does cons. To belabor the family reunion metaphor a bit, I figure I'm like the guy who marries a cousin. Every one is nice, friendly, inquisitive, and approachable. I never once got the "who's this guy?" vibe.
So the times were good. So was much of the music. Arte Povera brought it, as they've done every time I've had the pleasure of watching them perform. Founding Fathers were fantastic - I really can't believe this is a band that has only performed a small handful of times publicly - they sound so seasoned and in tune with each other, and the connection between the bass player and the rhythm guitarist is tight. Short Rabbits were definitely the discovery of the day for me - I'd not heard them play before (and, to be honest, I don't know that I'd even heard of them before), but they won me over completely. And the This Moment In Black History was incredibly, incredibly fine. Those dudes are so on fire with each other. I don't like heavy shit at all, yet I was super bummed when their 30 minute set closed.
After they played, I started saying my goodbyes and walked to my vehicle with a rather large smile on my face. The day wasn't perfect - there were sick friends and too-drunk partiers and my hot links went home with the aforementioned cooler before I had a chance to cook them - but it was an apt measuring stick for my time here in Cleveland so far. There are wonderful things happening here, and wonderful people making those things happen, and I feel fortunate to know about these things and these people. So, yeah, Cleveland Rocks.
2 years ago