Truck Festival USA, Full Moon Resort, Catskills, NY
Wednesday 09 June 2010
In terms of setting you'd be hard-pressed to find somewhere more idyllic: a collection of rustic cabins nestling around a frothing creek in the mountains. Were all this not enough, the sun decides to shine. All weekend.
A highlight on Friday is Willy Mason, who plays at one in the morning in a lofty barn. His care-worn voice accompanied by just guitar is perfectly suited to the hour and there's a magical moment during an aching "For the Need of Love" when two moths start chasing each other in a dusty beam of light 30 feet above Mason's head.
The following day sees the Jayhawks' Gary Louris playing a sparse, gorgeous set of acoustic songs before being augmented by a pick-up band featuring festival organisers Robin and Joe Bennett on guitar and bass. Having rehearsed just once that afternoon, no one looks more surprised and pleased than Louris when they tear into fluid versions of "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me", "I'd Run Away" and "Blue", inspiring the day's first mass outbreak of dancing.
Saturday-night headliners Mercury Rev are accompanied by an eight-piece chamber orchestra. The highlights of a stunning, ethereal set include "Car Wash Hair", "Tonite it Shows", "Opus 40" – with the packed tent singing along to the line "Catskill Mountains, buried dreams" – and a perfectly realised cover of Jackson Browne's "These Days", much closer in nuance to Nico's aching, bereft take on the song than to the original version.
Having spent much of the weekend playing in various backing bands and dealing with logistical problems Robin and Joe finally take their turn in the spotlight around midnight on the Saturday with their new band Dreaming Spires. Their tremulous, hugely melodic pop music is well worth the wait, too: Big Star by way of Gram Parsons and Teenage Fanclub.
A surprise guest on the final day is Michael Lang, promoter of the original 1969 Woodstock, held just along the road, who pronounces the event "Very, very cool. No sponsors... all about music in the country!" and, fittingly, the night ends with about 30 of the hardcore gathered around a blazing campfire to join in massed ukulele and acoustic guitar versions of the works of Neil Young, The Band, Springsteen and, um, Katy Perry.
BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital moveTV
FestivalsFive ways to avoid the portable toilets
Jurassic WorldThe results are completely brilliant
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Michael Douglas regrets 'embarrassing' Catherine Zeta-Jones with oral sex comments
- 2 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 3 Tunisian builder has been hailed a hero after knocking gunman to the ground with roof tiles
- 4 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 5 Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L James's Twitter Q&A didn't go exactly as planned
Amy Winehouse film director: 'I wanted to show the fun, bright-eyed girl we didn't know'
Orange Is The New Black season 3 episode 1, review: The Ross and Rachel-ness of Piper and Alex is starting to grate
The picture of a man crowd surfing in a wheelchair at Glastonbury is brilliant, but it wasn't taken at Glastonbury
Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L James's Twitter Q&A didn't go exactly as planned
Guillaume Tell, Royal Opera House, review: Gang rape and stripping naked of female actor met with boos
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Extend Right To Buy to tenants of private landlords, Labour's Jeremy Corbyn says
David Cameron struck double blow in his hopes to win Britain a new EU deal
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato