While some might think all of this year’s outdoor festivals are over done with, Nor’easter Festival hits Burlington this weekend with a little bit of everything. The festival, in its third year and on its third location, has a forecast that’s a bit like a salad bar: one part music, one part sports and one part conservation. With two 30 ft. climbing walls, a fully legit cycle cross, volunteer sessions with local farmers on Sunday, and other things that granola-loving-Marmont-men would love to do on the weekend, the bands follow suit in a two-stage lineup booked by Newport Folk Fest producer and Paste Editor at Large Jay Sweet.
According to Sweet, who I spoke with last week, the typical Nor’easter attendee is “the kind of guy who shows up at a party and when you ask what he did that day, he casually says that he went on a 40 mile bike ride and then hit the gym.” With intense, short attention span dudes like this in mind, Sweet booked a wide range of bands that all fall under the umbrella of “infectious energy.” It’s hard to get fired up about a climbing wall with a mellow ballad as your soundtrack. That’s why G. Love & Special Sauce is headlining along with rjd2 and Okkervil River.
- Austin’s Okkervil River is more indie rock than Americana, but has a Decemberists way about them with songs that feature folk instruments and overtones.
- Jersey’s River City Extension is another top pick on the roster and was one of our very favorites in Newport. The band’s album, The Unmistakable Man, was released last year and is the perfect, tolerable folk workout soundtrack, so they are a natural fit for the show.
- Wilmot, NH-based Aunt Martha, which played Bonnaroo in June, released two great EPs earlier this year and just released a new FREE album called Norway, ME (get it here), is one not to miss. I loved these guys right away. I have a feeling that we’ll see much more of them on the festival circuit next summer.
The Nor’easter kicks off on Friday the 23rd. Following massive flooding in New England due to Hurricane Irene late last month, charitable opportunities at the festival will abound. Tickets are still available. Man up and get one.