Silopanna 2012 – A Review of Sorts
August 15th, 2012 by Christa Constantine
Silopanna Festival was this weekend, so two amazing WLOY volunteers – Tenley, our photographer, and Brennan, our field reporter – and I took the trip to Annapolis to check out the set. The festival had a sort of mature feel to it; most of the attendees were older, and many were hippies. As we walked around, we took note of the atmosphere, highlighted by a giant lumberjack statue at the front of the fairground, public cornhole games, and Bud Light Limes.
We all know the headliners – CAKE, Citizen Cope, G. Love & Special Sauce – but what we were really looking forward to was the local acts. However, being three different people, we fittingly formulated three different accounts of the day, translated below.
Most Anticipated: Sweet Leda. They played at Loyola back in the spring as part of WLOY’s Thursday night concert series, and I was looking for something even fuller and more fun than what they had to offer last semester. And, with easier access to booze, I anticipated some awkward onstage banter as well.
Delivered: Swampcandy. I can’t lie – I’ve never been a particularly huge fan of Swampcandy’s recordings, nor have I ever been able to accurately put my experience with music into words. But this show was one of my favorites. And I think like 99% of the reason has something to do with the fan situated in front of upright bassist Joey Mitchell, blowing air directly into his face and rendering him a tall, unkempt mermaid with flowing blond locks, against a backdrop of overused and under stocked port-a-potties. It was majestic.
Liveliest Show: While I’m tempted to say G. Love & Special Sauce simply due to my proximity to some of the trashiest, fake-breastiest women I’ve ever laid peripheral eye on, I can’t, in all fairness, draw that attention away from Sweet Leda’s show. By 3pm, they had easily drawn the largest crowd, their fans echoing their stage energy, and, quite literally, their lyrics.
Biggest Surprise: Local band following. As the day went on, the festival began to grow in attendance, and a decent percentage of the new arrivals were decked out in local band gear. To put it in perspective, there was one local band t-shirt for every 6 aged hippies, and approximately one for every 10 bottles of Bud Light Lime.
Biggest Disappointment: The fact that the band Stiletto changed their name at the last minute to “7iger.” That’s pronounced “Tiger,” but with a “7″ instead of a “T,” because I guess that’s still super edgy. I could forgive the discretion when The Morning Benders changed their name to POP ETC without so much as a second thought, but, seriously… “T1ger” or “Tig3r” would’ve been better.
Most Anticipated: Cake. Everybody loves Cake! And after the disappointing crab cake from lunch (more on that later), I was ready for some redemption. Luckily, I knew Cake would bring it with their signature brass-and-irony laden tracks like ‘Frank Sinatra’, ‘Going the Distance,’ and of course, ‘Short Skirt, Long Jacket,’ though I should note a more appropriate song for this festival would have been ‘Long Skirt, Unshaved Armpits.’
Delivered: 7iger. When a band replaces their ‘T’s with ’7′s, you can expect some cringe-worthy music. 7iger didn’t let me down, with lyrics about looking “even more beautiful than the stars,” “loving you, just the way I do,” and the consummate cliché, “You hurt me so baaaad babyyy.” These might be the guys One Direction get their lyrics from. Needless to say, my expec7a7ions were me7.
Liveliest: Sweet Leda. The local favorites brought an energetic set with plenty of songs to dance and sing to. These guys have all the elements of a classic jam band, from a killer brass section to drum solos that go on just long enough to be awkward. Julie, the face of Sweet Leda, brought her A-game with killer vocals– her voice hit notes that are probably illegal in some countries– and the crowd responded with the careless, drunken dancing every band craves to see. Well look on at your drunken-hippie-mess-crowd with pride, Sweet Leda. You guys earned it.
Biggest Surprise: Liking a band called Swampcandy. These guys really did look like they just crawled straight out of the bayou after wrestling alligators and letting poisonous things bite them, a surprise I should’ve anticipated given their name. What I could not have anticipated, however, was just how well this soft spoken duo played together. The upright bass kept the beat steady, the slide guitar laid down the rough southern blues that could cut like a knife (or a sharpened fishbone, or whatever these guys would use), and the vocals were just off pitch enough to get the whole crowd singing along. Made we wanna throw on some overalls and eat the first amphibian I could find.
Biggest Disappointment: Crab Cake Sandwich. Hunger hit hard mid-day, and I decided to give this Baltimore classic a chance. The enthusiastic food truck operator clearly took pride in his work as he handed me a big, hearty crab cake sandwich, the bread toasted to a nice crisp. I bit in with enthusiasm, only to recoil in shock and pain. Stone cold. More like ice-cream sandwich, except those are delicious and this was, well, awful. Still, I’m a trooper, and I ate the whole thing with a smile on my face and crabbiness in my heart. Paying thirteen dollars to let someone punch me in the mouth would have been quicker, and probably less degrading.
Photographers don’t write reviews. Check back later in the week for my photo gallery!