This Saturday, I had the good fortune to attend the final day of Transfigurations II (Check out Jason Sanford’s Q&A with Matt and Mark of Harvest Records if you are unfamiliar). Taking place on Blannahassett Island in downtown Marshall, the festival had the feel of attending a day at a very cool summer camp, but with Gatorade replaced with beer and, of course, a plethora of brilliant live musical acts instead of your counselor covering “Wonderwall” by the fire. Three stages offered a constant stream of performances, from folk to garage rock to soul. The performers were consistently energetic, enthusiastic, and generally seemed delighted to be there playing music for all of us.
I arrived in time to catch the end of Angel Olsen’s set; she is an incredibly powerful performer, and everyone appeared totally engrossed as she strummed “White Fire.” I wish I’d arrived in time to catch more, but feel lucky to have seen even those few minutes.
-A relentlessly energetic set by The Clean, a band that has been playing since 1978 and clearly has lost no momentum in their live show. Near the end, they demanded the audience join them on stage, and the people obliged, with at least 15 folks rushing to the stage to dance as the band played around them.
-A sweet and understated performance by underground folk music legend Michael Hurley. Halfway through his performance, the day’s heat finally gave way to a brief downpour, but the rain managed to only add to his goofy, lovely songs.
-Highly danceable rock and roll by Reigning Sound at the indoor stage, the auditorium of the old Marshall High School. The room was outfitted with paper lanterns and a low-key outer space-themed light show on the ceiling, making it possibly the coolest dance the high school had ever seen.
-A freaking powerhouse performance by Lee Fields, a soul singer who has been performing since 1969 (I’d like to note that it was about 10:45 at night when his set got started, and I, a 26-year-old person in good health, was barely able to move my body enough shuffle out some laughable moves, much less sing my heart out and command the attention of a sizable crowd).
A huge thank you to the folks at Harvest Records and their partners for putting together a magical end-of-summer party, and here’s to many more years of Harvest and many more Transfigurations iterations. I’ve included some pictures from the day, but if poorly-composed iPhone photos don’t do it for you, check out Harvest’s Instagram and the tag #transfigsii