Preview: Summer Meltdown 2012 Sunday August 12thPosted by Lindsey Bluher
Summer Meltdown, the self proclaimed “Biggest Little Festival” in the Pacific Northwest is back for its 12th year – this weekend August 10th-12th. Please take note: Summer Meltdown’s line up is the best its ever looked! If you haven’t heard of this festival before, it’s the sort that only happens in the PNW – four stages set up in the middle of the woods about an hour and a half outside of Seattle in a town you’ve probably never heard of – Darrington, Wash.
Held at Whitehorse Mountain Amphitheater, this years festival has put the previous 11 to shame. The festival features local and nationally touring acts that span genres, resulting in a lineup that has something for just about any listener. Also, even though this is a music festival, there are activities like cabaret and belly dancing. Below you’ll find a few bands to make sure to check out Friday when you finish setting up your tent and party the weekend away at one of Washington’s best festivals. Tickets are still available here, buy them now and we’ll see you there this weekend!
1:00 – 2:00 Keaton Collective
Another buzzworthy Bellingham band to play Summer Meltdown this weekend is Keaton Collective. With songs like “Fallin Asleep” and “End Of Times” from their 2012 release Tercera, this band adds a country tint on their rock and roll. KC fuses together the best parts of a handful of popular genres and the result are songs that are exciting to listen to, with surprises from the drums and harmonies that might catch you off guard over how much you like them. They leave you guessing – will this song have a banjo or an electric guitar? Will the vocals be a shock to the system, or you hear a mellow storyteller? This band is heavy Sunday morning music, and will wake up festivalgoers better than the strongest French Press.
If there were one band from this festival that’s perfectly poised to blow up in the coming year, I would say Pickwick is it. The local band captures the heat of the summer in their bass line, every twang of the electric guitar feels like a ray of sunshine on your soul. Pickwick makes music that, plain and simple, does the body good. When lead singer Galen Dillard-Disston begins a song, you never want him to stop – his voice is unique and has a subtle power to it that you don’t hear often, especially in Seattle. This band has more genuine talent than most out there, and I think you’ll be just as impressed as I am by them once you hear them at Whitehorse Amphitheater. Their vintage soul music is sure to leave you rejuvenated and refreshed after a long weekend of gritty camping.
5:20 The Moondoggies
Americana music has a home without question at Summer Meltdown this year, and The Moondoggies have been specializing their brand of the genre for a hot minute. The result is smooth, heartfelt and insightful music that may surprise you with the balance of light and dark in their songs. The Moondoggies truly capture what Folk Americana music is – combining haunting melodies with a sweetly simple guitar. The keys in this band though take it to a higher elevation and make it so this band isn’t one to get lost in the shuffle. This music is easy to listen to, and just as easy to get lost in, as the songwriting is some of the best Washington has to offer.
Specializing in the sort of music that would make Willy Nelson proud, and is probably most at home in a grimy Harley bar, one of the final bands to play Meltdown this year is Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real. Lukas Nelson and his band are a party to listen to – they make music that is equal parts party and rock anthem, with a large dose of southern charm. I can’t think of a better way to end my weekend than with a band that takes themselves seriously as musicians but who seem to focus on making music that will make people happy. It’s easy to get lost in the Lynyrd Skynyrd style guitar playing, but if you take a listen to the lyrics, you might end up lost in Nelson’s stories that contain vivid imagery alongside heartfelt messages. Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real are a blast to listen to, and will surely get your toe tapping and hips shaking alongside their country twang. Cowboy hat optional.