Women in Music 2016

Rogue Wave

The only thing bands like to do less than be an opening band is be the first band to play at a festival.

The only thing bands like to do less than be an opening band is be the first band to play at a festival. It doesn't matter what festival it is. It’s sort of like getting invited to a party, but when you get there, no one wants to talk to you. Since our band's inception, we have been lucky enough to be invited to many great rock festivals. However, we are always asked to play first.

So, were we especially looking forward to being the first band on the last day of the Bonnaroo festival? Not at all. I groaned like a child as we loaded our gear underneath the bright morning sun onto the vast "Which" stage, while I looked at the wide and open field that would likely remain largely vacant during our set. I opened my guitar case and thought, “Where is my motivation?” I got out of the bus and saw that we were parked next to Phil Lesh and Friends' bus. Groan part two.

There was, of course, no time for our sound check. Oh, festival, you temptress. So when we took the stage, I was expecting a slow, hour-long sun-filled nightmare. To my shock, the field was packed with people, clapping and jumping up and down. It was 1 p.m. and already sweltering. Where was all of their energy coming from? We looked at each other with disbelief as we ran through the set. The crowd was really with us, and the more we gave, the better the show went. When the set was over, we all agreed it was the best show of the tour so far. It’s hard to believe this was possible, yet it happened that way. I even got to break a drumstick during the intro to “Lake Michigan.” Sometimes your dreams can come true.

After a half-hour break, we had about four hours of press scheduled. Probably the funniest part about all of this press was that a lot of the questions centered around what we thought of the festival: "Who have you seen so far at Bonnaroo?" "How do you think this festival is different than other festivals?" "What would you tell someone who has never been to Bonnaroo how to come prepared?" Considering it was my first time at Bonnaroo as well and the fact that we went straight from our set to talk to journalists, how could we answer? I didn't even know where the different stages were, and I didn't have time to grab a program guide, so I didn't even really know yet who was playing. I'm sure I sounded like an idiot.

When the press was over, we met at the batting cages. MLB.com was doing this World Series ticket giveaway, so we went into the cages and had some fun. Dom and Patrick both went 15-for-15. Them's a couple of ringers, for sure. Nice work, fellas. After that, we went and listened to some music. It was getting close to the end, but we had a chance to hear Robert Plant and Allison Krauss as well as Broken Social Scene. Both were sublime.

I realized I hadn't eaten yet that day, so we went to the hospitality tent to grab a late dinner. We sat with our friend Money Mark, one of the nicest guys you could ever meet. Later, most of Broken Social Scene strolled in, and we got to chat with them for a bit too. Looks like we will be running into them at some festivals this summer too, but if they want to catch our set, they’d better get there early.