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- Posted on May 15th 2010 11:00AM by Jillian Mapes
The three-day festival, which takes place in the picturesque Appalachian hills of Nelsonville, Ohio, has seen its share of experimental rock throughout its six-year history, including Akron/Family in 2008, but Man Man may hold the honor of simultaneously confusing and delighting the eclectic audience the most.
The spectacle stemed from Honus Honus' on-stage antics, such as spitting water into the crowd and banging drum sticks atop photographers perched in front of the stage. One minute he was playing a Rhodes organ clad with Christmas lights; the next he was banging on a snare drum and a metal bowl filled with glitter. The performance was the musical equivalent of flashy fireworks display, and it was just as polarizing: some people can handle the noise, while others in attendance cannot.
Friday, the first day of the Nelsonville Music Fest, was filled with a well-mixed dose of folk, country, blues and rock acts, including Those Darlins, Black Joe Lewis and Givers, a Louisiana band who toured with Dirty Projectors tourmates and are bound for indie fame.
Compared to the menagerie of brights colors, constant movement and unexpected sounds created by Man Man, the day's earlier acts served as the calm before the storm. However, it was a calm that was well appreciated by the thousands who flocked to Robbins Crossing, a historical site rife with frontier-style log cabins. The cabins even serve as side stages, with bands including Those Darlins rocking the ramshackle wooden stage Friday evening for their first of two performances of the fest.
The country-punk quartet from Murfreesboro, TN fit in perfectly with the strong spirit of Appalachian culture that runs through the fest by singing about -- but of course -- whiskey! The three ladies of Those Darlins, all clad in black dresses, certainly weren't afraid to mingle with the down-home crowd, some of which sat at picnic tables and others who do-see-do'd. The band played the majority of their self-titled debut album and finished the set with songs off their upcoming second album, which conjured a more intense surf-punk energy.
The festival continues today with headlining performances from Loretta Lynn and Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings.
Man Man on AOL Music