Yes, those LarkFest tidbits just keep rolling in. Here MotherJudge offers the view from the Hometown Stage, while Mark Rose of Ten Year Vamp gives us a Main Stage perspective from the Madison Avenue end of things:
1. Were there any particularly vivid moments for you – either in your onstage or offstage mode?
MOTHERJUDGE: Waking up in the morning knowing there was zero chance of rain made facing LARKfest 2009 much more pleasant than years past. Good weather brings the stress level wa-ay down.
MARK ROSE of TEN YEAR VAMP: It’s always great on stage, especially looking out into a sea of people. And it’s even more special when we see so many Ten Year Vamp shirts out in the crowd. Offstage, the best moment was signing CDs after our set. We were still signing CDs 30-45 minutes after our set. Company of Thieves started their set and we were still signing… nothing is more special than that.
2. Was it as much fun as you’d hoped?
MOTHERJUDGE: I have been a part of LARKfest for many years, in various capacities, and continue to be a part of it because it is fun. As the producer and host of regional talent at the Hometown Stage, I am there more to create fun than to have fun, but if I didn’t truly enjoy that role I wouldn’t keep showing up year after year.
MARK ROSE of TEN YEAR VAMP: WAY more fun. We’ve learned over the years not to get too excited about any show. The disappointments can come pretty hard when we look forward to what we think is going to be a great show. We’ve had way to many of those lately, including an expected 8000+ person festival in New Jersey turn into a 35 person show because of rain. We’re all extremely happy the weather was beautiful and so many people were there to watch our show.
3. What went wrong?
MOTHERJUDGE: From my point of view, at my stage, LARKfest 2009 was overwhelming successful! Great sound from Atomic Sound and support from the Lark Street BID, great backline gear from North Albany Rehearsal Studios, all my performers were on time and
professional, and we stayed on schedule. The aforementioned perfect weather was the magic ingredient to one of the best LARKfest events in my rather long memory.
MARK ROSE of TEN YEAR VAMP: Considering everything that was going on, nothing. But aside from almost getting towed from the reserved artist parking, sometimes the rushed stage set-up can go wrong. With only a handful of minutes in between bands to get set up, we thought we were all set, but when Debbie went to start a song with just her singing and playing guitar, no sound came out or her guitar amp. Fortunately, we’ve already experienced every possible disaster on stage and learned to recover quickly, so I just jumped in to play her parts and we made it through fine.
4. Did you see other bands? Who was your favorite?
MOTHERJUDGE: I guess maybe the only thing downside is now that we have WEQX bringing in fantastic national acts, the event is much too crowded for me to just pop over to another stage and see other acts. I just can’t get from point A to point B quickly enough anymore. I am able to book a variety of performances at the Hometown Stage and satiate my love of great music and poetry. I’m there from start to finish, so I see a full day of what I consider to be some of the best in the region. I have never been disappointed in any act I have hosted, from hip hop, to punk rock, to power pop, it has all made me very proud of the Capital Region music scene.
MARK ROSE of TEN YEAR VAMP: We got to see the Burnham Brothers… they put on quite a show. I can’t wait to see them when they’re 17. We didn’t get to see much else because we had a show at 6pm at the Washington Armory for the Albany All-Stars Roller Derby… it took us 2-3 hours just to get all our equipment to the other side of Lark St.. I was psyched to finally get to see the Erotics (backing up Victoria Lamas). It was quite special to see them playing Pat Benatar and Scandal!
5. Would you do it again?
MOTHERJUDGE: In a heartbeat. It’s the end of summer, beginning of fall Lark Street tradition. LARKfest has grown from running power out of apartments and playing on the steps of brownstones for our friends and neighbors to a staggering crowd of 85,000. As long as the residents and merchants continue to support the event, I will do my part to bring performances that spotlight what great talent we have here in this area. And I am proud to have given my support to LARKfest so that it continues to provide a forum for performances by our local talent. I believe it is a big part of what makes this region really shine.
MARK ROSE of TEN YEAR VAMP: Of course.
Photographs Michael Hotter (you can see more of his LarkFest photos here.)