Creation Fest NW 2012: Day 2

Circle pits, crowd surfing, rubber rafts, pyro, and a dance party. Of all the days, day 2 was the craziest.

We arrived at the expo center just in time to catch For King and Country‘s set. Though that was the least crazy part of the day, I still really enjoyed their music. The Australian brothers that make up the duo have crafted some great songs and know how pull them off live.

After buying a couple of t-shirts, I headed over to the Fringe stage. Bread of Stone was playing their last couple of songs. Tooth and Nail Record’s own Micah Dean was the emcee for the Fringe stage all week. I have to say, he did an amazing job. That guy is a riot. I don’t think he got the memo at first that he didn’t have to talk throughout the whole set change. That kept things entertaining. There was even some joke telling. “How much does a hipster weigh…?… AN INSTAGRAM!”
At the end of the week, I felt like all the people hanging at the Fringe were some mutant family with Micah as our main bro. There was a lot of hearts, bromance (I’m not a dude but whatevs), and love. I know, that sounds weird, you’d probably have to be there.

Becoming the Archetype as well as some face melting were next on the agenda. They really brought it. I’ve been a fan of their dynamic metal for a while now, but this was my first time seeing them live. No disappointment was found. Those dudes know how to rock hard. Oh the glories of a rebel Fringe stage, they started a circle pit. Unfortunately, Creation Fest frowns upon such behavior. Their aim is to create a family friendly environment with no chance of people being trampled. As a smallish lass, I say bring on the crazy. I do understand Creation’s point but… everything is more fun when you’re at risk of being trampled.

Afterwards, The Wedding took the stage. These talented guys put on one of my favorite Fringe shows of the years I’ve been going to Creation. They’re an all around great band to see. They sound great plus their high energy tunes get everyone around amped. Someday I really want to see them at a different venue. As much as I and the crowd loved them, I don’t think they made friends with Creation. After some crowd surfing and going a little over time, they pulled the plug on their sound. I wasn’t that mad though. They were at the end of their last song, which made it seem a little more over dramatic than anything. Dicey. A while later I met the fellows and got my shirt signed. You can’t judge somebody by a minute long meeting, but they seem like standup guys. It’s cool when bands take time to shake your hand, ask how you’re doing, and thank you for supporting them. Long story short, support this band and keep an eye out for their upcoming Tooth and Nail album. I heard a new tune there and I think it’s gonna be great.

Lunch followed, which is always fun at fairgrounds. I love me some grease. Family Force 5 were soundchecking, so me and my brother stopped by the mainstage for a bit (they’re his favorite band.) We headed back to the Fringe stage and caught about 2 minutes of The Letter Black’s last song. I wasn’t too sad about missing them, I don’t listen to their music, but I heard later from some Fringe friends that they are a good live band.

Shonlock (minus his band) came out next. At the beginning of the show some of the recorded tracks he was singing to went on the fritz. Instead of stopping everything, he took the chance to freestyle. Using the crowd’s clapping as his only beat, he went on to do a very impressive freestyle. The funny thing is that, instead of messing everything up, the technical difficulties brought on the highlight of the show.

Headlining the Fringe Stage that day was Disciple. Around the time they started, I was feeling pretty bla (my stomach didn’t know what to do with that grease) so I went and sat down a ways from the stage and talked to a lady about tattoos. I’ve seen Disciple before though and can recommend seeing them live.

Luckily, there was a pretty substantial break between the Fringe bands and the nighttime Main Stage acts. By the time Family Force 5 hit the stage, I was ready to jump up and down and wobble like an idiot. Whether you like FF5 or not, you have to admit their live show is like no other. In one word, they’re just plain fun. The crazy was contagious. At the start of their set, lead singer “Soul Glow Activatur” got in a giant bubble and rolled over the top of the crowd. Later, during their new song “Cray Button,” he ventured back to the crowd, only this time in a rubber raft. Besides all the gimmicks, they’re just great at playing and entertaining to watch. They slowed at the end of their set to play their only serious song of the night, “Superhero.”

Thousand Foot Krutch took on their first headling role at Creation NW that night. That was my fourth time seeing them live. I love how everytime I see them they step things up a little more. This was my first time seeing them since the release of The End is not the End, and their new songs fit in perfectly. They’ve got a lot of rock songs you can only fully appreciate live like “Fire it Up,” “Let the Sparks Fly,” and the classic “Rawkfist.” Pyro and a sweet light show made the whole thing even better. However, what I like about TFK is they don’t really need all the gimmicks in order for their show to shine. Frontman Trevor McNevan has a huge stage presence. Not only can they bring the rock, there were some very well placed calmer moments. I got chills as the crowd sang at the top of their lungs along to the worshipful “Already Home.” “Be Somebody” was another highlight. There were a lot of people miffed that Skillet didn’t come for their annual headlining night, but personally I prefer TFK. They never disappoint. I hope they get the chance to headline many more times.

Both stages were closed, but the night was still young. Like dead fish we went with the flow to the building chosen for Family Force 5’s dance party. The band DJed remixed versions of their songs, old and new. Group 1 Crew, Shonlock, Micah Dean, and a rotating lineup of fans graced the stage alongside Family Force 5. Much to everyone’s delight, the rubber raft and bubble made a couple appearances. Sweaty People were packed liked sardines in the building which seemed a couple sizes too small. It was cold outside, but inside it felt like a sauna. Everyone was jumping around and trying out their best dance moves. It was a blast. Great exercise, too.

Even though we ended up not getting to bed until 1, we all agreed it was very worth it. It was a memorable day indeed.

Stay tuned!

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Creation Fest Northwest 2012: Day 1

For the past three years, Creation Festival has been the highlight of my summer. It’s a huge deal for someone like me who doesn’t get to see any concerts the rest of the year. It’s not like there’s bands dying to play in Alaskan island towns. All year I look forward to Creation fest. This year, the Fringe Stage was what I was looking forward to the most. Since the Fringe doesn’t even open until the second day, I knew day 1 would be my least favorite as far as lineup goes. Still, the day Creationfest opened I felt like I was going to jump out of my skin with excitement.

Up first was New Zealand artist Rapture Ruckus. Even though I don’t like the type of music he does (I have an allergy to autotune), I couldn’t help but bounce along to the music. He did a good job engaging the crowd and getting them hyped up. If I had it my way, a different artist would’ve kicked off the whole shindig. I’m not complaining though. Creation can’t cater to everyone’s taste. I suppose most attenders would probably quit going if the mainstage lineup was my choice.

Kutless took the stage next. Their set was divided into a rock and worship segment that suits the band’s dual personalities. I haven’t kept up with their new music, but it was fun singing along to Shut Me Out and Strong Tower. Kutless was one of the bands at the first concert I ever went to back when they were on tour with newsboys. I noticed that musically they’ve slowed down quite a bit. Radio friendly i

Soon after, RED made quite the entrance by suddenly setting off some fireworks that made half the crowd jump. I don’t listen to RED much anymore, but their live show made me remember why I first loved them. They still have an intense live presence. The whole show was kicked up a notch compared to other times I’ve seen them. Pyro doesn’t automatically make a band have a good live show, but it sure doesn’t hurt. I think I could stand a country concert if there was pyro, and that’s saying a lot.

After RED, an announcement caught my eye. The Wedding were going to replace Hyland the next day at the Fringe stage. My little rock’n’rolling heart almost popped with joy. I love surprises! Actually, I hate surprises (it’s a complicated relationship). Children 18: 3 and Write this Down were left out of the final schedule for some reason or another. This really bummed me out, especially since Children 18: 3 are one of my favorite bands and I’ve never seen them live before.

The night’s headliner wrapped up the night. I didn’t have any great expectations for mercyMe‘s show. I wrote them off as just another typical radio friendly artist. A good surprise changed my mind. I found myself pleasantly surprised. They’re not groundbreaking by any means, but it was a good blend of meaningful words, worship, and straight up fun.

All in all, a good kickoff for the week. The lineup wasn’t the best, but I’m terribly biased by what other people would call racket. I belong at the Fringe stage, anyhow. And oh how I love the Fringe. It was a bit of a rebel this year.
I’ll try my best to post part 2 tomorrow.

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Lately in Pictures (Alaskan Spring)

“Lately the weather has been so bi-polar
And consequently so have I”
-Relient K

Spring has finally reached us here in southeast Alaska. Thank goodness, we had snow two weeks ago and I thought people in town were going to go mad. Crazy how much the weather messes with people’s minds.
That said, the last few days haven’t been bad. It’s probably the quiet before the storm hits. Most places have rainy springs and sunny summers. Here, it’s opposite. Rain rules all summer long. Better enjoy the outdoors while I can.

Sunsets and plants.  Typical and predictable, but can’t resist.

The brush was terrible to hike through. Precarious hunting.

More precariousness.

I scored two grouse this year.

Out in the boat enjoying a somewhat blue sky.


Nothing beats a harbor walk.

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MyMusic Show

Those three categories are my preferred way to waste time on the internet. Now I can waste a little less time as they’ve all rolled together to create the MyMusic Show. The show is a mockumentary about a growing business whose employees are all music stereotypes (except for intern 2). I originally started watching it since one of my favorite Youtube personalities, the dramatically awkward Grace Helbig, plays one of the main characters. Her character is Idol, a pop culture fanatic. Alongside her is the hipster Indie, short tempered Metal, tumblr addict Scene, and a few others. As a music fan, I find this hilarious. It’s a well done show that puts out a lot of content weekly. I think that amount of comedic talent deserves a spotlight.

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5 Thoughts Thanks to “The End is Where We Begin”

A little over a week ago, I got the new Thousand Foot Krutch album, titled “The End is Where We Begin,” in the mail. It releases tomorrow officially, but I got it early thanks to the wonders of Kickstarter. It got me thinking a bit about things…

1. When was the last time I got a physical CD? Why do I not get these more often? Nowdays, if for smart shoppers, they’re only a couple bucks more than a digital album. With that, you get something to add to your collection, lyrics right there handy, and, my favorite, artwork that someone worked hard on. “The End is Where We Begin” had pretty spiff artwork compared to a few of the last rock albums I’ve gotten. It was fun looking through the designs, reading thank yous, and finding a serious spelling typo in the lyrics to “Light Up the Sky.” Yes, I’m a snob like that. And yes, you could probably examine this post and find many typos.

2. Kickstarter is genius. I felt a little like I won a prize for doing some elite task when I got the CD in the mail. That’s stupid. I pre-ordered an album. They got help to put out the album with my money and a heck of a lot more people’s money. Yet I still feel a little like I earned this album. Case in point, Kickstarter is genius.

3. The CD currently lives in my car along with House of Heroes’ Suburba. They’re getting me amped for summer. It got me thinking, do people still pack around CDs in their cars, or is it just me? Has digital listening taken over cars too? I wouldn’t know because my car is older than me. It originally had only a cassette player. But I have to say, listening to a CD front to back in the car is a problem I don’t mind being stuck with.

4. Is rap/rock really as dead as people say? Maybe I’m a sucker, but I sure like it.

5. Oh hey, TFK is still making music worth listening to. Perhaps the three biggest players in the “Christian rock scene” the past few years have been Skillet, RED, and TFK, who are also some key bands that helped me get into hard rock. Skillet and RED have crashed and burned with their latest efforts. It was a pleasant surprise listening to this album and realizing these guys are still a genuinely good band.
“The End is Where We Begin” is a mix between their old rap/rock days, the grittiness of “The Flame in All of Us,”  with the polished rock twist of “Welcome to the Masquerade.” That said, the album doesn’t feel like I’ve heard it all before. There’s plenty of variety. Songs like the high energy “Courtesy Call,” poppy “All I Need to Know,” and moody “Fly on the Wall” were surprising in a good way.  Of course, it’s not perfect by any means. My main complaint are a few cheesy lyrics, but it’s not a big enough deal to throw off the whole album. In fact, there’s an urgency to the lyrics that I haven’t felt from other TFK albums. Is it their best? In the long run, I think my answer will be no. However, all things considered, a CD far above average from a band that’s been around a long time. I respect that. Can’t wait to hear new songs live at Creationfest.

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Plath, Poetry, and Pictures

Words by Plath, images by me.

I love authors who are so brilliant at stitching words together, you find yourself rereading sentences just to soak them in again. To me, Sylvia Plath is a master of that. Few authors, whether poet or novelist, have amazed me as much as her.

The first piece of her work I read was The Bell Jar. It’s a deep story of soul searching, relationships, and madness. Its storytelling has a heart in reality. Main character Esther’s life is a mirror of Sylvia Plath’s own. Knowing this only deepens the book. It is an intense read with the knowledge that the depression, heartache, and madness she went through was real. It made me realize that a sound mind is a gift, not always a choice.

Her poetry is equally rich. At times it spirals into dark places, but it’s always captivating. I wish I could go back in time and tell her what an awe inspiring writer she is. I wish her life hadn’t ended the way it did. There was so much more she could’ve wrote.

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Happy Easter

ImageHe is risen indeed. Hope you had a marvelous day of reflection, family, and yes, chocolate bunnies. You’re never too old to decorate Easter eggs by the way.

This is the part of the blog where most people would apologize for disappearing and not posting often. Not quite for me. In the past month, there have has been everything from plane trips and minor surgeries to college searching and maybe a little worrying. All in all, pretty eventful. Can’t say I feel bad for not posting. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, am I right?

Currently I’m watching Friends to keep me up until midnight. That’s the first possible chance to register for classes this fall semester. Life is exciting. I just wanted to drop a note, say happy good day, and this place will be more active soon.

Also, Peeps don’t burn. There goes the “marshmallows shaped like chicks” theory.


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