Published by Jeff Becker, August 5, 2017
Hinterland Festival Day 1 and 2
10 observations from Hinterland 2017
- Hinterland has come a long ways in 12 months. 2016’s headliners were Willie Nelson. OK. This year it was Alt-J and Ryan Adams. That’s a big jump, especially in small town Iowa.
- I smelled more drugs than usual. More than last year.
- The shuttle bus service to and from the festival is outstanding from Des Moines. Best $10 ever.
- Gary Clark Jr. made some more fans. His talents are at the virtuoso level. “I told you that fucker was good” was a comment I overheard as fans milled around after Clark’s set.
- The Head and the Heart lead singer Jonathan Russell did a nice job, if his story is true, that his watch was set for Mountain time and he was out mingling at the soundboard in his shorts, 10 minutes prior to going onstage. He thought he had an hour and 10 minutes. And yes, he had no time to change and performed in his shorts…which looked pretty awkward with a jacket on.
- Alt-J perform as if they want nothing to do with each other. Their records are better than their live show.
- Foxygen on the other hand has a live show that exceeds their records, which says a lot, because in large part their records are very good.
- It’s hard to not like Ryan Adams. His music style has baseball, cotton candy, Chevrolet and red, white and blue written all over it. He’s right up there with Wilco. True Americana and Adams is carrying the torch that Springsteen fans would argue that Springsteen still carries.
- Every live act was onstage on time, and off stage at the right time. Very well coordinated festival. Set times were etched in stone.
- Very nice expanded merch stand to include not only the festival swag, but collections from Alt-J, Ryan Adams and more. Very nice. But who would want to carry the vinyl around all day?