Posted November 4, 2015 by Cooper Point Journal in Arts & Entertainment

Harvest Fest 2015:

Local Bands

By: Ruby Love

Evergreen’s 34th annual Harvest Festival was a dizzying array of tours, competitions, showcases, and food-sampling booths, and through all of the buzz and hubbub was interwoven the sounds of a wonderful musical lineup. The stage platforms were fastened together with bright yellow caution tape, balancing unevenly on the hilly grass. Hay bales provided comfy rows of seating in an arc in front of the stage as Olympians gathered to watch the bands, balancing steaming tamales on their laps.  The bands’ equipment was perched on kitchen stools… Is this an Olympia thing? They weren’t just the same two stools…bands brought their own stools. I’m so confused! Evergreen favorite Swoon, featuring a new lineup, kicked off the show with an expectedly charming set full of warmth, youthful giddiness, and just a touch of fall melancholy. A supportive Yasi— one of the band’s founding members and astrology columnist at the Cooper Point Journal— cheered them on from a front-row hay bale, stepping in to break a tie in an audience vote between hearing ‘a song about whiskey’ and ‘a song about Geminis.’ “Damn Gemini” won out. Following Swoon was the first oyster-shucking contest, as nervous-looking contestants attempted to shuck three oysters as fast (and as neatly!) as possible, without stabbing themselves. The next band up was Sawtooth, an ethereal-sounding folk trio with a bit of Andrew Bird influence. A friend described their sound as “grainy, as though all the instruments were full of minerals,” so…do with that information what you will… They played a stripped-down set as a three-piece; they normally have accompaniment from a bassist and a drummer. This was their second year playing at Evergreen’s Harvest Festival. Following the second, and final, oyster-shucking contest, Matt Fearon and Friends took us into the evening with an upbeat, jazzy set featuring an off-stage auxiliary drummer for the first few songs. Their sound was fun and lively though hard to pin down. The crowd was fuller now with people standing, hands in coat pockets, keeping warm by bobbing along to the music. It was a beautiful afternoon overall at Harvest Fest, with the stage area serving as a warm gathering place amidst the busyness of cider pressing, tamale steaming, pumpkin carving, and oyster-shucking.