As Jim Olsen announced from up on stage around 6:45 tonight, the twenty-fourth Green River Festival is in the books. It was a splendid assortment of music, and the hot sun and familiar faces made it all pretty darn all right.
But if I were on the committee organizing the 25th show, I would have to sit down with the GCC honchos and talk about getting a beer tent. It’s as if the crowd of nearly all 0ver 21 music fans shouldn’t be allowed to imbibe. As if the purity of this being a community college makes that sound unseemly. But all I kept thinking was, why the hell don’t they sell beer on this hot day in July when twenty-thousand of us have gathered to listen to music?
A treat at the show was Unit 7. Dressed in a red suit with porkpie hat, the front man sang in a theatrical style, super eloquent, and bringing a 1920s show feel to the stage. Then they brought out the giggly gaggle dancers, four teenage girls smiling and dressed up like flappers to prance around a bit during the song. Then a brassy woman with a hat and belting voice sang a song about telling your lover GOOD BYE! if they rub you the wrong way.
Cake was the headliner up on the main stage. I hurried back after being so amazed and impressed by Unit 7, and they played a familiar song…”I Want to Love You Madly.” But the the lead singer began to harang us about immigration law, and some sort of other political messages, which weren’t stated clearly enough to make sense of. The crowd wanted to rock, not to hear about the border problems. Later he’d continue this sort of strange babbling before launching into their other great hit, about how he wants to find a woman with a longggggggg Jacket.