The Echo from Echo
The first annual Echo Project took place over the weekend outside Atlanta, GA on Bouckaert Farms, just over the Fulton County line. While featuring headlining performances by The Flaming Lips, The Killers and Phil Lesh & Friends, the multi-band event also placed a special focus on local environmental issues and hosted several community discussions, including a HeadCount ‘town meeting’ led by Al Schnier of moe. and the Disco Biscuits’ Marc Brownstein.
Throughout the weekend a number of bands delivered well-received sets, including Les Claypool, Thievery Corporation (with a rotating cast of nine singers/rappers/toasters), Man Man, the Disco Biscuits, the Secret Machines, Umphrey’s McGee, Perpetual Groove, Spoon, the Benevento/Russo Duo, Lazaro Casanova, GZA and Slick Rick, among others. In addition, the weekend featured a number of spirited covers, including The Roots’ now famous rendition of Bob Dylan’s ‘Masters of War,’ MSTRKRFT’s mix of Justice and Daft Punk, Cat Power’s medley of Rolling Stones songs, and Bassnectar’s remixes of Metallica and Beatles. The Polyphonic Spree took on Nirvana’s
‘Lithium’ and Michael Franti & Spearhead sang Neil Diamond’s ‘Red Red Wine’ and Bob Marley’s ‘Get Up Stand Up.’ The Killers encored with a cover of Joy Division’s ‘Shadowplan,’ from the upcoming movie ‘Curtis’.
Common arrived half-an-hour late from the BET Essence Awards, then walked out of his police escort and onto the stage for a frantic 45-minute set. Wayne Coyne sang a special ‘Happy Birthday’ to the rabid fans who arrived for their way-too-early soundcheck, and Coyne talked about the appropriate timing of Al Gore’s Nobel Peace Prize in relation to the festival’s greening and environmental awareness efforts. Thievery Corporation dedicated their ‘The Richest Man in Babylon’ to George W. Bush, while The Flaming Lips dedicated a performance of ‘Taps’ to Lips fans who had lost their lives in Iraq or were still serving there.
MSTRKRFT had a full stage of dancers for his DJ set, featuring the women of Thievery Corporation, the men of Brazilian Girls, Jambands.com scribe Taylor Hill, and one spinning, Cold Turkey podcast co-host Benjy Eisen. Noise restrictions prevented an encore although MSTRKRFT beggingly waved unspun records at both crowd and stage crew. The Disco Biscuits turned out to see British electronic funk band The Egg, a cross-the-pond favorite. MSTRKRFT and Thievery Corporation will both be at next week’s Vegoose festival for those who missed them down on the farm.
Relix’s Cold Turkey was also onsite podcasting and recorded a number of exclusive interviews and performances. The first group profiled will be Perpetual Groove, who delivered an acoustic set for Cold Turkey which is available here.
Phil Lesh closed the festival on the dry, dusty, drought-stricken farm appropriately, with an encore of Bob Dylan’s 1962 anthem, ‘A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall.’ Report by Taylor Hill