Local Photos: Solid Sound 2015 @ MASS MoCA
by Ben Stas (Journalism/English), published July 3rd 2015
photos by Ben Stas
The 2015 edition of Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival took place at North Adams’ MASS MoCA last weekend, featuring two headlining sets from its curators alongside a diverse bill including Real Estate, Parquet Courts, Mac Demarco, Cibo Matto, Bill Frisell, Charles Lloyd and many more. Check out a photo recap of the weekend below.
Friday night featured an unplugged, all-acoustic performance from Wilco.
Following Wilco’s set, Real Estate took on a late-night improv session accompanied by courtyard-surrounding projections.
Earlier in the evening, a standard set from Real Estate and a roaring performance from Boston natives Speedy Ortiz (with Palehound’s Ellen Kempner filling in on bass) kicked things off.
Saturday night culminated in an electrified set from Wilco, along with a bit of rain that failed to dissuade the crowds from sticking around.
Weather-related rescheduling pitted Mac Demarco’s breezy jangle-pop on the main stage against a furious set from Parquet Courts in the courtyard, which inspired the weekend’s only minor mosh pit, earlier in the evening.
For likely the first and perhaps the only time ever, storied songwriter Richard Thompson played to one festival faction while avant-hip-hop duo Shabazz Palaces captivated another.
Pop experimentalists Cibo Matto were joined by Wilco guitarist (and husband of founding member Yuka Honda) Nels Cline.
Jessica Pratt serenaded the crowd in Courtyard C with hushed folk tunes, preceded by a jubilant rave-up from long-running collective NRBQ down the way.
Revered jazz guitarist Bill Frisell performed a mesmerizing set as a duo with vocalist/guitarist/violinist Sam Amidon.
Ryley Walker opened Saturday with a dose of his expansive folk-rock.
A stroll through MASS MoCA’s galleries during festival downtime is a must for any Solid Sound attendee.
Sunday’s closing festivities were capped off by a set from Tweedy, Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy’s project with son Spencer Tweedy on drums and guitarist Jim Elkington, bassist Darin Gray and keyboardist Liam Cunningham.
The Felice Brothers also performed on the main stage, following an extended set from jazz legend Charles Lloyd (which included Frisell sitting in on guitar).
At the indoor Hunter Center, Nels Cline and painter Norton Wisdom brought a Lynchian nightmare to life with their “Stained Radiance” performance.
Guitarist William Tyler, a former member of Silver Jews and Lambchop, played a lovely early afternoon set top open the festival’s final day.