Local Photos: Solid Sound 2015 @ MASS MoCA

by Ben Stas (Journalism/English), published July 3rd 2015

photos by Ben Stas

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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.

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Following Wilco’s set, Real Estate took on a late-night improv session accompanied by courtyard-surrounding projections.

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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.

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Saturday night culminated in an electrified set from Wilco, along with a bit of rain that failed to dissuade the crowds from sticking around.

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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.

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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.

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Pop experimentalists Cibo Matto were joined by Wilco guitarist (and husband of founding member Yuka Honda) Nels Cline.

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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.

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Revered jazz guitarist Bill Frisell performed a mesmerizing set as a duo with vocalist/guitarist/violinist Sam Amidon.

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Ryley Walker opened Saturday with a dose of his expansive folk-rock.

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A stroll through MASS MoCA’s galleries during festival downtime is a must for any Solid Sound attendee.

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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.

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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).

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At the indoor Hunter Center, Nels Cline and painter Norton Wisdom brought a Lynchian nightmare to life with their “Stained Radiance” performance.

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Guitarist William Tyler, a former member of Silver Jews and Lambchop, played a lovely early afternoon set top open the festival’s final day.

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