(author’s note, I’m sad to say I have had to change my position on this band after their announcement that two of the members were marching in an anti-gay-marriage parade. I don’t show up for bands which don’t show up for all kinds of people. 3/2013)
There is so, so much more to say about our Merlefest adventure. But aside from the great campground neighbors, and the trying on of audacious hats, and the eating of many black bean burgers, and the drinking of adult beverages around the fire, I’ll get straight to the music. And the music I will remember:
We stumbled across some Scythian CD’s in the music tent, having no idea who they were. We fell in love with titles like “Cubicles and Tylenol” and “A Girl Named You.” We decided to check them out on the super steep hillside, stacked up in front of the Hillside stage.
We approached the stage from behind, and saw the massive happy crowd on the hillside. We loved the music on the spot, which is heavy on fiddles and drums. And then we rounded the corner and saw the band.
Overheard at this point from another female concert goer, upon seeing these gentlemen for the first time: “Do. Not. Let. Me. ThrowMyPantiesOnstage.” Because these gentlemen look like this:
But lest we cross into uncomfortable territory and begin objectifying breathtakingly handsome men, let me make haste to say, they are badass musicians. And they are fun. Rollicking, is the only way to describe a Scythian show. And between the Irish drinking songs and the Jewish wedding songs and the Hungarian love songs, you feel like you have covered some musical ground; traditional, with a rock and roll overlay.
Every song was better than the one before. When they got to the part of the show when they announced that they’d be doing some gypsy tunes from their eastern European roots, I almost fainted on the spot and tumbled face-first down the steep hillside. Because I love fiddles. And I love fiddlers. And now I love gypsy fiddles, and gypsy fiddlers. They actually did a Russian dance, the kind where you do the full squat and fling one leg out at a time, while playing the fiddle. I turned to my friend and said, “God loves me and wants me to be happy. I suspected this. And now I know for sure. Gypsy fiddles! Gypsy fiddles!”
I was a little overwrought. But you would have been too.
We dragged the rest of our crowd to the show the next day. I might have stepped on some sixteen year olds in order to get to the front of the crowd. I probably threw an elbow or two, and I totally boxed out someone trying to worm her way into my primo spot. Second show was even better, because we weren’t on the precarious hillside, and we had room to dance.
As a rule, I do not dance in public, unless I am in a dance class. The exception, we have found, is that I will absolutely dance, I mean, embarrass-myself dance, hold-my-hat-on dance, wear-myself-out-and-lock-arms-with-my neighbors-and-straight-up-throw-down dance, when the music is worth It.
Scythian: Worth it.