Maré de Agosto Festival 2010

I’ve been super busy trying to get as much work done for Alpha Entertainment before leaving for Serbia, since the first issue comes out in the beginning of November, and by then, I have to finish translating 10 strips of Faux Pas and the first two chapters of Usagi Yojimbo, not to mention typeset the entire magazine ^^’

So anywho, here’s a post by the ever so awesome and curly-haired Henryacores, who participated in the music festival, Maré de Agosto.

So two yeeks ago was the 26th Maré de Agosto summer festival which, like always, I’ve attended. I’ve written a post on last year’s edition back then as well, so it’s a cool idea to read it before this. [linky Hecko, you lazy!] [Hecko edit: FFFFFFFF!! D8]

The Maré de Agosto summer festival is a world music festival that takes place in Praia Formosa beach at the Azorean island of Santa Maria. This year’s line-up was as varied as last year’s: the ever-present obvious rock and reggae were complimented by mind-blowing pumping, Brazilian tunes, North African sounds and national Portuguese tunes.

The festival was organized the very same way as last year. Composed of the main Maré Stage and the secondary TMN Stage (former castle stage. Renamed in order to kiss the main sponsor’s ass), the festival would have some minor shows and acts on the afternoon on the TMN stage, but the real thing started everyday at 22:00 with a small act by the same percussion bands as last year, and on the last day, with an act from the people who took part on the percussion workshop that occurred. After this minor act, two bands would play, the first starting at 22:30, and the second one starting at half past midnight and then a DJ would take the main stage while a third band would make the old people who don’t give a damn about DJs move to the TMN Stage. In the end both stages would feature DJs until 5:30.

Other than the line-up, I felt major differences this year. For one, I felt like I was on some random summer festival: Everywhere I looked, I could only find outsiders and/or younger girls. Also, there weren’t any gypsy shacks (D8), since they were kicked off and replaced by hotdog cars and such.

Like last year, my cousin (8D) was my ride to the festival, and then take me back with him by around 5 – 6 AM, when the gates closed off. So, everyday we left home by 10-11 pm. We should actually get there sooner, because parking there was a pain: We usually walked almost a km back to the car. Not that much, but it’s pretty boring if you consider it’s a climb, and you’ve usually booze on your blood by then.

So, the first day, the 26th of August, started with NOIDZ, some Portuguese freaks whose music is pretty much noise. It was brutal. My feet ached from jumping. Their show consists of four guys dressed like creepy aliens pumping with hardcore beats on their guitars. It was by far the best show of the festival.

After NOIDZ ended, a duo of Portuguese DJs by the name of Bandido$, who were actually pretty cool. I remember them playing some cool dance music, until showing some classic tracks like “Thunderstruck” and having the crowd go wild. I gave up on the rave by 4 AM, since my cousin had challenged me for a swimming race in the afternoon, so I was pretty tired, and went back to the car earlier. Since I was tired, I sat on the wall next to the car, and ended up falling asleep. When my cousin got to the car he thought I had gotten a ride home, and if he hadn’t miraculously seen a wasted body to the right with some tune playing on him, I’d have slept on the street. >>

The second day was the most expected, because of Disneyland After Dark. However, it started with Speed Caravan, a French band who mixed North African sounds with rock. I actually liked it, since it set a fine start for the show. As for D-A-D, it was really awesome, and one of the best concerts of the festival: all I remember is jumping with a friend in the middle of the lights and countless people around.

The female DJ duo Heartbreakerz came after D-A-D, but I don’t really remember them, and I heard they played some weird stuff, so it probably wasn’t impressive. I remember moving to the DJs on the TMN Stage, and the music there was something pretty vulgar. On the second (or first, considering there’s only one band Thursday) day, we went home earlier because my cousin was kind of tired, and the music wasn’t so good, so we just went home and rest for the following days.

The third day was pretty cool too, but had a rough start with Grooveria, some Brazilians with a concept of blending traditional Brazilian groove, and showed some remixes of classics from Bossanova, but their percussion sounded quite arritmic. What helped the show for me was the intent of making a beer cup pile that night toghether with a friend. I think it hit the twenties.

After Grooveria, Walter Strout followed up. I had no idea who he was but my cousin said he was like, this big Blues legend, or at least a relative, and he wasn’t wrong. The guy was very cool, and I really enjoyed his show, but I already was pretty drunk by then, after drinking half of that cup pile >>. I do remember I was so drunk I actually smoked a full cigar, even though I can’t smoke a shit sober, only to hit the enlightened conclusion that cigars ain’t worth shit. Seriously. It tastes like nothing. At least weed makes you high and booze can be sweet.

On the DJs, I don’t really remember them >> I think after the concerts I went to hang out with my friends at the field they were camping at, and started joking around with the accent of a girl from Terceira (Another Azorean island. Each island has distinct accents) who was hanging around with us. Poor kid. I have no memories from the DJs that day.

Sunday, the final day was pretty awesome. The first concert was from the Portuguese band Oquestrada, whose music sounds like Fado and really traditional Portuguese tunes. They manage to have cool music and pretty fun lyrics, but the concert wasn’t so good, because I think it lacked a lot of interaction between the artists and the public. So I grabbed my cousin Bean and a beer and we went to Nessa’s tent to hang out with her, her American or Canadian or whatever friend, Steven, and her sister. We chatted around and drank some of Nessa’s awful booze. Pretty cool time.

After Oquestrada ended, we went back to the stage to see Omar Perry, the reggae concert of the festival. It was a really awesome concert though I can’t remember the music, but I do remember it finally started to rain a bit (The weather that weekend was extremely freaky. It was always cloudy but it never rained, which was making me anxious). Omar Perry had a cool concert, and the show was so intense he even asked the public for a joint and smoked it like a chimney. Drunk Henry thought it was a cigar and had to look twice.

After the concert I went again to my buddies’ camp site to hang out before heading to the TMN Stage, where a Portuguese rock band called Tornados was playing. I really liked their music, because they played a really awesome 80’s Portuguese rock, again with fun lyrics, and not the shit commercial rock those kiddo fake bands that kids hear today (like Jonas Brothers and that). The TMN Stage had a cozier feel, because it is much much smaller than the main stage, so when I went to the bar I stayed there for a while, chatting with an older cousin’s friend who looked on his late 20’s, but was actually as old as me. Smoking does heavy shit to you.

Anyway, when I got back to the crowd, a some weird guys called Bunnyranch was already playing. I didn’t even notice the change back then, because both them and Tornados were four-man bands. I guess the music was pretty different. I don’t remember them much. I do remember Bla Bla Bla DJ, who came after, and ended the Maré with an awesome set, ending with current mainstream tracks that lifted the crowd high up. I danced a lot.

After the concert was over I left with my friends and went with them to their tents, until my cousin called me by around 7 AM for us to go home. Just like last year.

Overall, this edition of the festival was really good, but not half as good as last year’s. By any chance. Probably because my buddy was in damn Canada, maybe because I was drunk by midnight. No, scratch that. I was always drunk last year too. I don’t know. It was probably because I was expecting something a hundred times better than last year, since I’m moving out of the island and diving into Lisbon for college life. I’m just happy this Maré was awesome as always, no matter if less than before.

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