Legend Valley Thornville, Ohio September 20-23, 2018
Written by Michael Tucker
“The kingdom of heaven is spread upon the earth, but people do not see it.” -Jesus
There’s so much more than the life that we knew. -Papadosio
There is a beautiful tale from Hindu mythology of the god Indra who has a giant net which contains a jewel at every intersection, wherein each jewel reflects every other jewel. If I were to pick an image which captures the essence of Resonance 2018—not counting a GIANT foam brontosaurus— I would choose this Net of Indra. It serves as a reminder of not only our interconnectedness, but also as a reminder of each person’s responsibility to resonate love because what each one of us does truly matters. One realization (of many) I had at Resonance 2018 is that it is my responsibility to shine love and positivity as much as I am able because it will be reflected in all the other mirrored, human jewels with whom I am so very connected. As I reflect on this story, my mind turns to the marvelously ambiguous lyrics It’s not your fault from the title track of the new Papadosio album. On one hand, I hear those lyrics as a criticism of a culture that is very invested in none of us taking responsibility for the current state of things, as social media lulls us into a comfortable numbness. On the other, thanks to a conversation with Kelly Applegate, I hear it as an absolving balm of forgiveness from the crippling guilt that keeps us from moving forward. Perhaps, because we are all caught in this beautiful net together, there is not just one right interpretation of those resonant, double-edged sword lyrics. Throughout my weekend at Resonance, I enjoyed asking some of my favorite Dosio peeps what those lyrics meant.
Saturday: My Echo Box
“Slow your roll in the bowl.” -A sign at Resonance
Soon after waking up, Tara and I had a lovely conversation with our Maryland homegirl Mary Grace at our campsite; conversations and connections like this one are just as an important part of the festival experience as music and art. I’m so grateful for the astounding amount of investment in each other’s lives that people bring to these events. Afterwards, Tara and I wandered down to the VIP lounge area for a pancake breakfast. Things weren’t going exactly as planned there, and as a person who has worked a festival or three, I jumped in to help—and, in the process, met two of my favorite people: Judith James and Kellan Muncie. Kellan gave me a kind and gentle reminder to slow my roll and to take things one step at a time, and Judith offered big love and support. I am forever grateful for their kindness and lessons, and I know that Tara and I will be seeing more of these two beautiful souls in years to come because the love resonating from them is powerful.
“When people ask for a setlist, we jokingly ask them if they want us to throw our computer at them.” -Andrew Slattery of Skydyed
After a delicious breakfast from Gypsy Soul, we made our way to our first music of the day which came from our new friends in Skydyed. We had met these dudes two weeks ago at Valley Fusion and had the good fortune to bump into them last night after Tipper just in time for a good conversation. These Colorado boys killed it with funny stage banter and highly danceable and intelligent jamtronica tunes. I was especially happy to hear “Grow” which a pretty apt metaphor for my Resonance experience. When I asked bassist Andrew for a setlist afterwards, he told me they do it all via laptops. I laughed to myself—lo-fi dude that I am with pocket notebook and pen in pocket for the purpose of this review. Well-played universe.
‘It’s softer than you think. You should go touch it.” -Me after touching the giant dinosaur
After Skydyed’s set, I made my way through the crazy maze of campsites to touch the GIANT brontosaurus, which was soft and foamy. When I caught up with Tara, we were gifted the setlist from that smoking Saxodosio Improv. Set by sweetheart OG fam members Jeremiah D’Amico and Brittany Emmett. We were so touched by their friendship and seeing the song titles such as “Megafauna Nirvana” was hilarious. After Resonance 2018, I can tell you the Gift Economy is alive and well. I’m astounded by how many gifts, physical and non-physical, we received.
“Stop N Brouse”-A sign at Brether’s set
“I’m the third; he’s the fourth.”- Bill Brouse
Tara and I made our way to the Essential Productions Tent with a sign with one of the luckiest misspelling that has ever made its way onto my path: an old, wooden sign I found hanging in an antique store window in a small town in western Maryland which reads STOP N BROUSE painted in white on an orange background. I’m pretty sure the person who painted it meant STOP N BROWSE, but I’ll take a happy misspelling (even as a person majoring in English) any day. If you don’t know the keys playing brothers in Papadosio share the last name Brouse. I walked in the shop the day I spotted it, wearing a big smile, and spent the best seven bucks I’ve ever spent—back that up, that’s the ten bucks I spend every month on Dosio’s Bandcamp subscription. Flash forward to Tara carrying said sign screwed to a PVC pole through Legend Valley ready to rage some Brether, the side project of my two favorite brothers in music.
Billy and Sam’s mom spotted the sign and asked if she could take a picture. Tara and I were happy to meet Mama Dosio # 2, after having known the fantastic Connie McConnell since 2011. Tara had a conversation with her about the meaning behind the name Brether, and I got introduced to super cool dude Bill Brouse, (Dosio dad #2 having also known the awesome Herb McConnell since 2011) who held the sign throughout the set. Anthony and Mike from Dosio even commented on the sign, and I got to tell them about how I found it in my nearly gone Day 3 of a festival voice. I also got to say a serious thank you to Anthony.
Oh Brether, the tent soon transformed into The Brouse Brother Center for Merps Who Can Dance Good as we got weird with Sam and Billy. What a fun, danceable and cool set! I even spotted a steampunk Taco and got a magnificent hug from Nolan Long!
My echo box is a formidable tool -Papadosio in Billy Brouse voice
After some much-needed rest, Tara and I caught our second ever STS9 set; our first ever was last year’s set which we raged with Sami Scurto. I have to say holy smokes! to Tribe’s rhythm section. We were dancing right out of our skins, and when it was over, we got down to another excellent Sunquabi set as we waited in front of the main stage for Dosio. The boys opened with Sk-Sk-Sk-“Skipswitch,” which got absolutely FILTHY hard at times, sending me sideways into bliss. I went a bit extra crazy when the Nine Inch Nails -like sounds of “The World is a Cube” with Billy’s s-s-sexy vocals showed up. (Hey, last year’s tribute set! I see you.) Other highlights included the transcendent, heart-opening / Rab-sounding “Fanfare for the Rain People,” “Bionic” (<3), and “Distress Signal” XL(!). During “Pool of Stars,” I looked around at all the beautiful, smiling people beaming light and love in all directions, and I saw that I was deep in a pool of glittering, human stars.
I reflected on the story of Indra’s Net (see prologue) and sent out as much love —Echo Box style— as I could in every direction. I hugged my friends Samantha Mills and Mike El, and Sam and my jaws dropped as “No End” came on under a crazy sky right after we talked about it. Breadcrumbs along my path in a pool of shining stars. Indeed, there’s so much more than the life that we knew. The icing on the Saturday Dosio cake came when our new friend Lexi with the absolute best vibes in any universe found us up front with the STOP N BROUSE sign in hand and her rage face on. It even made it into pictures smack in the middle of the Brouse Brothers.
“Jesus said, ‘if you want to enter the Kingdom, you must be as little children.’” -Alex Popp at Emancipator’s set
One of my favorite memories—not just from Resonance 2018, but one of my favorite memories ever—is the time I spent during Emancipator’s set with Tara, Samantha Mills, Mike El, Alex Popp, Gav Webber, Kylee Blake N Chip, and Charlie Marcotte under the big tent. The goodness was real. Emancipator (aka Doug Appling) makes some of my favorite beats and incorporates the lush and gorgeous violin sounds of Ilya Goldberg, and I love dancing to his music more than I can express. Getting to flow, dance, conversate, and share time, hugs, and lots of love with one of the best vibing crew in the universe was blissful. Emancipator played three of my favorites during that set: “Goodness,” “1993,” and of most personal significance to me, the alternately hard and sublimely beautiful, emotional “Shook.” That last song, a Mobb-Deep/Sigur Ros mix that took me right back to Rootwire 2011, which is exactly where I stumbled onto this beautiful path and fell into the love of this community.
That love is all, that love is everyone – The Beatles in Tauk wordless guitar voice (wearing mop top wigs)
Tauk’s late night Beatles-tribute set was lit, wigs and all. Shout out to the handsome devil who tried to share some beef jerky with me—and yes, that song is called “I Want You (She’s So Heavy).”After Tauk, we found our friends again at EarthCry’s late night set which, again, featured a piece of hardware, one, I might add, even cooler than the modular: Mr. Mike Healy, the heartbeat of Papadosio. After a stunning HealyCry experience, I tucked Tara into bed and hopped on the back of a golf cart with my favorite humanitarian and Advocates of Change founder, Kevin O’Neill, and my favorite healer, Jonathan Kleisch for Tipper’s ambient Sunrise Set. I’ve never been so sucked into an audiovisual experience before. It was utterly transcendent. That is all I can say. I made it back to Tara and fell into sweet dreams in the morning sunshine.
Sunday: Just Like a New Life It Beckons
“Is this where you want to be when Jesus comes back?” – A sign at Resonance
“Yes, please!” -me answering above sign
Sunday morning started off with a sweet surprise. Tara and I ended up exactly where we didn’t think we would—in a church of sorts. Here’s how it happened: we were hungry and walked down to the vendors in front of the main stage. Just as the exquisite Grateful Dead tribute band, Hyryder took to the stage. Yes, I said it: exquisite Grateful Dead tribute band! and it’s the truth. Don’t get me wrong, I dig the Dead, but I’m a firm believer that the world needs another Dead cover band like it needs another fast food restaurant or shopping mall. I was shocked when I couldn’t contain myself from dancing and singing along, and it wasn’t long before the both of us were down front bathing in that sweet, sweet music. Yes! Even Tara was getting down to those sweet hippie sounds—and you thought Bill Solo liking Dosio was weird. I soon realized this was a real Sunday church service with many good vibes and agape flowing from every direction—love is real, then, now, always. An excellent version of “China Cat Sunflower” completely blew my mind and had me dancing like mad. If you haven’t seen this band from Indianapolis, Indiana, do yourself a favor, and check them out. They sound so much like The Dead, and even capture, that wonderfully inexpressible flowy, floaty, intertwined instrumental quality that makes the Dead’s music so hard to replicate. Thank you, Hyryder for such a great start to our last day at Resonance! Much love to you!!
Like a crazy-quilt stargown through a dream night wind -The Grateful Dead in Hyryder Voice
After some much-needed chill-time and a couple of crazy mazes, Tara and I met up with the magical, fantastical Stephanni Kleisch at Conscious Pilot’s set to work on an interactive collage project. Steph brought the coolest, vintage base I’ve ever seen and lots of clippings. Steph and I sat on my most favorite Day-Glo festie blanket and did some creative conscious piloting of our own while the Columbus jam band melted faces. Holy synchronicity, Batman! Another one of those “breadcrumbs” appeared as the guys launched into a Radiohead cover just as I began cutting a picture of Thom Yorke out of a magazine. So much love to Steph and Tara for showing up fully in the moment, and a big shout out to the people who participated in our project!!
“Every festival we go to, we end up meeting people who seem like us from another dimension.”-Our new friend Judith
Afterwards, Tara and I were blessed to run into one of our favorite humans at Resonance: Judith! We spent time enjoying conversation and loving vibes with Judith, and we’re so happy that she put the perfect piece on our collage project and that we got to hug her. We are going to enjoy another festival with Kellen and Judith in the future. We can’t wait! In addition to all the soul healing we experienced, our bodies received some healing in the VIP area when we were treated to a portable infrared sauna session during which I had one of the festival’s best conversations with awesome human being Frank from Relax Saunas. Thank you, Frank. I loved talking with you about the good you’re doing in the world while the ache melted away from my bones.
Just like a new life it beckons. . .Just like a dream was the essence. . . -Papadosio in acoustic voice
The last set of the festival was Papadosio’s gorgeous acoustic set. We all stood huddled in front of the main stage awaiting our heroes after the visual extravaganza and positivity that is Wookiefoot was over. We then had to try to put ourselves together after Consider the Source’s searing acoustic set.
When Dosio’s opener turned out to be “Direction Song,” a song which I’ve always felt is the kind of hymn I’d want if I had a church of my own, I knew it was going to be a deep set. Just Like the Days” was epically stunning. When Anthony revealed that the song is about having a sort of mystical experience of your own and realizing that it’s completely fine if nobody else understands it, Tara and I got chills because that was a major theme of conversation between us throughout Resonance—and with that thought, I’ve come back around full-circle to the idea of Papadosio and Resonance being mythic for me. I know many of you feel the same as I do, especially after all the magic that happened here. An acoustic “Madre” and “Snorkel” (what! I see you Gav) were personal highlights, and with the inclusion of “Just Like the Days” and “Passage,” the boys had played the entirety of the new record over the course of 4 nights. Such nice boys! Thank you! ”
Acoustic set on Sam’s birthday Photo by Kenny Wiggins II
Happy Birthday, Dear Sa-am, Happy Birthday to you--Traditional American song in Papadosio Family Voice
I melted when birthday boy Sam—I love that we gather for this event each year on Sam’s birthday weekend—talked about getting nervous before taking on the challenge of playing four sets for us, and then had an epiphany that there’s no reason to be nervous when he is coming home to be with us. His sincere words brought that super-family vibe in strong.
Fanfare for My Rain People
As Tara and I walked away from the stage, receiving many hugs along the way, I glanced back at all the shining souls who are not afraid to let their lights shine brightly. I thought about the mythic Net of Indra, and I thought about being in a “Pool of Stars.” I thought about the overwhelming amount of unconditional love present with us. Let’s all keep advocating for change. Let’s all keep forgiving ourselves and each other. Let’s all keep shining as much love as possible. Let’s do it forever. Following my bliss… Rendering our dreams… Let’s all keep taking steps toward that new life [that] beckons…. with No End in sight…
Dawn on the rise I just opened my eyes -Papadosio
I am overwhelmed with gratitude for everyone who made this review possible.
Infinite thanks to Casey Schneider and everyone at Essential Productions and Papadosio for putting on an event that transformed me for the better. Please support Papadosio here: http://www.papadosio.com/
Pictures are worth more than a thousand words, and these artists remind me of what rough tools words are. Thanks for allowing me to share your creative vision in my review:
Tyler L. Goble of Zen Focus Photography https://www.zenfocusphotography.com/
Brodie MacLean of Blazing Focus Photography http://www.blazingfocusphotography.com/
PhatRob O’Brien of PhatsPhoto https://phatsphoto.zenfolio.com/
Bradford Watkins of Bradford Watkins Creations https://www.bradfordwatkinscreations.com/
Also, big thanks to fans Cheyenne Garrett, Tommy Jones, Oskar Stefan, Tatum Storey, Shawn Tucker, and Kenny Wiggins II for the use of their good shots.
Much love and gratitude go out to every Resonance musician, artist, and attendee.
Last but not least, thank you Tara for sharing, not only Resonance but our WHOLE lives. Thank you Emily for being the best kid (wait a minute, young lady) a dad could ask for. Thanks also go out to Taco and Elise for this awesome plaform—I love you both— and to Amanda Miller, for being such an incredible mentor; I could have not have done this without you.
Let’s all keep shining in this wonderful net in which we’re caught. Let’s do it forever. I couldn’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be.