Spring arrived a week ago and with Snoe.down in full gear, the festival season is on. The McLovins were first time participants at Snoe.down this year and were asked to play a set at the picturesque K1 Lodge at Killington Resort. The lodge is a spacious room with high vaulted ceilings, a ton of exposed wooden beams and ringed with floor to ceiling windows offer breathtaking views of the surrounding ski slopes. During their soundcheck of Milktoast Man, the sound was tweaked a bit and the band was ready to go. The crowd started to funnel in and within a few minutes of the start time the room was packed with over 300 fans. The band jumped into the surprise opener of Milktoast Man, which was played at a brisker tempo than normal, filled with several shreddy guitar runs and the band served notice, they were in take no prisoners mode...
Deep Monster Trance follows Milktoast Man and was played to perfection, this is a great participatory song, drawing the crowd right in and the band thrives when the audience responds to the playing. This Town is a new ballad (and a free download!) that chills the room back down. slotting this after Deep Monster trance gives folks a chance to catch their breath and just listen to the melody and vocal interplay. Hell Yeah is another high tempo number popping the crowd right back up, a haunting refrain and some incendiary string work from Jason and Jeff are just icing on the cake. The set settles back down with the band's new cover "Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes". This Paul Simon song has a lyrical delivery that really plays to Jake's vocal strength. More of a scat sing-song than a reggae or world music number, this tune had the crowd deep in a dance groove.
The high point of the set was next, the band launched into Virtual Circle and this just set the throng into frenzied dancing, stretching the song past the 10 minute mark, the song features a number of faux climaxes and each one drove the crowd on, which in turn just encouraged the band. 20 in a 35 was next and plowed straight into Purple Trees. Jeff then switched out his Strat for his Epiphone and they closed out the set with Tokyo Tea and Beadhead Crystal Bugger. The were urged back onstage for an encore and then they proceeded to tear the place down with Killing Time.
This was just such a solid set and on the heels of last week's Black eyed Sally's show proves this band is on the right path. The set pacing was excellent, with a set-list chosen to provide a series of peaks during the show, leading to the final climatic ascent. The image of Jeff leaning the neck of his Strat out to a fan so he could pick at the strings with both hands is going to stick with me for a while. The audience and band both had a blast, and I can see this is a great start to the future McLovins/ moe. relationship as the band's performance this weekend should guarantee them an invitation to moe.down this year. So the gauntlet for the festival season has been thrown down, upcoming for the band are runs at Strange Creek, Daffodil and Mountain Jam. The McLovins are a band to see live, if you've seen the YouTube videos or heard the Archive shows, you still have to see them live. The ball is in your court, they've done their job, it's now up to you to follow through... tag, you're it.