It began with a Thursday night jaunt to a packed and delightfully sweaty Silver Moon Brewing Co. where That 1 Guy was using his patented Magic Pipe (which is probably not actually patented) to stir the assembled masses into a funked-out fury. He did the same for the under-21 crowd that packed the sidewalk to get a look at That 1 Guy (real name: Mike Silverman) and his magic tricks, metal breakdowns and constant smiles. Oh yeah, and he turned his homemade instrument into a fog machine on two separate but equally impressive moments.
Friday night, Sound Check arrived for night one of an especially wintry WinterFest with a few thousand others and took in the super floaty steez (that's still cool mountain lingo, right, dudes and bros?) of the skiers on the super ridiculously huge rail jam apparatus as well. We arrived just in time to catch the tail end of a strong-as-always Person People set before the quick-talkin' Canucks of Sweatshop Union took the stage. Most of the attention remained on the skiers, but there was a loyal crowd of hand-waving, pogo-sticking (without the pogo stick) fans to cheer on the rappin' white boys.
The scene was similar the following night, except that it seemed the crowd had doubled, the mercury had dropped a few degrees and the stage had been overrun by horns. Trombone Shorty warmed up a massive amount of beanied heads that appeared to be in need of some warming before fellow New Orleans' Dirty Dozen Brass Band squeezed themselves onto the stage. Dirty Dozen didn't waste much time stirring the WinterFest masses into a pre-Madri Gras set that included standards like "When the Saints Go Marching In" as well as a cover of Stevie Wonder's "Superstition."
Front man Efrem Towns started the show in a jacket, beanie and scarf, but ended the set in only a Deuce McAllister jersey, steam rising from his body. And it felt just as warm out in the crowd as Sound Check comforted ourselves with the heating-up Bend music scene.