Langerado came and passed this year with the same fanfare as usual. Now in its fifth year this festival found its niche in the market by being the opening of the outdoor concert season, taking advantage of the weather to provide an early spring break destination. Langerado rides in the wake of bigger name festivals like Bonnaroo and Coachella but is beginning to gain notoriety. For a weekend the festival’s organizers try to bring in as many bands in as many different genres as they can that have the power to part the recreational audiophile from his or her cash. And more and more Langerado is succeeding.
The backbone of America’s festival circuit are all the myriad jam bands that seem to never stop touring, and south Florida is an amiable enough environment for them. Langerado saw Trey Anastasio, moe., the jazzy Sound Tribe Sector 9, the Disco Biscuits, Widespread Panic, and Perpetual Groove grace its stages this year. Langerado, while sure in the appeal of the more traditional festival, is trying to emulate Bonnaroo in bringing in more eclectic, experimental, and acclaimed acts to fill out its roster. Bands ranging from DJ of the moment Girl Talk to indie legend Stephen Malkmus to a combination as strange and wonderful as jazz drum great Steve Reid and abstract knob-twiddler Four Tet each got their chance to take the stage and show of their skills outside of the studio.
Everyday had its surprises from bands I was not up to speed on, notably great sets from My Morning Jacket, Apollo Sunshine, Cat Power and the Dirty Delta Blues Band, and ukulele prodigy Jake Shimabukuro. Other acts I was looking forward to who did not disappoint were Blackalicious, Explosions in the Sky, The New Pornographers (although the crowd abandoned them at the end to beat traffic), Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, the Hold Steady, and Los Lobos. I was not able to catch every act, but what I saw was excellent. Any fan of live music could find something to suit them ten hours of everyday of the festival. Langerado is building to be one of the premiere weekend venues in America, and I am looking forward to seeing what kind of a show will be scheduled for next year. Check out more on this year and years past at langerado.com and listen to WECX for more free concert tickets.