GREEN APPLE MUSIC FEST: 4/20-4/22

By: Nick Boeka


Karl Denson :: GBA :: 04.22 :: SF by Flanigan
San Francisco provided the West Coast backbone of the Green Apple Music Festival, featuring performances at over 20 venues throughout the city that culminated in a free outdoor concert coinciding with the Chicago and New York City events at the Speedway Meadows in Golden Gate Park on Earth Day. Even the Earth was geared up for the Sunday event, with the weekend's rain halting Saturday evening, leaving behind perfect, clear blue skies and warm April sun which tanned bodies all day Sunday.

The citywide festival was a great success and offered performances from many premiere acts including Willie Nelson, Railroad Earth, Tea Leaf Green, Yonder Mountain String Band, and The Greyboy Allstars, who closed out the San Francisco portion of Green Apple with a Sunday night performance at The Independent. In true festival fashion there were many collaborations over the weekend. Sit-ins were reported at nearly every event, unique bands created from the talent around town.


Josh Clark & Eric McFadden - TLG
4.20 by Flanigan
On Friday night, Jemimah Puddleduck, made up of Bruce Hornsby keyboardist J.T. Thomas, drummer John Molo (Phil Lesh and Friends), Ratdog guitarist Mark Karan, and bassist Bob Gross, played at The Sweetwater in Mill Valley. That same night, Tea Leaf Green was joined by ALO's Dan Lebowitz prior to his own show at the 12 Galaxies. Eric McFadden, who was performing with his trio at the nearby Boom Boom Room, lent his axe work to an inspiring rendition of Pink Floyd's "Young Lust", and again joined TLG during their second set at The Fillmore. Lebowitz hurried out to make his own show, which featured an extended opening set from DJ Motion Potion and an entire night of jams, improvisational music and funk. Lebowitz was joined by Bay Area keyboardists Jordan Feinstein and Eric Levy, drummer Inx, bassist Mark Calderon and Sean Leahy, who scurried from venue to venue all night. In true Mission fashion, this 12 Galaxies performance reportedly ran until 5 a.m.


Railroad Earth 4.20 by Weiand
On Saturday night, the city came alive once again. Railroad Earth played a second evening at the Great American Music Hall, while Colorado's Yonder Mountain String Band filled the Fillmore with their unique style of new-grass. Yonder spent a little extra time in California and offered additional performances throughout the state, including Sunday in Santa Cruz.

Returning to the 12 Galaxies, Falcor and Friends presented the funkiest band from across the pond, The New Mastersounds, and the powerful Big Organ Trio for a Hammond filled night. Both very impressive bands in their own right, but together the vintage intensity shook bodies into motion.


Martin Sexton :: 04.22 :: SF by Vann
On Sunday, a small, centrally located section of Golden Gate Park was transformed into a festival playground offering free performances from an eclectic set of artists, which drew a truly eclectic audience. People of all ages and races descended on the Speedway Meadows in a celebration of the Earth. The Green Apple Music Festival – who pledged a total Carbon offset for the event - boasted attendance of 15,000+ people in both Chicago and New York City. At the end of the day, San Francisco organizers estimated nearly 20,000 people showed up for the Bay Area performances.

Jonah Smith started his set to a growing crowd before noon. The New York City based singer/songwriter has been on tour supporting Martin Sexton, who also performed at the SF event. Smith has a unique approach, performing in front of his piano or switching to guitar after he's started a loop. His short set was a perfect start to this day in the park.

Martin Sexton was next, and the Massachusetts guitarist/songwriter had a stage presence as big as his voice. Two songs in, "Candy" provided great lyrics and a vocal solo that emulated a lead guitar. Midway through the set, the band circled around two microphones for a stripped-down jug band feel, offering great renditions of Johnny Cash's classic "Folsom Prison Blues" and Billy Preston's "Will It Go Round in Circles" that made the crowd sing.


Stephen Marley :: 04.22 :: SF by Weiand
Following a quick set change, Southern California's Greyboy Allstars brought their NOLA-style funk with a great selection of songs, both old and new. The Greyboy Allstars just released their first album in 10 years, What Happened to Television, and are hitting the road hard in May to support it. Drummer Eric Kalb from Deep Banana Blackout is the newest addition to Greyboy, and seemed to take the new position in perfect stride. The band is fueled by the incredibly skillful work of brass man Karl Denson, and vintage key maestro Robert Walter. Their set immediately changed the vibe of the afternoon and quickly, starting with their sound check, had fans rising to their feet in anticipation of the boogie.

As the afternoon drew on, the stage was cleared to make room for the nine-piece Stephen Marley Band, who caused the field to suddenly swarm with folks eager for the sounds of Jamaica. The festival was quickly transformed into a scene from Burnin & Lootin. Looking around, it was inspiring to see an event bring together such a diverse group of people. Midway through the set, Marley was joined by Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley who played MC for the rest of the set, which included a medley that included "Could You Be Loved." Stephen Marley performed again later that evening at the Fillmore.


Hagar & Weir - Ratdog :: 04.22 :: SF by Mark Davidson
Bob Weir and Ratdog closed the afternoon with a classic set that began with an opening tuning jam that segued into a "Jackstraw" > "Cassidy" > "Book of Rule" combo. Continuing the guest spirit, FM radio legend and booze merchant Sammy Hagar joined the band for a well-played "Loose Lucy." Later in the set, ex-Spearhead MC Radioactive joined them for a jam that showcased his rapping and beatboxing skills. The encore paired a strong "Samson and Delilah" with an a cappella version of "Attics Of My Life."

This extremely successful debut weekend for the Green Apple Festival in San Francisco prompted a lot of positive comments from attendees at various events around the city.

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Comments

vespuchi2 starstarstarstar Wed 5/2/2007 07:09PM
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vespuchi2

nothing about umphreys blowing the roof off the vic in chicago? definately the most ragin music anywhere that weekend.

voodoochili12 starstarstarstarstar Wed 5/2/2007 07:10PM
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AOD rocks. Nate wilson is the most underrated pianist on the entire universe. I wish i was at green apple

1048 star Wed 5/2/2007 08:30PM
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1048

what terrible coverage of what Chicago had to offer for the green apple fest

VWFiend starstar Wed 5/2/2007 09:44PM
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agreed. terrible coverage of the chicago fest.

willtotte Wed 5/2/2007 10:01PM
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stories and photos from chicago at livemusicblog.com

Chantal star Wed 5/2/2007 10:33PM
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Chantal

no mention of the disco biscuits? you have to be kidding me.

beadiamondsomday star Wed 5/2/2007 11:49PM
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beadiamondsomday

seriosly, i read this, dont get me wrond and enjoyed it, but i read it to see what went down in chi town wtf

christophebaise Thu 5/3/2007 05:09AM
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christophebaise

I thought that was a nice write up. I hope no one jumps all over me for saying that the way these boards seem to be. That festival in San Francisco must have been incredible. Who do you choose when it is YMSB or Railroad Earth? In the write-up I liked that line "FM radio legend and booze merchant" hahaha. He sang Loose Lucy, that's cool I guess.

fif starstarstarstarstar Thu 5/3/2007 06:59AM
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fif

Really good Bri!! Had to big-up that cole's-hangers!! Much love..keep it up!!!

madaeb1 star Thu 5/3/2007 07:15AM
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madaeb1

What a terrible review.

No Chicago Umph or Bisco - WTF?

knibbs starstarstarstarstar Thu 5/3/2007 07:36AM
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brandonsworth starstarstar Thu 5/3/2007 07:42AM
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There's probably very little coverage of Chicago because what the Chicago fest had to offer was really weak.

Woo-hoo! Another UM show in Chicago!

They might as well have just made this a NYC/San Fran fest.

McGannahan_Skyjellifetty Thu 5/3/2007 09:32AM
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whoever covered the NYC portion must not have been at RAQ too long. Ive seen them a bunch of times in burlington, all smokin shows. I was bored to death at the bowery, and amazingly left at setbreak. unimpressed.

j-bizzle Thu 5/3/2007 10:46AM
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j-bizzle

Very dissapointed that there was not a Chicago review. I personally flew from San Francisco to Chicago because of the line-up. Once of the best weekends of music that i have witnessed in a while. Knibbs looking forward to your review once its up.

1048 star Thu 5/3/2007 11:33AM
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1048

thats great knibbs but im not on jambands.com im on jambase

1048 star Thu 5/3/2007 11:36AM
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1048

and you don't have to be a dick i was just stating my opinion of the article i thought thats what acomment was

Marcsmall Thu 5/3/2007 12:48PM
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Marcsmall

YMSB > Railroad Earth, in a no brainer.

spekar Thu 5/3/2007 01:00PM
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OK -- so what's with the lack of coverage for Chicago??? There was a HUGE turnout! Very disappointing! Chicago has a great fan base, so lets not ignore them!!!

GD_FREAKER star Thu 5/3/2007 01:14PM
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Well I guess there was only one show in Chicago the whole weekend. The zoo was packed and I had a great time. Terrible article on the Chicago scene.

Stevie_t star Thu 5/3/2007 01:29PM
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yeah, i hate to be critical, but Disco Biscuits and Umphreys Mcgee in Chicago were huge. Certainly some of the best music going on, no matter where you were that weekend.

luna7674 star Thu 5/3/2007 05:23PM
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good reporting Pat Knibbs....not! ...Umphs at the Vic was a rager, one of my top 10 UM shows, not to mention a beautiful day at the Zoo, great Bisco set and follow up at the Vic....flew into Chitown from NY and was happy to be celebrating the Earth with the boys...tsk tsk Jambase, who edits this shit?

chidodger Thu 5/3/2007 10:35PM
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chidodger

The Chicago show was a great lineup, and the lincoln park zoo is a great venue, however, not having the fest at a larger venue(such as grant or millenium park) was a huge mistake, it was waaaaaaay too crowded for comfort. didn't like sweating my ass off while big headed todd played a seemingly never-ending set(which was really boring) but Disco and UM were worth it. If this fest is in chicago again next year with that good of a line-up, they MUST consider a larger venue. otherwise i loved watching the zoo police chasing hippies out of trees for 3 hours. quote of the day was the 93xrt DJ "People, this is not Bonnaroo, this is the Zoo."-in regaurds to how damm crowded it was and how little space we all had.

ghilliesblunt starstarstarstar Fri 5/4/2007 12:27AM
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ghilliesblunt

wow cant believe they didnt mention the UM show at the vic, im kinda sick of hearing how it was one of the best UM shows ever considering the scumbag security/staff at the vic kicked me out and assaulted me twice for no damn reason...$35 down the drain

the bisco/um show at the zoo was a decent consolation though, good time

Rich Lieberman starstarstar Fri 5/4/2007 07:56AM
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Rich Lieberman

OK...so there were over 200 performances at 60 venues and in 3 cities over 2 days. So...lets do the math here and give these writers a little slack. While this festival is so huge in scope there is no way to have blanket coverage. You really have to pick and choose where to be and for me personally having 2 sentences that say "Umphs rocked so hard at the Vic" or "Bisco played and a sick show" its nothing more than fluff, because in a festival review like this, with multiple choices you wont get more than a few lines in. Those two bands for example deserve individual show reviews and you wont get that in a festival review. I like hearing more about some of the bands that are not as well known. But that’s just me. Both of those two bands get tons of coverage on JamBase.

Another thing to consider when writing negative comments is that many times the writer is limited by how many words they may write and are always edited.

I would only say that while it’s easy to write 'The coverage was terrible" It's not as easy to make every reader happy. Take a stab at writing a review of the show yourself and submit it. JamBase welcomes submissions, however I'd bet that it's easier to bash a writer than to try and show us all how it should be done.

Doesn’t bother me seeing negative criticism, your free to write what you want, but be constructive and you will come off as helping to contribute positively to the scene, rather than being a whiner cause your not getting the exact coverage you want.

The NYC coverage was concise and very well covered.

I enjoyed the Mofro Coverage. JJ Grey is on fire now, that piece on New Monsoon and Mofro was well written. Even though I would agree the coverage was very limited. It was not terrible.

I really like the piece in SF. I feel like I got a great run down of the scene there. Weir & Hagar doing "Attics of my Life" a cappella version... ouch! But that "FM radio legend and booze merchant" made me LOL.

Have a great weekend folks. Especially if your at Jazz Fest or seeing moe. in NYC this weekend!

peace - Rich

NickBoeka Fri 5/4/2007 08:19AM
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NickBoeka

Rich, well said. While I can understand many peoples frustrations about no mention of the UM and tDB shows in Chicago, there needs to be some slack given on these show reviews.
Jambase readers have material to read here, because people like you get inspired enough to get home from the show and start scribbling out some notes. Then organize those notes hopefully into something concise enough that even someone who wasn't at the show can understand, and send it on through to jambase, where it's edited. if it's of some substance, hopefully gets posted here so every other music fan can have a little taste too.
That said, never, are we really saying EVERYTHING we want to say. We have some guidelines to follow, some restrictions to keep in place, and standards to maintain. When you are trying to cover 2 days worth of music in 700-900 words, you have to pick what you say carefully. And anyone who knows me, knows that I can start rambling off on shit to no ends. But no one wants to read two pages of ramble, to find a couple of sentances of substance.

If you aren't happy with what you are reading here, then pick up a pen and write for yourself. I took the challenge and it has worked out well. Are you up for it?

NickBoeka Fri 5/4/2007 08:23AM
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NickBoeka

oh, and thankfully Hagar didn't join them for "Attics of My Life", cause that could have been really bad.

I did say in my original submission, edited out of'course, that I thought that Stephen Marley should have closed the festival on Sunday at the Park, instead of Ratdog. When Marley was about to start the field was flooded with people. Undeniably his fanbase is a lot deeper than that of Ratdog. Immediately concluding the Marley set, the field became uncrowded again and it seemed like 2000-3000 people just left. but it's all free music, right, so who the hell cares.

moeMan1 star Fri 5/4/2007 09:02AM
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moeMan1

for those that dont believe um threw down at the vic check it out and decide for yourself: http://bt.etree.org/details.php?id=506132

One of my top five shows that i have ever seen from them.

j-bizzle Fri 5/4/2007 09:42AM
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j-bizzle

Cut the writes some slack eh? Ususally I would, but I think its a big oversight not to talk about UM and TDB - since they were the major reason why 15k peops showed up. I understand that you can't cover everything, but I would have thought a little more discretion would have been used in choosing what to cover in Chicago. I am not angry just confused.

GD_FREAKER Fri 5/4/2007 10:13AM
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I dig the Hawk pic j-bizzle. UM and DB were the headliners I thought for the fest in Chicago so why not cover them? It would be akin to not talking about Ratdog's performance in NY or something. I agree with Rich that with the amount of shows going on that weekend that you can't cover anything but at least make a mention of the headliners performance.

knibbs Fri 5/4/2007 11:42AM
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knibbs

Thank you Nick and Rich. If any of you know me than you know I was busy as hell that weekend, and at those previously mentioned shows-just not for Jambase! Sorry, but that's not my problem that NO ONE else from the Chi-Town area wrote anything. I only did the Chicago HoB coverage b/c nobody else offered to do ANYTHING for JB, I had prior obligations for the rest of the rest of the weekend. I do, though, take these reviews very seriously, and appreciate the feedback (really).

If you thought that what I wrote was poorly written, I'm always learning, but if don't like the review just b/c I didn't mention UM or tDB that's just ignorant. - word

rider11 Fri 5/4/2007 01:07PM
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This article doesn't give justice to this nationwide event. This should be a huge article and motivte all music goers to particpate next year and help it grow. W/O preserving the earth we won't have any music. They need detailed reviews, I was in San Fran and one line about Yonder is insulting. And I am sure every bad threw down in respective cities as we have heard. Thanks to the promoters!!

Andrew W. starstarstarstarstar Fri 5/4/2007 03:42PM
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Andrew W.

How many Umph and Bisco reviews do you need in 1 year? Just asking...

hnkscrpio Fri 5/4/2007 06:46PM
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hnkscrpio

Tractor Beam!!!!!

jcharlen Sun 5/6/2007 12:46PM
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kinda curious...9 out of 10 whiney, rude, or otherwise negative comments on this site seem to come from Bisco and UM fans. hmmmmm...

Stevie_t Sun 5/6/2007 04:15PM
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"kinda curious...9 out of 10 whiney, rude, or otherwise negative comments on this site seem to come from Bisco and UM fans. hmmmmm..."

Maybe because they headlined the festival in question in Chicago. That doesn't seem like a glaring omission to you?

chasetc20 starstarstarstarstar Mon 5/7/2007 01:12PM
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show was chill, stella line-up to great blend of tunes such a great 420

jcharlen Mon 5/7/2007 03:45PM
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The point is: since when are music critics beholden to the rules that govern investigative journalism?

I didn't just mean that UM and Bisco fans posted the most whiney remarks on THIS thread; I meant on Jambase in general. Something tells me it has to do with the avg. age of UM and Bisco fans.

chidodger Mon 5/7/2007 07:36PM
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chidodger

at age 25, i like um and bisco, so am i above or below average?(or just average)

jcharlen Mon 5/7/2007 11:24PM
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I'd say you're in the 70th percentile, with 30% being older and 70% younger. I'm not dissing people of a particular age, I'm just pointing out that for most people over 30 spending time online bitching about what bands get covered on Jambase isn't exactly a priority.

Makisupa_McGee Wed 5/9/2007 03:58PM
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Makisupa_McGee

yeah, didnt cover the highlights at all.

No matter cuz most of those um & bisco shows are already up on the archive

Anyways, lemme fill you in on the SF scene (that i was a part of) from that weekend.

Friday - Tea Leaf Green reminded the Fillmore what the definition of a kick ass show really is. There were tons of guests, 420 references, and an all out facial smash of a preformance. Seriously, I had seen them 5 times with reactions ranging from entertained to blown away yet this show was completely in a league of its own, comparatively.

Sat, I had other stuff going on, but would have opted for RRE over YMSB ANY DAY OF THE WEEK.

Sun. festivities in the park included Greyboy Allstars, One of Bob Marley's sons (i could care less what one), RatDog w/ Bob Wier, and more dreaddies and headdies than id seen possibly ever (even more than at phish shows!). Lemme tell you, this was a sweet fucking scene. Ive been trying to guess how many people were there and im sure ive been way off but there had to have been at least 20k poeple (could have been way more - i had a hard time getting a good est but speedway meadows was completely packed).
The music on sunday was great, too esp RatDog's set but I really felt like the highlight for me was how much of a damn big fun-ass party it was. People wuz dancin, drinkin, smokin, trippin out (none for me, thanks), and all around just vibing. It was a hippie gathering of epic perportions!!!

Makisupa_McGee starstarstarstar Wed 5/9/2007 04:11PM
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Makisupa_McGee

oh, yeah, the article did remind me about how RatDog's Loose Lucy was, imo, the highlight of the entire day show in the park on sunday

Makisupa_McGee Wed 5/9/2007 04:23PM
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Makisupa_McGee

um and bisco are my favorites and have been for years. but damn, i have to agree w jcharlen.

my fellow fans, the ones that use this site, do seem to habitually come across as whinny punks half the time. It would serve you complainers well in life to learn how to get your point across wihtout sounding like a prick

chidodger Wed 5/9/2007 04:53PM
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chidodger

70% isn't too bad. However, most of the people at the show were older then me(in many cases with kids since it was at the zoo) and were singing along with most of the songs. bottom line is chicago got a bad review(bad meaning next to no review at all), which is why many of the 10000+ in attendence are upset that New York and San Fran got in the 96percentile of all the coverage. however, big headed todd may have sent all the criticts home early due to a horrible, long, uncalled for set. I know i sound bitter there, but once you were able to get a spot at the zoo, you couldn't move at all or you were going to lose it. so standing there for an hour while he sang similar songs about the end of the world and his not so exciting love life almost ruined my afternoon. so that's why i think um and bisco should have recived a more complete review from the festival, cause of that guy.

chidodger Wed 5/9/2007 04:58PM
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chidodger

also, i work in shipping and receiving for a living, so i am used to being a prick for at least 8 hours a day....meaning i just don't sound like one, i keep it real.

SciDmbOar star Thu 5/10/2007 06:21PM
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All I know is that any coverage of the shows in Chi-town that doesn't mention mark farina is incomplete.

maddog420247 Fri 5/11/2007 02:42PM
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OK, besides the fact that db and um are probably my two fav bands.
I have to say, that 4/20 tlg show that night at the fillmore was some of the most unreal, pounding psychedelic rock and roll music I have ever heard them put out. WAS REALLY IMPRESSED. TLG, keep killing it.