Festival Diary | Ben Andrews Of Con Brio At Joshua Tree Music Festival

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Written By: Ben Andrews of Con Brio

:: The Con Brio Guitarist On Spring Joshua Tree Music Festival 2015 ::


We enlisted guitarist Ben Andrews of the San Francisco soul group Con Brio to document his Spring Joshua Tree Music Festival 2015 experience for us. Read on to learn about the band’s experience at the festival held May 14 -17.

It was decided during the last Con Brio meeting at the band’s top-secret rehearsal space and retreat center the acquisition of a trailer was necessary. As much fun as it has been to negotiate seven dudes and 1.000 pounds of gear all over this beautiful country in our 15 passenger van (lovingly named, Luther Vandross), a little extra legroom is going to be nice. And we got hooked up! We haven’t named the trailer yet. I figure he/she will tell us when the time is right. Perhaps it’ll happen during its maiden voyage -a 28-hour turnaround to the Joshua Tree Music Festival.




After 11 hours on the road the trailer seems to be holding up. Was that fender hanging off like that before?   No sound system? No problem. It’s already cold and windy in JT and it’s not even dark yet, but it’s a beautiful place if you ever have the opportunity to visit. Aptly named. We’re just in time for a quick organic-vegan-gluten-free-locally-sourced bite to eat before soundcheck. Delicious. As the wind dies down, the sun sets, the lights go up, and the crowd fills out with young and enthusiastic dancers I can see this is going to be worth the trip. All the staff is laid back and helpful and the vibe is like a family-friendly diet Burning Man.

The program was running a little behind, but we were told to be done by 9:45 p.m. sharp, so the band on the next stage could start on time. At 9:43 p.m. after our “last” song the crowd is going nuts! I fear the balcony just behind the stage might fall down and crush us from people stomping their feet and cheering. The stage manager comes back out on the mic to incite the audience to cheer for an encore. We oblige. Con Brio crushed it. Immediately the next band starts on a stage to the north. It’s Gene Jr. & The Family. Damn. This band was so captivating we stayed for an extra hour in spite of our need to get back on the road. I can’t wait to catch them again.



Around 11 a.m. -Luther, the new rear end, and it’s contents arrive back in San Francisco just in time to regroup for the next show. [Frontman] Ziek [McCarter] has organized a fundraiser for the Rosa Parks Elementary School where he teaches gardening. It’s a talent show and CB is to provide a little additional entertainment after the kids do their thing. Adorable! A diverse group of talented kids and supportive parents were dancing and having a blast. Great job, Ziek!
It’s time to sleep. So we do. Not together.