Armed with disposable cameras, I spent a weekend On The Mountain with The Wild Honey Pie at Stratton Mountain Resort. Since I started writing for the blog a while back, I have always wanted to take part in one of these on-location events. A weekend on a snowy mountain in Vermont for the third season of their On The Mountain series seemed like the perfect opportunity. Mixing sessions and concerts with a summer camp atmosphere on top of a snowy mountain turned out to be a thoroughly enjoyable and fully immersive musical experience. My stunningly average photography is a taste of On The Mountain 3 from a personal perspective.
Friday night brought new friends right away at a cozy lodge dinner. This evening was filled primarily with acts I already knew, serving as a perfect initiation into the rest of the event. Nothing gets a party started quite like the unabashed garage rock of The Britanys. The last time I saw them play was at CMJ and they just keep getting better. Dan Croll has only one single released from his upcoming album which made Friday night a promising preview of what the rest of the lushly produced new album will sound like. His pop songs are so intricately written and tightly performed that he kept the whole crowd engaged without missing a beat. Matt FX has a wide knowledge of music and how it can be suitably altered to flow above tropical beats while striking memorable and danceable chords with a crowd. His set was the perfect soundtrack to light groove-thing shaking and getting to know the rest of the weekend’s participants.
Much of the group rose early for a morning ski amongst the now packed crowd poking skis and boards from every nook and cranny of the Base Lodge and its now overflowing grounds. I set off with some other volunteers for the a little town off the mountain called Manchester in search of graham cracker (read: gingerbread) house supplies. We returned with our sugary spoils for a sticky afternoon of edible construction and friendly competition in the village’s newly dubbed “Holidae Honi Haus.” As production on a peculiar of Montreal video progressed outside, the delicious buildings piled high inside. Dinner and an array of drinks were enjoyed at Mulligans bar just down the way in the village before heading back to the night’s show at the Base Lodge. Saturday night balanced itself between the sultry minimalism of Philadelphia’s Marian Hill and the theatrical grandeur of of Montreal. With frequent sax interludes from Marian Hill’s Steve Davit, The Golden Pony truly transformed the room into the most club-like atmosphere the brightly colored carpet squares of the lodge could withstand.
Late nights made for late rising but we managed to make it to the summit of Stratton on Sunday morning for a gondola ride and blustery hike of sorts. As the sunlight dwindled outside and packed bags began piling up at Black Bear Lodge, Bad Marriage, a supergroup combining members of PHOX, Wild Child, Sun Nectar, and Snowmine, brought the event to a close. Having formed as a band only days before, the set felt like an intimate peek at songs in their most earnest form from a group of friends finally achieving a long-anticipated dream.
There is an unexplainable magic in riding the signature event spiral from eagerness and excitement to an oozing pool of exhaustion with fellow creative minds. A weekend surrounded by a music-loving community and a hint of snow, On the Mountain 3 was quite the adventure and I can’t wait to see the videos that come from it. Check out videos from On The Mountain Season 1 and Season 2 while you wait.
Enjoy the playlist below of songs that made up the long drive to and from the mountain, the many performances of the weekend, and all the fun-filled moments in between.
- Ugly Cherries PWR BTTM 2:20
- No Crying In Baseball Mothers 3:38
- Pretty Pimpin Kurt Vile 5:00
- It's What It Is The Britanys 2:10
- One of Us Dan Croll 3:58
- Dust Recloose (Ft. Joe Dukie) 7:03
- Under the Booty Bubba Sparxxx x The Little Mermaid 3:16
- Pocketful of Sunshine Natasha Bedingfield 3:23
- Ass Kickin' Rock'n'Roll SUN ORGAN 3:21
- One Time Marian Hill 3:38
- Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games Of Montreal 4:16
- Snoop Dogg - Drop It Like Its Hot (The Golden Pony Remix) The Golden Pony 3:57
- Let's Go Dancing (Original Mix) Tiga VS Audion 8:26
- Lemonade SOPHIE 1:59
- Break Bones Wild Child 3:46
- 1936 Phox 3:29
- Mr. Pharmacist The Fall 2:28
- Paradise By the Dashboard Light Meat Loaf 8:28
- Notorious B.I.G. - Can I Get Witcha (Ryan Farber Edition) Ryan Farber 4:49
- Emanuel Ciccolini The Cactus Channel 3:23