It has been a rough couple of years since COVID curtailed two of my favorite past-times (travel and live music) and my absolute favorite thing (traveling to see live music). This past weekend’s trip to Los Angeles for the U.S. debut of ATARASHII GAKKO! at the Head in the Clouds festival was both my first trip and my first music festival in over two years.
So many things have changed!!
Not only is travel and the festival-going experience itself radically different from the pre-COVID era, I realized that the nature of these show reports also needs to evolve since the last time I wrote one up. The recent ubiquity of concert livestreams (perhaps the only positive outcomes of the global pandemic) means that most of you readers who were interested in seeing the show have already done so via Amazon, Twitch or a bootleg upload on YouTube. This relieves me of my pre-COVID responsibility of composing a written portrait of the show itself, so I’ll focus on the elements of the festival experience that didn’t get captured on video (including a surprise close encounter with AG! themselves: READ ON!). Continue reading