Sarah Borges entertains the crowd in BG.I have to admit that before Saturday I had never been to my hometown festival. I remember the year it started (Fall of 1993 - my sophomore year of high school) but I don't remember attending. Back then, the Black Swamp was nothing more than a small community festival. Over the years, however, it has grown by leaps and bounds and now features many nationally recognized fine arts professionals. And wouldn't you know, one of my most favorite bands, Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles , returned to the swamp in 2008.
As you may remember, MPF and I spent Valentine's Day with Borges and her band of merry Bostinites. Ever since then, I've had it in my head that I had to see Borges in Bowling Green. In fact, I told her so when we chatted after her show at Fitzgeralds in June. By that time, the third show and second state in which we had talked to Sarah, I think she was kind of sort of starting to recognize us.
I had all of these things on my mind when I caught the band at the Black Swamp last Saturday. MPF didn't make the trip to Ohio so instead I brought along my Dad (who has a history of seeing great bands with me) and former roomie Beth who went back to the homeland with me to visit.
The weather was perfect for an outdoor festival (low 70's, upper 60's) and the crowd was massive (well over a 1,000 people). I was very impressed with how the festival was set up as well as with the people who volunteered (including some old family friends that I had the pleasure of catching up with). All in all the festival impressed. The food was good, the beer was better (and cheap!) and the music was fantastic.
Speaking of music, here's the thing I love about Borges. She really knows her audience. She plays to the crowd, not in a snooty kind of way but in a "hey, I really appreciate you taking the time out of your evening to hear me play music" kind of way. I watched all night as she visited with people she clearly recognized from the first two shows she played in BG. At the end of the show she even brought a group of local kids up on stage to sing along with the band.
Borges knows how to speak to the crowd.And then of course, there is the quality of her music. Borges(and the boys) did not dissapoint. They played a few new songs from as yet untitled record (which will hopefully drop in the spring of '09). They also rocked the house with many crowd favorites including "Diablito", "The Day we Met" and "Stop and Think it Over". Borges was cute, as always, in a mini-dress and cowboy boots and the band sounded smooth despite the fact it was guitar player Lyle Brewer's first gig with the band.
One of the more interesting things to me was the crowd for Borges. When did my hometown become so knowledgable about music? If they continue to draw the lineup they have had the past few years I'm thinking a trip back to Bowling Green in the fall should be in the cards every year. And it wasn't just the townies, I had a nice conversation with a couple that drove down to the festival from Ann Arbor, Michigan just to see Borges... now that is impressive!
Finally, I know you are saying to yourself, but did she know you? Well, yes actually, I think she did. We had a very nice chat after the show during which she joked the next time we see the band (she calls Mike and I her "multi-city couple") maybe it will be somewhere more exotic (wouldn't that be nice).
Sarah and I mug for the camera.Thanks to my dad for capturing this moment!