Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Hippies, Hot Pants, Rockin', Poppin' and Lockn'

I attended the first annual Lockn' Festival in Arrington, VA this weekend and a boy in golden hot pants with moves like Jagger on Ice just warmed my heart. He gave all of himself to a beautiful interpretive dance set to the live soundtrack of Colonel Bruce Hampton and friends. The 90 degree afternoon heat caused him to sparkle in the sun as I watched him execute the most poetic funky chicken ever performed; arms and legs (among other things) dangling outward from his skinny body as he threw them as far from his torso as they would go before snapping back like awkward rubber bands attempting to conduct a surrealist symphony. 

Please try to restrain yourselves, ladies! I do hope for his sake that those gold pants came with some Gold Bond...

I imagine that his version included a few more elephants and melting clocks than I was aware of, but the fact that he was even able to hint at these things through his sophisticated movements is a testament to the power that he and his shiny hot pants were harnessing. It was really quite impressive, bless his heart.

Please forgive the shoddy camera work- I didn't want to come off as the obsessed fan of his that I was

We were fortunate enough to be surrounded by excellent dancers all weekend. The first night during Further, a middle-aged fraternity brother in gleaming white saddle shoes kicked up his heels like he was doing a little soft-shoe during Barcelona's running of the bulls. The urgency he was able to convey without ever quite falling over was a crowning achievement for festival dancers everywhere, not just those, who much like this gentleman, attempt to interpret the music of the Grateful Dead with all the enthusiastic stylings usually reserved for a Broadway stage. 

It was too dark to get a good picture, but I imagine this is sort of what he was going for

(Here I would like to insert a side note for hipsters- a. the best kind of irony is the kind that doesn't believe in labels like "ironic." b. you will not ever truly understand this until you peel off the cynical little bastard disguised as your skinny jeans and dance like nobody is watching at a hippie music festival with someone like the "brah" I have just described. Seriously, you're welcome.)

A few feet away from our keg-guzzling, saddle-shoed chakra chaser, was a woman who must have seen Bob Weir playing sideways that night at the Capitol Theater when gravity was feeling especially needy. A short, stout blondish lady with curly bobbed hair and an apparent affinity for adult beverages; she was not your typical jam band fan either. Her dance moves were somewhere between vertical and horizontal in nature, and often caused the people around her to explore their own concept of personal space as she swayed repeatedly into them. Her most profound move was one that challenged the synergy of dancing and texting, wherein her phone appeared to have a demonic draw towards the earth and an opposition to all things vertical every time she attempted to use it. This was genius, and we were left in awe as her feet danced towards the stage and her body mostly followed. 

I would say she should have had a V-8, but maybe she'd had a few already

To all of these wonderful folks, along with the gnome in the bushes, naked guy and that dude who spent countless hours cross-legged on the ground methodically taking scraps of paper out of, and then putting them back into a basket, I salute you. Seriously, the music was incredible, but it was these beautiful souls, some brilliantly unaware of their contribution, who made my experience at Lockn' complete. I hope to see you all next year!

Lockn' hippies dancing to Widespread Panic at sunset 9/8/13