Bad Weather And Good Vibes At Eaux Claires 2017
Despite storms on both Friday and Saturday, the Eaux Claires Music and Arts Festival was a smashing success with artists and musicians combining for a memorable weekend.
Eaux Claires offers a very unique setting, down in a natural bowl surrounded by lush forestry. There were not only painters and sculptures around the grounds, but living art installations as well, including a group of people writhing around in sheets resembling sacs.
The skies opened up just moments before Paul Simon took the second stage, causing workers to scramble to remove all the equipment before it got (too) wet. Despite the delay, the crowd put on their ponchos and kept a positive attitude by tossing beach balls and frisbees. After about 45 minutes of waiting, the weather cleared up and the always affable Simon took the stage.
Simon, who performed with chamber ensemble yMusic, proved to be well worth the wait. His set list included some his more popular numbers (The Boxer, Sounds of Silence, America) as well as some songs that have not been performed as many times on his current tour (Peace Like A River, That's where I Belong).
Wilco played the main stage with the passing thunder and lightning in the background, making for a memorable set to close out the festival. The Chicago natives opened with "Ashes of American Flags" from their 2002 album "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" before playing a trio of songs from their most recent album, "Schmilco."
There was much to like at Eaux Claires. Everyone we talked to seemed to be in a good mood, chatty and curious about their fellow festival-goers, the food and beverages were very reasonably priced with a great selection of food trucks and options, and the people watching was epic.