Wintergrass review: Day Three

By weeklyvolcano on February 25, 2007

Somebody pinch me: Tacoma feels like a real city.

Granted, it feels like a real city most of the time, to me, but with Wintergrass going on there are actual people walking around Commerce, Broadway, Fawcett, and all the connecting streets in downtown Tacoma.  Parking isn’t entirely fun, but you have to overlook that particular negative and just dwell on the vibe that you can see, hear, and smell in the streets.

Go into the Sheraton and it’s a particularly loud vibe, with more smiles per capita than I can remember seeing; the open areas are alive with the sounds of music, extemporaneous jam bands break out like pimples on a teen-ager’s face on the morning of prom, but with much better results. 

Wintergrass2 In the downstairs lobby alone I counted six different hastily-assembled groups picking and strumming their way through chord progressions; I saw age ranges from 7 to 85; I heard the percussive thrum of instruments as varied as the skins on banjos to harmonicas to upright basses on down to a metal bucket contraption with a stick and a bungee.

Wintergrass It felt like Appalachia, it felt like middle America, and it felt like an awfully good time. 

One hotel employee had a bit of a sour expression on his mug as he picked up trash left behind; yet another employee had a broad smile as she smoked a cigarette outdoors.

Asked how she liked having all the people underfoot, she replied, “I love it!” 

I had to agree. â€" Jessica Corey-Butler