After The Non's fantastic set, it was time for some food and beer. No better time to check out Norman's newest Main Street bar and restaurant The Garage, right? Right, especially since it's freaking awesome. I had a fantastic onion buffalo burger that smacked of "made, like, three minutes ago" freshness. I went cheap on the beer (I will not reveal my shame), but my friend had a Spaten Optimator with his buffalo burger. Yes, it's that kind of place. The atmosphere is excellent, too; I hope that it lasts a long time.
Thoroughly revitalized with beer, water and food, I ventured out to K.C. Clifford's set at Brewhouse. David Broyles of Dr. Pants is married to K.C. Clifford, so I saw him for the second time in three hours. He did not dance. He did, however, play acoustic and electric guitar accompaniment to Clifford's acoustic country and folk songs. Clifford's songwriting is of the Blue Door, catch-every-word variety, so it was a bit out of place at the Brewhouse (she mentioned as much, noting that she'd probably never played at a place with so many TVs before). But her sonorous voice, engaging stories and vibrant songwriting kept people focused on her and not the draft. Her lyrics were some of my favorites at the fest. Highly recommended.
I caught a bit of Foot Patrol's set somewhere in the course of the afternoon, and it was about as weird as I expected a foot-fetish dance band led by a blind keyboardist to be. If you were there, you know what I mean. Funky, dancy, weird. Good horn section, too.
Tulsa's And There Stand Empires was another incredibly memorable set from the fest. If The Non had jazzier roots and a tendency to freak out sporadically, they might be an approximation of ATSE's wild instrumental amalgam.
These songs felt like compositions as opposed to rock tunes; highly technical chops combined with heavy breakdowns made for an experience I will not soon forget. Their control of mood was impressive, making quiet sections just as intense as brutal freakouts that ended in knocked-over equipment. If you're into heady music like JFJO and The Non, but wish they were heavier, ATSE may satiate you. Or if you like two bassists playing at once, like I do.