Sunday at Hardly Strictly: Gomez, Justin Townes Earle, and Bela Fleck Help Fuel the Good Vibes


Justin Townes Earle

Zakir Hussein, Bela Fleck, and Edgar Meyer

Devil Makes Three

The Swanson Family Band

October 2, 2010

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

Better than: Smuggling vodka into Outside Lands.

“This is so much better than Outside Lands!” a girl squealed Sunday after exiting a line of porta potties. And indeed, the enthusiasm for free music, shorter bathroom lines, brown-bagged bottles of booze, and an all-around bare-footed freedom lasted throughout the weekend this year at Hardly Strictly. With a vibe that often felt more like a street fair, throngs of people found their way to Golden Gate Park one more time on another unusually sunny day in the avenues.

Nor-Cal favorites the Devil Makes Three, one of the highlights of the day, belted out time-honored tunes like “Beneath the Piano,” as well as songs from their latest album, Do Wrong Right. A large crowd of women in feather headbands and shirtless men with glistening chests hopped around to the danceable folk tunes. The same rollicking enthusiasm found at any of the group's frequent Bay Area shows was also obvious at this performance, and fans jumped over sunbathers and beer bottles for a front-and-center view of the stage.

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