We had our first Maine Punx Picnic on Saturday! It was a gorgeous day for it as well. The even got started early when my old friend Pat arrived. He and I had been friends for more than half of our lives and he really means a lot to me. I was thrilled I got to spend some time with him before the masses arrived to the picnic.
Folks started arriving between 4-5pm until we had about 35 people in attendance. I was worried that there would not be much food to share but I showed self discipline (with Ashley's help) and did not go over board on what we made. Ashley and I made a simple garlic hummus and roasted some bell peppers for dipping.
To my excitement, nearly everyone brought food to share and all but one type of chip was vegan! There was a vegan chili, pasta salad, tofu and rice, pie, cookies, foraged salad, a pasta with foraged mushrooms, load of fruits, and chip with salsa.
After giving folks time to eat, we decided to get some music going. Michael Spaulding lead off the afternoon. I have seen him play multiple times of the course of the last year. He has been steadily improving and it a lot of fun to watch. His style is a great blend of folk and folk-punk. He has a booming voice when he desires but also has a calming tone that works well with his lyrics. He was a great start to the picnic!
Next up was Tuesday Morning Wrestling. They are a 5 piece from Bangor Maine that play songs about celebrity tragedies. They have some weird instruments and some very silly lyrics. I have seen them a few times prior and they are always a lot of fun, the picnic was no exception. Silly silly stuff.
While organizing this event, I came across Elliot who calls his musical name A Bird Among Men. I honestly did not know what to expect. I did not know how much he had played in front of other folks nor did I really know the songs we was playing. He only knew a few people at the picnic and is a younger guy, you could tell he was a little nervous. Honestly, this was the surprise of the day for me. A Bird Among Men killed it. He only had a few songs but his lyrics we poignant and true to his experiences. His voice was perfect for his style and I really enjoyed his set. I will be thrilled to give this guy more opportunities. Super good guy and great songs!
Intermission kickball game! A little more than half of the picnic wanted to play kickball so we divided up teams and played in the dirt and roots! There was lots of falling, fouling, trash talking, runs scored, and even a little blood and limping! Nothing better!
QQQQQ opened up back up to the music, post kickball. They are song real young punkers from southern Maine that are not typically acoustic. They went all in for it to play the picnic though! They belted out their hits unplugged! Not only is QQQQQ a great band but they are really cool folks. They are extremely fun to watch, a ton of energy.
Uncle Spudd also offered up an acoustic set, un-practiced. It was fun and silly until Michael Spaulding joined on to freestyle some lyrics on a musical cover of Freefallin' which will forever be know as Free-ballin'. Mike was hilarious. occasionally illegible over the roaring laughter. I wish I had filmed it because it was perfect! Once again, Uncle Spudds set was incredibly memorable! For the hardest working punk band in Maine, this was another feather in the cap, albeit an acoustic one! We very nearly had a fire circle pit!
Lastly, was Black Market Pine. I was getting dark and about half of the people had left. I felt awful because I was really excited to see Black Market Pine play and really wanted everyone to see them. It is what it is, they are going to be playing here several more times over the next few months and I will make sure I get them a good spot next time because they were the incredible! It was just what I wanted. Serious, political, talented, and entertaining. This is the type of band Maine needs. They were great, every single song, I wanted to hear more.
It turned out to be a great event. It was a ton of fun and Ashley and I were even able to give out some awesome new shirts that Black Market Pine and us collaborated on. There is already talk of a 2nd annual Maine Punx Picnic!