I have only two regrets about my second day at the very groovy Austin Psych Fest 2013: that because of substantial tech and logistical issues I wasn't able to get to the grounds until evening, and that I didn't bring a wetsuit. Despite these things, I saw some spectacular performances! Let's go!!

I had seen Quintron and Miss Pussycat before on Bruise Cruise 2012 performing to a happy, wild crowd of Carnival Imagination ship-goers, so hustled over to the Levitation Tent to see their puppet show and another fine oddster performance, complete with Quintron's own invention, the "Drum Buddy!" (Click on the photos to enlarge and go to Flickr for more!)

Black Mountain has such an appropriate name, because they have such a massive and impressive sound. As the evening sky deepened from azure to ebony, the Reverberation Stage seemed to shake with jams recalling early Led Zeppelin, prog and psych rock from the late '60s, and the heaviest of heavy metal. I expected stars to be loosened from the heavens!

Earlier, one of my fellow photographers looked me dead in the eye and said, "You DON'T want to miss Man or Astro-Man?...DON'T MISS THEM, I am TELLING YOU!" Far be it from me to ignore such a passionate recommendation! I zipped back over to the  Levitation Tent and WOW! It was already packed with fans and the tiny photo pit was jammed! I saw why immediately: Man or Astro-man? is SO AWESOME! They EXPLODE with high energy. Imagine a punk rock Jetsons or Dick Dale on espresso AND Red Bull AND diet pills and you might have some idea of how raucous and fast and fun their space-surf rock was. Wheeee! We have lift off!!

Back over to the Reverberation Stage, everyone was really stoked to soon be seeing a rare performance by Brazilian psychedelic music legends, Os Mutantes, and the progenitors of what was to be termed "Tropicalia." But as I settled into position in the photo pit as the band was setting up, I felt a very chilly, wet PLOP PLINK PLIP and then a few more of those...and then, I thought, "OH SH*T...RAIN." As it got heavier by the second I had to make a decision: try to dig out the plastic poncho my friends Jay and Khila gave me along with the flimsy plastic "camera condom" I had in my bag, or run away and try to get shelter. I went for the latter, because even though I won't melt in the rain, there was a decent chance my gear could be ruined, which would make me cry every day for the rest of my days and well into an improbable afterlife. 

I made the better choice, because it started pouring and kept pouring, soaking everyone unfortunate enough not to be jammed in with me under the merch tent by the stage or the few other shelters from the elements. I packed down my gear into the bag, put on the poncho and held the bag under it, like a giant camera pregnancy bulge. The stage floor puddled rapidly, and techs struggled to cover the monitors and other gear in tarps and plastic bags. As the winds blew the rain mist everywhere, the musical gear was moved to the back of the large stage. Would the fest be able to continue?? I was feeling rather disappointed, for when would I ever be able to see Os Mutantes again, huh?

After sweeping the worst of the water off the stage, the band began to soldier on with their soundcheck and then began to play, even as the rain kept slamming down on those hardy, crazy fans who stood there to watch. What an amazing, joyful sound! Near the end of their set, the rain let up enough for me to feel safe enough to try to grab a few shots from the field, now a vast sea of clay muck. You could see the band were so happy to have been able to play for people who truly, truly wanted to hear them.

Deerhunter was to close out the Reverberation Stage after Os Mutantes, and I was trying to ward off jittery worries of the rain returning, because I SO SO wanted to see them. Their last album, "Halycon Digest," was one of my very favorites of 2010 (which inspired this video!), and their brand-new release,"Monomania," is already well on-track to be my top pick for this year.

I willfully ignored a few random sprinkles while Bradford Cox disappeared from the stage briefly to return as "Connie Lungpin," resplendent in a nifty black-and-white print shift and black mod wig that had seen better days, with a cigarette wickedly dangled from her lips. Expect the unexpected from Cox, which is part of his strangeness and charm. Another example of the fluid and spontaneous nature of a Deerhunter show is when the security alarm went off in a tour van (which was very loud and broadcasting over the PA), instead of freaking and leaving the stage, they began to jam along with it for several minutes. Love.

As I had hoped, the band played lots of songs off of "Monomania" including "Back To The Middle," which got everyone dancing, even though it is new and most in the crowd probably hadn't heard it yet. The guy is a genius songwriter, I tell ya. Cox addressed the crowd with humor and sincerity, and the rain stayed the eff away. The lighting was amazing for the set so I kept shooting from the side even after I had to leave the pit after the first three songs were up, and I am so glad I did.

Check out my Kick-Off Party write-ups and photos (HERE, HERE, and HERE) and coverage of Day One, too (HERE and HERE), and be sure to stop by Consequence of Sound to read my pal David von Bader's review with more of my photos! Day Three of Austin Psych Fest tomorrow!

(Update: click HERE for final post with ALL my APF 2013 links!)