In Canton, Life is good proves to be a great time

A review of the Life is good Festival at Prowse Farm on Saturday & Sunday, September 11 & 12

, Staff Writer

On an absolutely flawless fall weekend in New England something magical was happening in Canton. Thanks to the folks at Life is good, Boston was treated to its first major music festival and from all accounts it was an unbelievable success. Over the course of two days, close to 30,000 people, from all walks of life, were treated to a festival that effortlessly blended the theme of “giving back” with family friendly, healthy, environmentally focused activities and some absolutely awesome music. Here are some of our favorite memories from the weekend:

Biggest Surprise: The venue! The grounds of Prowse Farm proved to be both an ideal and an idyllic location. It was the perfect size, there were multiple areas organized by theme, “Good Kids”, Good Moves”, “Good Karma”, three stages set only a short distance apart, and an unbelievable view of Blue Hill (you could even see hikers taking a break to check out the music). However, if there is one criticism of the event, we would suggest that organizers have separate areas for blankets and chairs.

Most Unique Moment: We have been to countless concerts over the years and have never seen anything quite as unique or heartwarming as having sign language interpreters on hand for every single musical act. Kudos to the organizers for being inclusive, kudos to the bands for, presumably, providing advance copies of set lists and kudos to the interpreters who exuded passion for the music that was absent during a few of the performances.

Most Environmentally Friendly Moment: Organizers not only took steps to minimize waste, but the “Clean Vibes” team was on hand, at every receptacle, to help festival goers decided between trash, recycle and compostable waste. An honorable mention goes to Chipotle Mexican Grill who sponsored a seed planting project. It was great to see kids of all ages decorating individual pots and planting seeds – a family activity that will keep on giving!

Most Memorable Musical Act – Kids: They Might Be Giants. It is fair to say that kids and parents alike love these guys. One might think that it is the foam hands they distribute before their sets, but their music has a great message with a really contemporary, rock sound.

Most Memorable Musical Act – Adults: Philadelphia indie-rockers Dr. Dog absolutely killed their hour long set. Honorable Mention goes to Ben Harper and Relentless 7, who closed out day one with a solid, albeit predictable set. Same for Guster on day two.

Most Memorable Song: Hands down, the best song of the weekend was a stunning performance of “White Rabbit”, by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals (with help on the sitar from Gaby La La from the Sippy Cups).

Biggest Crowd: We knew that the festival had a clear focus on kid, but there were literally everywhere! It was like Woodstock for children. The families even dominated the grounds outside the children’s area and near the main stage during the day. It wasn’t a bad thing, though. It added to the festival’s uniqueness and how can you fault something that introduces the beauty of live music to young ears?!

Best Display of Censorship: Speaking of kids, during Guster’s first song “manifest destiny”, lead vocalist Ryan Miller changed “Bones are broken and the will is sunk / How did everything get so fucked up?” to “…get so awesome” with a smile and a laugh. Keeping it clean for the kids!

Best ‘Roll with the Punches’ Moment: The event organizers, as they effortlessly accommodated a performance later in the day when Trombone Shorty’s flight was canceled. They moved the set over to the Good Kids stage and Shorty proved to make it well worth the wait.

Overall Best Moment: It was all about kids in need. 100% of the festival’s profits (including ticket sales, merchandising and sponsorship) will go to The Life is good Kids Foundation, which helps to aid kids overcome life threatening challenges such as violence, illness and extreme poverty. They are still counting but we hear they have raised over $600,000, which is just awesome. If you were unable to attend the event and want to give, there is still time to text LIG to 20-222 or click here to make a $10 donation.

Given the event’s success, we hope the Life is good Festival becomes a staple of the Boston music scene in the years to come.

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