Trinumeral 2008 | Small Festival Perfection in NC

LMB contributor, Mike S., has continued to hook us up with interesting festival reviews. Here’s his latest from the smaller Trinumeral Festival outside of Asheville, NC.

Last week, as I realized how quickly another summer was beginning to fade, I started to seek out one last weekend bash complete with everything that these short and sweet months provide. Thanks to some strong convincing from a friend, I made the last-minute decision to head to the Trinumeral Festival outside Asheville, NC, and man, was it one hell of a party! It was the perfect combination of location, weather, and solid performances that I will not soon forget.


Besides having top performers like GZA, Lotus, Galactic, and Particle, Trinumeral also featured numerous DJ’s including DJ Bowie and Eliot Lipp, as well as some local heroes that have grown out of the ever-expanding southeast scene like Dubconscious, Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, and Seepeoples. Deerfields, NC became the perfect setting for this small festival. Besides the two swimming ponds and plentiful shade that kept everyone cool during the day, the whole valley was decked out with some amazing artwork, not only from the festival designers and organizers, but also from the many talented artists in attendance.

Here are some highlights from the weekend, with some big help in the photo department from a good buddy of mine, James Y. I used to see James from time to time in my early college years following Perpetual Groove, as he does a lot of work for the group. But with our combined interest in capturing live music, we have been in contact much more often as of late, and James was kind enough to send us some of his shots. Be sure to check out his full collection of photos from the entire weekend….

Galactic w/ Boots Riley

I have not seen Galactic in three years, and I’ve never been all too impressed with them. But my opinion changed completely after they lit up the stage Friday evening. A guest appearance from Boots Riley kicked off Friday night with some downright nasty tunes, including one that left no one in attendance ever wanting to “Ride the Fence” again. Add in a night sky straight out of an astronomy book — it seemed too good to be true — everyone was ecstatic for the weekend that was beginning to unfold. Galactic busted out that New Orleans-infused funk with a touch of a carnival-like ambiance, including an intense fire dancing session provided by Unifire Theater that really enhanced the “under the big tent” feeling.

Pnuma live PA

Alex Botwin and Lane Shaw of Pnuma Trio performed as Pnuma Live PA, with Botwin spinning and Shaw tearing it up on drums. As a duo, they actually impressed me a little more than their usual trio performances.

Michael Kang w/ EOTO

I saw EOTO (Jason Hann and Michael Travis of SCI) perform last year at the Fox in Boulder and was very impressed. I also respect the fact that they are completely improvisational on stage, never repeating songs or loops. Trinumeral brought this duo together with former band mate Michael Kang, but I was a little disappointed that Kang did not play a more prominent role in the improvised melting pot. He seemed to just add some things here and there, as opposed to ripping mandolin and guitar licks over the drum n’ bass foundation provided by Hann and Travis.


Conspirator–made up of DJ Omen and Marc and Aaron of the Disco Biscuits–played a decent late night set that kept the party going. Even Brownie felt compelled to articulate just how special this festival was. Clearly enjoying his first visit to Deerfields, Marc pointed out his big mistake of having booked a flight that was leaving only a few short hours after Conspirator’s set.

Laura Reed

It’s always great to hear a band or performer for the first time and be completely blown away. Laura Reed and Deep Pocket was my stand out new group of the weekend. This little lady is full of fire and vigor. Her voice is exceptionally soulful and smooth and she sure knows how to get a crowd going. I was completely captivated by this Saturday afternoon set. I also ran into her twice while walking around and she was so sweet and open to conversation. But once she hops around that stage ripping a blues harmonica, the only word that comes to mind is badass!


Particle’s Steve Molitz

The focus section of the weekend was Lotus>Telepath>Particle. Lotus was a blast as always and Telepath improves each time I see them. Telepath even played a secret late night set on one of the side stages that was quite impressive. Even though my legs were cooked by that point, this classy trio got me hopping around and feeling good. Amazing how music can do that sometimes huh?

Thank you to all who had a helping hand in this little get together. It truly was the perfect small festival. I also want to give a special shout out to the man that brought the gym class parachute to Lotus. A nice rain shower began to cool off the crowd before Lotus, and just as it turned into a ten-minute downpour, somebody busted out one of those huge parachutes from 4th grade gym class. With about 30 other people, we wafted it up and hopped under. It was quite the little dance party under there and sure brought back some great memories. Thanks man!