words & photos by Lori Baily
The Baseball Proiject headlined a show at Maxwell's on Thursday night. It was before their set over the weekend at Wilco's Solid Sound Festival in North Adams, MA...
Wilco headlined, and Mavis Staples was their lead-in, but there was six hours of music before them Saturday at Solid Sound Festival at Mass MoCA in North Adams, Mass.Mike Mills was filling for Peter Buck at that show and at the one in NJ on Thursday, where everyone was having a good time - performers and audience alike.
The warm, sunny afternoon made for perfect festival conditions for a series of sets by Wilco-curated bands which alternated between a pair of stages set up in outdoor courtyards on the Mass MoCA grounds.
Alt-rock supergroup the Baseball Project brought together Mike Mills of R.E.M., Steve Wynn of the Miracle 3 (and formerly of the Dream Syndicate), Scott McCaughey of the Minus 5 and journeywoman drummer Linda Pitmon to perform songs that were, in fact, mostly about baseball. Call it good, clean, nerdy fun.
With a rollicking rock 'n' roll sensibility, the foursome sang a tune written after a night out drinking with now-retired pitcher Jack McDowell, advocated for the inclusion of Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Harvey Haddix on the list of starters who have thrown perfect games (Haddix kept one going for 12 innings in 1959 before losing in the 13th) and threw in a couple of Minus 5 tunes, including "Lies of the Living Dead" and "Aw Shit Man." [Hartford Courant]
I know nothing about baseball or I would've been entertained even more. Scott McCaughey joined opener Dennis Diken for a couple of songs at the end of their set. The guys (and gal) in both bands are all really sweet and down to earth, Mike Mills even requested that he not be "lit like a lead singer, cause I'm not a lead singer."
More pictures of the NJ show, below...
Dennis Diken with Bell Sound
The Baseball Project