Short’s Fest – August 6, 2011
Longtime fans of Short’s Brewery, Valentiger was honored to play the second annual Short’s Fest at their Elk Rapids production facility. Since Kahler had joined the band, the boys were feverishly working toward getting four hours of material up and serviceable. It was a bit of a rainy day in August and there was a lot of moisture in the air. The boys hauled and ran their own sound, setting up in a tent in the facility parking lot. Short’s debuted their new beer truck, the S.S. Honey Badger and Valentiger got a picture on the thing. And after setting up, Rider took a dive into the bay before the event started.
Given the free admission, there was already a sizable crowd when Shirey opened up the evening with a solo set. It was filled with Valentiger B-sides and rarities as well as covers the band doesn’t play. I remember the Breeders’ “Drivin’ on 9′ and Sam Cooke’s “What A Wonderful World” (which the band plays now). It was a nice way to ease music into the evening. A couple beers later and a little food from Blue Pelican and the band was ready to dive into three hours of music for the muggy crowd. The band played just about their entire catalog at the time, as well as many covers but the stand out moment was definitely the Ween song they’d learned for Joe Short himself. They pumped out a cover of “Your Party” complete with a saxophone player that’d been recruited from the earlier parade. The band was surely glad to be a part of the event and especially enjoyed sharing a few (literal) sodas and talking to Joe. But, before they knew it, it was time to load out and head to Woj’s backyard for the night, where there was beer, mustard and ‘adventure camping.’ In the morning, Valentiger stopped for breakfast on the drive home. And who was their server but the very saxophone player who’d jammed with them the night before. What Wonderful World.
Valentiger always has a special place in their hearts for Short’s – “We had the best time at your party.”