Indy rock band The National performed at MASS MoCA’s outdoor venue, Joe’s Field in North Adams, MA on Saturday, June 11, in their only Northeast headline show of 2016. More than 6,200 fans attended the concert, and 300 purchased tickets to the exclusive pre-concert ‘Drinks with The National’ event. All net proceeds from the concert and ‘Drinks’ event will benefit Hawthorne Valley and MASS MoCA. The evening was a resounding success, offering an unprecedented opportunity for us to share our story to a brand new audience.
Hawthorne Valley provided much of the food for the ‘Drinks with The National’ pre-concert party held inside the museum in one of its many impressive exhibition spaces. The menu included: soft and hard cheeses from our creamery; pulled pork sliders with our farm-raised pork and featuring our caraway sauerkraut and buns from our bakery; a vegetable crudité with a seasonal selection of our biodynamic veggies served with a lemon yogurt dip featuring yogurt from our creamery; and a special recipe lemonade mixed drink featuring our lacto fermented Goldrush beverage. All of the food was beautifully prepared by MASS MoCA’s caterers for the event’s guests. To the guests’ delight, all members of the band joined the gathering for one-on-one time, graciously posing for photos, and signing autographs.
A live, silent auction of band memorabilia, including a signed, framed “Trouble Will Find Me” gold album, a “Trouble Will Find Me” boxed set, and Aaron Dessner’s signed Bigsby guitar, all donated by the band, took place before the concert. All of the items sold for more than their estimated value. Proceeds from the auction will also benefit Hawthorne Valley and MASS MoCA.
San Francisco-based, post-pop band YASSOU, which features three Hawthorne Valley School alumni, opened for The National. Lilie Bytheway Hoy (’09), and James Jackson (’09), returned to the East Coast to open for this special event. Theo Quimby (’11) was unable to attend due to prior commitments. The band asked that we share a thank you note they wrote:
“YASSOU was formed on the back benches of Hawthorne Valley’s high school chorus class. Through swapping parts and coming up with our own harmonies, we soon recognized each other’s talents and our mutual love of creating and performing music.
Returning to Hawthorne Valley and playing for The National at MASS MoCA was a truly awesome and inspiring moment for us. We have profound respect for MASS MoCA and The National. Their advocacy for education through the arts and support of community shows in how they use their influence. We thank them for supporting Hawthorne Valley with the hopes that others too will be awarded the same experiences and opportunities we had while students. And to all of those who attended the benefit and made it such a success—we thank you for sharing those same values and for contributing to the magic of the night. Now more than ever, as Waldorf graduates, we feel it is our responsibility to bring creativity, inspiration and feeling into the world—and we were honored to do it on such a stage, for our alma mater and alongside our idols. Onward!” ~ Lilie Bytheway Hoy ‘09 + James Jackson ‘09 of YASSOU
Prior to the start of the concert, Hawthorne Valley was given the exciting opportunity to show a short film on the stage’s giant screens to the huge crowd at Joe’s Field. The film was produced by HVS parent Jill Duffy in partnership with executive director, Martin Ping, and was edited by HVS alum Sam Petersson. The six-minute film gave a beautiful overview of Hawthorne Valley and our mission to nurture healthy soil and healthy children. The film is available for viewing on our newly launched website, http://hawthornevalley.org.
To the delight of concertgoers, The National took the stage at 8 p.m. Reviewer Seth Rogovoy said, “this concert stood shoulder-to-shoulder with previous high marks for Joe’s Field shows, including Beck and Wilco. The concert’s pacing was near-perfect, the group blasting out of the gate with three crowd favorites and interspersing others throughout the evening, in between deeper cuts, a good selection of new songs…” [http://rogovoyreport.com/2016/06/14/the-national-mass-moca-review-seth-rogovoy] The combination of the band’s unique sound, the enthusiastic crowd, a spectacular light show, and the phenomenal setting made for a truly special evening.
Throughout the evening, Hawthorne Valley hosted a booth featuring free t-shirts, informational brochures, temporary cow tattoos, and a special art project where concertgoers painted seemingly blank canvases. Little did they know, the silhouette of our new cow logo had been masked out across the nine 2’x2’ canvases. Once the canvases dried, the masking fluid was peeled away and when placed side by side, the cow silhouette emerged. All of the concertgoers that participated in the art project were sent a photo of the completed artwork that they helped create.
In all, it was a memorable night filled with music, laughter, friends – both old and new, community, and most of all, our gratitude. We are humbled and immeasurably grateful to The National for their generosity of spirit and good will in offering their considerable talents in support of Hawthorne Valley and MASS MoCA. We are also excited by the alliance we formed with MASS MoCA and look forward to the possibility of future collaboration with this innovative cultural initiative.