Music and art lovers alike can look forward to not one but two blowout concert events taking place this year at the elbow-room-to-spare Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.
June 23–25, 2017
Wilco is among the most inventive and original of music groups, and so it was counterintuitive when the band that inaugurated its three-day Solid Sound music and arts festival back in 2010 opened its 2013 performance with an all-covers set. But when they launched into Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys Are Back in Town,” the crowd at MASS MoCA roared its approval. Indeed, Wilco was back in the Berkshires, and summer had officially begun. Now held every other June, Solid Sound brings together Wilco and other bands from disparate genres such as indie, jazz, and Americana to perform on four stages erected on the grounds of the 16-acre museum. In addition to nonstop music, there are performances by comedians such as John Hodgman. Film screenings and art exhibits, including works by Wilco members, round out the weekend.
September 15–17, 2017
Come mid-September, summer ends at MASS MoCA with FreshGrass, in many ways a more participatory event than Solid Sound. This three-day festival has a distinctly bluegrass flavor; this year’s headliners include Bill Frisell and Brandi Carlisle. Yet much of the festival’s attraction has to do with the spontaneous jam sessions that attract guitarists, fiddlers, and mandolin players from far and wide. Last year, winners of festival competitions hailed from Yokohama, Prague, and Halifax.
MASS MoCA is located at 87 Marshall Street, North Adams, Massachusetts. Box office, 1-413-662-2111.
Photo (top): Peter Crabtree