There actually was a fairly large-sized crowd at the Fountain Lawn stage to see Mates of State, but the stage was set in the shade, so it was the best compromise to be found on the festival grounds. I've seen Mates of State before - they headlined for one of my favorite bands, Other Lives, at the Drunken Unicorn a year or so ago, and frankly I wasn't that impressed. Maybe their stripped-down dance pop wasn't the best choice to follow the emotional and musical complexities of Other Lives, but I found myself similarly unimpressed today as I stood listening in the Fountain Lawn shade.
At that point, I realized that I had been to four separate acts (David Bazan, the band filling in for River Giant, the rapper filling in for Charlie XCX, and Eric Burden and the Animals) and was dissatisfied with them all (see entry below). I've come to realize that when this happens, it's usually not the entire rest of the universe that's off, it's usually myself. Maybe it was time to just chill out a little bit and regroup.
I found a clear spot of grass in the shade where I could sit leaning back against a picket fence, and rested my eyes (and legs) for a little bit. I could still hear Mates of State, but they already sounded better when I wasn't standing in a crowd trying to force myself to enjoy them, but just allowed their music to waft over me. I may even have nodded off for a few minutes. But after a very short time - just the rest of the Mates' set - I found my second wind and got back up reinvigorated and ready to start enjoying the festival again.
It's nice to be reminded that "time outs" still work occasionally.