Sunday September 16, 2012

LENOX -- Spotting Tyler Deimos Stanton from across Saturday's Berkshire Stock festivities in Lenox, it was obvious he was a rocker -- pink, leopard-print skinny jeans, a black leather jacket and earrings don't really scream country blues musician or R&B hip-hop rapper.

When he took to the stage inside Tally Ho at around 1:15 p.m., fellow band mates Chewy Rockafeller, Doktor Ugs, and Professor Giant wore radically different clothing, but were unified under the band name Fallen Starlets, and entertained a small crowd with their head-banging rock ‘n' roll.

"We have to make sure people get their money's worth," Stanton said of his band, which originated in Housatonic. "We want to make sure it's not just the music, but a show, too. It's freakin' great they have something like this here."

What started as a cold, cloudy Saturday morning eventually gave way to a sunnier, warmer setting for the first ever BerkshireStock at Eastover Resort, 430 East St., in Lenox.

The 550 acres allowed for people to spread out, making the nearly 350 musicians, staff and guests seem more scarce than it was. About 700 tickets were had been sold by Saturday afternoon.

"It picked up a little bit throughout the day," said Micheal Drolet, the field operations manager for MJ Norton Security out of Chicopee. "Everything's been smooth."

In a last-minute agreement between Eastover and MJ Norton Security, the professional agency was hired to monitor the inaugural event.

According to previous Berk shire Eagle reports, hiring MJ Norton meant that the attendance would cap at 800, in a previous agreement between Lenox town officials and Eastover. However, the hired security staff wasn't upholding that number all day Saturday.

"We have no way of knowing that," Drolet said. "My understanding is that each of the bands had 300 tickets to give out, Eastover could give out as many as they want, and there have been 700 tickets sold. That's way more than 800 people right there."

The only incident as of Saturday morning was a medical emergency where a man, 20s, had a seizure on the grounds. He was quickly removed from the grounds and taken by EMS for treatment, and was expected to be fine, Drolet said.

"Everyone acted very quickly and it showed that we're prepared for this," he said.

Miraculously, nobody succumbed to whiplash from the relentless head-banging going on in sync with the guitar riffs and drum-banging that took place on the three stages. Wherever you were on the grounds, music could be heard, rather it be Alice in Chains covers or original music, like Fallen Starlets' tunes.

"You know that feeling you had in high school, where you were [angry] at everything and the anger is misdirected? That's what rock music is," according to Doktor Ugs. He says he has no Ph.D, but has studied enough to give the title to himself.

To the far side of the resort, where a few dozens tents and motor homes nestled for the weekend, sat Sharon Craw ford and her niece, Christina Christiana. The Pittsfield natives aren't far from their homes, but are posted up on the grounds to take in the full experience.

"I've never been to a music festival before but always wanted to,"Christiana said. "It's a great way to celebrate my birthday [Saturday]."

Both were anxiously awaiting Saturday's performance of Back in Black, an AC/DC cover band, which they both are fans of.

"I like when the guitarist strums the guitar and does this," Crawford said before kicking her leg up in the air and strumming an air guitar.

Rock music has evolved with its generations, according to Christiana.

"It's harder than it used to be," she said. "But I still like bands like Motley Crüe and AC/DC. Christiana and Crawford made it to the main stage for Back in Black's performance after tending to their collapsing tent.

While there seemed to mostly rock music throughout the grounds, the array of genres stretched from rappers asking the crowd to "put their hands up in the air," or country singers telling their spectators to give them a "yee-haw."

Emma Poore of Lenox, and Dana Hubbard of Pittsfield had a bird's eye view of the main stage from their hilltop. Their were anxiously awaiting a dubstep music festival on the grounds later that night. 

Dubstep -- not quite pop or rock, and certainly not country or jazz -- continues to polarize music fans, but Poore and Hubbard are sold on it.

"I love it. It's a new generation of music," Poore said.

"It's probably the fastest growing music genre," Hubbard added. "My mom even listens to it."

As with every first event, there are kinks that are worked out.

"It's been a very beneficial experience," said Mark Guilds, a consultant for both Eastover and the event. "We had an opportunity towork on the grounds that are made specifically for this type of events, like the amphitheater, and work out the logistics of security. It's been a great training experience for next year."

To reach Adam Poulisse:
apoulisse@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6214
On Twitter: @BE _Poulisse