Go Fourth! 

Potomac’s Fourth Coming is a three-day birthday bash

Being the Calendar Kid means being a stickler for detail. A fiend for detail. Detail, wherever possible, straight from the horse’s mouth. Pen and paper usually work; that is, until Mike “Mod” Moderelli blows into the office like a day-glo hurricane, ten conversations rolled into one. Trying to get all the details is like throwing a handful of marbles in the air and then trying to catch them all at once.

“Hey Mod, I tried to call you about the Fourth Coming last week. Didn’t you get my message?”

“Yeah. But I was kind of in the middle of a whirlwind storm in my mind.”

O ho, those whirlwind storms of the mind that occasionally preclude punctuality. The bane of the Calendar Kid, who demands not only detail, but detail TWO WEEKS IN ADVANCE. But the guy deserves a break: the Fourth Coming is actually Mod’s 24th birthday party in disguise, and as we all know from past experience, there isn’t a party organizer out there who works harder than Mod to ensure that a good time is had by all.

First there’s the bands, a wikkid buttload of bands brought in from all over the place: Discohesive from Bellevue, Wash.; straight-up dub fools Systemwide from Portland (oh, that reminds me of something I wanted to ask them when they played at the Ritz a few weeks ago: As long as you guys play dub AND have a melodica, have you considered covering “All You Zombies” by the Hooters?); the Buffalo Soldier, all the way from the Hill Country of central Texas, and his backing band Gideon; the Zen Tricksters from New York City (whose gestalt was nicely, if a little cringingly, encapsulated by The Oregonian: “If Phish is the torch-carrying band for the Dead way of life, the Zen Tricksters are that band that most closely capture the Grateful Dead aura.”); Eugene’s Ragin’ Family; a couple of other bands from parts unknown, like the Congos, the Freedom Funk Ensemble and the Wild Flowers, plus Bozeman’s Dr. Gravy and locals Ritmo Six, Guyve, and Butter Creek.

Then there’s the DJs and all appurtenances thereunto pertaining: DJs Jonsie, Steven, Dr. Rock, Tobin, Kapsure and Herb will be on hand for three days to enliven the late-night dance scene in the “Boom Tent,” a bass-o-matic big top that will squeeze out the sounds “until 4:20 in the morning” or any other randomly selected, no-numinous-significance-having wee hour. Enlitenment Project 2000 will also purvey live visuals for the dance music, a projection program called “Entangled and Dangled by the Great Star Spangled Light Spectacular.” Phew!

And then there’s the everything else, all the extras that make Mod events so very Modlike indeed. This year’s big attraction: “Montana’s biggest three-day fireworks display,” he says proudly. “It’s huge. There’s a military convoy bringing it from the distributor up to Potomac.” Maniacal giggle.

The Fourth Coming runs June 30, July 1 and 2. Gates open at noon each day. The site is five miles east of the Johnsrud recreation area on Highway 200 east of Missoula. Free camping available; dogs allowed on leash only. Tickets are $12 per day presale, $15 at gate. A $30 three-day package is also available. For more information and complete schedule of events, call (406) 829-3893.

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