Saturday, July 4, 2009

80/35 Off the main stage... DAY 2

The first off main stage act I caught of the afternoon was Miss Derringer. I was not familiar with the band, and had virtually no clue what to expect when heading towards the stage. What I got was a fun filled, extremely excited band. They dressed themselves in black, and their lead vocalist had a Marilyn Monroe attitude about her – and sang with it. They performed multiple duets, often dancing around each other. The energy they brought the stage seemed to carry over nicely to the crowd, who ate ‘em up.

At 5:15, I hit up the Meredith West Stage for one of my most anticipated acts of the weekend – Cymbals Eat Guitars. And these boys brought it. They kicked off their set with “And the Hazy Sea,” launching into an anthem of angst and anguish. They weren’t intimated by the intense amount of fans that accumulated by the end of their set. The thing I liked most about these guys: they were genuine. They didn’t seem to be caught up in the image of being a rockstar, but just were straight up rockin’.

After catching up with a buddy I ran into, I caught the last song of Iowa band, “Cleo’s Apartment.” They didn’t fit the mold of the typical Midwest band, playing mixes of rap and R&B… and from what I saw, the audience responded and they took it to ‘em.

Brother Ali – blind, albino rapper… fucking… owned. Preaching ‘fight the power’ lyrics to the packed Mediacom stage crowd on 4th of July, he carried himself to the max. America’s liberty didn’t phase him as he proceeded to melt everyone’s faces. Another genuine act = another badass show.

The Envy Corps took the Meredith West Stage at 8:15 with their Radiohead-esque type styles. The street packed itself with the hipster crowd of the festival, as the hippies made their way to the stage for the acoustic blends of Ben Harper. The crowd responded well as the Corps played new music. Hailing from Ames, they proved the quality of musical talent that can be found in our great state.

For the second day in a row, the side shows of the festival carried almost as much weight as the main stage. I talked to quite a few people who didn’t even bother to buy a pass because the bill of the side shows was so great, and the best part about it – each one delivered.

Hope you all had a chance to make it out… and if not, there’s always next year.


eric s


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