While the folks who paid enjoyed their Matisyahus and Malkmuses, the rest of us poor folk enjoyed some damn good music on the side stages.
At 4:45, William Fitzsimmons took the Mediacome stage with his soft, acoustic melodies about loss and love -- and giant, motha fuckin' beard. The crowd seemed to enjoy what they heard, and it seemed to increase with his set. During Fitzsimmons' set, the rain picked up. His soft styles went well with the mood of the drizzle.
Talked a little with William after the show, and he seemed to have a good time. He was happy people came out even in the cruddy weather.
Then, we grabbed some veggie hummus wraps. Pretty good... and not too badly priced. I think it was 5 bucks.
Modern Skirts took the stage a bit late, scheduled for 5:45 but getting started around 6:00. However, they brought a lot of power with their shortened set. The boys from Athens punched the audience in the face. They were definitely not afraid to rock and my ears prove my point. They label themselves as "pop," but their show was about as far from pop as you can get. It was some straight up, rock 'n' roll. Even after fighting a few equipment problems, and getting on a little late, they proved to know how to rock the balls off the 80/35 side streets.
At this point, the rain was getting a bit much... so with a bit of down time between sets we made our way over to the Starbucks down the street and had a good sit, some coffee, and let our ears ring out and clothes dry off.
At about 9, Cedar Rapids based House of Large Sizes continued the Mediacom Stage's theme of the night and rocked the shit out of their set. With only 3 members, they gave a performance defining the word power trio. The side street was the most full it had been all day, and each head trashed as the group rocked. I hadn't had the opportunity to see these guys when they played Iowa City last week, so I was thankful for this chance. They really impressed me, and were one of the most lively shows of the night. Iowa rock roots at its finest.
Tomorrow, the side stages have some big names: Baby Teeth, Cymbals Eat Guitars, Margot and the Nuclear So & So's, The Envy Corps, Brother Ali, and many more. If you don't want to shell out the 40 bucks to have some sophomore girl in high school blow weed in your face while listening to the mid 90's hits of Ben Harper, come on out to the side stages and enjoy some good ol', rock 'n' roll.