For the most part, Saturday at Northside Festival was a whirlwind of low-fi indie-rock. I spent the day at the two outdoor venues in McCarren Park and then 50 Kent. First up at McCarren was Cayetana, who played a mid-tempo set of shoegaze in the strong summer sun.
Mitski followed suit at McCarren, seems like most of the crowd was there for the main act and reserved their energy for them.
While Against Me! set up, the park started to fill up in anticipation of the most energetic and rocking set of the weekend. When Against Me! took the stage, the place erupted in a sea of movement and screams. Lead singer Laura Jane Grace was the star of the show while singing angst driven lyrics and filling out on the rhythm guitar. While I only stayed for a handful of songs, it was the most energetic music Northside would see all weekend and in hindsight should of caught their whole set of punk-thrash tunes.
The reason I left the Against Me! show so early was to catch the huge buzz surrounding Bully at 50 Kent. Getting there just in time for their set, I witnessed why they are such a hot commodity at the moment. The Nashville band ripped through a 45 minute set of punk-ish ditties with no frills or banter.
Alvvays was next up and despite the late afternoon heat delivered what they do best – synth infused indie-rock with notes that bounce off of each other.
The surprise of the day (for me at least), came in the form of Built To Spill, who played a rocking set of extended jam tunes that reminded me a bit of Dinosaur Jr. The veteran indie act was the perfect compliment to the stunning sunset as they finished their great set.
Last but of course not least, was the nights Headliner in Best Coast. Their power-pop was the perfect ending to a long day in the sun. Bethany Cosentino is the type of lead singer that keeps your attention on her, except when your eyes are drawn to the energetic and talented guitarist, Bobb Bruno. While I’m known as more of a rocker, their set was sexy and had enough of a rocking edge to satisfy me.
Article: Shayne Hanley