Friday, September 23, 2011

Midpoint Music Festival: Day One!

President Obama was invited to a show I attended tonight, according to the band that performed. He gave a speech in Cincinnati that day and I suppose they may have thought "eh, why not?" Or maybe it didn't really happen and they just thought it would make for a good story to tell from the microphone. Either way, Obama had some competition today for most exciting thing happening in Cincinnati. And that competition was the Midpoint Music Festival.

Cincinnati natives the Seedy Seeds opened up the festival. Good job, festival geniuses! You could not have picked a more perfect act to kick off the three-day festival! The Seedy Seeds are this awesome up-beat folky band. The group is pretty drum-heavy and they mix in a lot of outside recordings into their songs. The banjo seems to be a staple and the acoustic guitar a visiting friend who doesn't make it into every song. They played in Cincinnati's School of Creative and Performing Arts theatre so everyone was sitting in seats. I saw a few folks in the back dancing, which was great! The Seedy Seeds are normally a band that folks get up and dance to.

I then walked up 12th Street through midway, a little outdoor section of food and vendors. Free doughnuts were given out by Busken Bakery (a Cincinnati chain bakery). That was sweet (literally). I then turned up Main Street and went to Mr. Pitifuls to see Pokey Lafarge & the South City Three, a bluegrass group from St. Lous, MO. Now I had seen them perform in my college town about two years ago, so I knew it was going to be good. A lot of their songs involved the audience, which was a lot of fun. My favorite going "Well I'm so happy you got me singing la la la."

After those two, it was a bunch of bands I didn't really know too well. So I ended up stumbling into some new favorites. I walked into MOTR as The Color Pharmacy, a band from Minneapolis, was playing. They seemed to have just the sound I like ... an upbeat but sort of indie style of rock. They sang a song about wishing they knew you when they were five. I suppose they were envious of the simpler days of childhood. And hey, I can't really blame them. It was a pleasant surprise to randomly find a band I like. And it's always good to support the out-of-town acts. One, I can't see them all the time. And two, it's probably not as easy for them to get a crowd as say it is for a group like the Seedy Seeds.

I ended the night at the Know Theatre. The venue was on the way back to the car so I thought "hey, I might as well stop in and see if I like what I hear." Well, not only did I like what I heard but what I saw was my favorite act of the evening. The group in the photo here to the left is Merely the Mocs, a Cincinnati indie folk group. Indie folk is perhaps one of my new favorite sounds. They have a violinist and it just provided a really beautiful touch. Overall, the group has catchy songs with some pretty deep lyrics. So it made for the most pleasant surprise!

Tomorrow is day two. The Tillers, The Pinstripes, Alone at 3 AM, Deerhoof and at least 40 other bands are on the lineup for tomorrow evening. Stay posted for more Midpoint coverage :)

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