Metric (Toronto, ON), Ben Kweller (Greenville, TX), Tanlines (New York City, NY), The Lumineers (Denver, CO), Maps and Atlases (Chicago, IL), Civil Twilight (Cape Town, South Africa), Atlas Genius (Australia), Forest and the Evergreens (Columbus, OH)
August 11st, 2012
CD102.5 Summerfest at The LC Pavilion (Columbus, OH)
Following my album reviews of The Lumineers (here) and Maps and Atlases (here), I heard that both bands were added to the lineup of Columbus’ locally owned alternative station CD102.5′s annual summer extravaganza. I thought “what the heck, I should cover that” and I shamelessly asked for press credentials. Luckily for me, they were granted.
I arrived late afternoon to the outdoor portion of the widely popular LC Pavilion, where ska-influenced rock group Forest and the Evergreens were rocking the side stage with much enthusiasm. They had won a local contest to open this, one of the largest shows of the the summer season in central Ohio. Their gratefulness and happiness just at being there seemed to be contagious.
Civil Twilight kicked things off at the mainstage after a brief downpour that was sufficient to get most people decently wet, performing about a half dozen songs of mainly cuts from their sophomore record Holy Weather. “Move/Stay” got things rolling and other cuts included “Every Walk I’ve Ever Taken Has Been in Your Direction,” “River,” and of course “Letters From the Sky.” “Fire Escape,” a song containing one of my favorite bass grooves closed the set. The trio gave a reserved but engaging performance, and had brought with them a touring 4th guy that assisted with keyboard and bass when needed.
Following Civil Twilight’s set, a glaring issue with the festival became apparent. Upon wandering over to the side stage to hear Atlas Genius perform, I got caught in a massive traffic jam, due to the placement of the stage right beside the primary beer kiosk. The sound quality in that corner at best was questionable. Luckily though, the crowd seemed to be paying little attention to the issues and getting into the set as best as they could. It’s regrettable I couldn’t get a better feel for how the performance went.
Back at the main stage, The Lumineers played one of the most engaging sets of the day. Live, they carried a similar feel to The Head and the Heart. They powered through songs from their debut such as “Flowers in Her Hair,” “Charlie Boy,” “Ho Hey,” “Classy Girls,” “Stubborn Love” and “Slow It Down.” Onlookers from all backgrounds were singing along with fervor and with the pounding kick drum shaking the ground, The Lumineers delivered one of the most high-energy sets of the day.
The remainder of the day featured groups I was less familiar with, with the exception of Maps and Atlases, who played a reserved performance on the side stage which became the soundtrack to my wait for overpriced festival food. “Old and Gray” and “Fever” among others seemed to get a good rise out of the crowd. Back on the main stage, Ben Kweller played a set of songs which on concert-goer later remarked was “some of the most straightforward music I’ve ever heard.” Tanlines threw down the biggest party of the evening on the side stage (enough to make me make a mental note to check them out later). Metric finally roared onstage with one of the surprisingly engaging performances of the day, mostly performing cuts from Synthetica, such as “Youth Without Youth” and my new favorite “Speed the Collapse.” A really cool lighting set-up along with flawless vocals and musicianship was enough to make me wonder why I had never taken the band seriously before and want to buy their whole discography. All in all, it was a good day, and a successful first time for yours truly as a legitimate concert photographer. Check out a selection of shots below: