Published on July 15th, 2012 | by greg0
Random Thoughts on the Bunbury Music Festival
Cincinnati warmly embraced the Bunbury Music Festival during its inaugural performances on July 13, 2012. It was a typically hot and humid day in Cincinnati so much that just by carrying a blanket to sit upon seemed like a chore. The rain that was forecast did not arrive which ratcheted up some tensions during the festival. The pent up aggression this caused played out on stage in the form of conflict during the performances of Foxy Shazam and Jane’s Addiction. In both incidents, a festival goer interacted with the band in obnoxious ways and faced retaliation from both lead singers. Other than those incidents, everything seemed to go swimmingly. Personal highlights for the first day included the winsome folk of Scars on 45 and the dance party caused by Los Angeles’ Capital Cities. The raucous Kids These Days caused a stir with their soul and rap fusion and the freak folk vibe of Lauren Mann and the Fairly Odd Folk soothed the soul.
I had the opportunity to speak with both Daisy (bass) and Sky White (Keyboards) of local favorites Foxy Shazam who, incidentally, put on the best performance of the night as they wowed the crowd with glammy selections from their recent album The Church of Rock and Roll. Both Sky and Daisy were friendly guys and we seemed to be in the middle of solving the world’s problems when two fans comprised of a father and daughter arrived and interjected with two questions. The father wanted to know what religious interpretations could be made of the song “Oh Lord” and the daughter was simply awestruck. The daughter wanted to know what the band would be doing if they weren’t musicians and Sky and Daisy politely answered by stating that this is simply what they wanted to do as careers. I asked some questions too but the answers weren’t properly recorded thanks to a failing iPhone Voice Memo app. I will attest that both Daisy and Sky are quite knowledgeable on a variety of subjects including geography, economics and the pending fate of Walter White.
After witnessing the greatness that was Foxy Shazam live, I made my way over to the Globili stage for a reality check as I watched my high school heroes, Jane’s Addiction. It’s funny how taste changes over 20 years while watching what is essentially a nostalgia act. Jane’s Addiction appeared on stage like it was 1992 complete with naked female statues and an amped up level of misogynistic tendencies. Perry Farrell’s performance was kind of pathetic for a guy who once used to arouse sensibilities. Farrell wore what appeared to be old man jeans which appeared pleated and quite reasonable, so I guess nothing really is shocking. Farrell was aided by Dave Navarro and the rest of Jane’s Addiction during his turgid performance where it seemed that the band was doing their best to prop him up. During this performance, I also had the rare opportunity to discuss the tunes with a drunk who informed me that he was about to be 53 and that Jane’s Addiction was waaaaaaaay better than his first love, Uriah Heep.
Day Two of the Bunbury Music Festival was more of a mixed bag for me. We arrived later because I was nursing a nasty sunburn and was tired of eating festival food. When we got there we caught the tail end of Jukebox The Ghost which was a little irritating. While their take on New Order-like synth pop was amiable, I was upset that traffic caused us to be late. I enjoyed A Silent Film as they managed a small rave up during an occasional sprinkling from the rain. As it dried out, Manchester Orchestra arrived on stage and were a fine placeholder until The Gaslight Anthem brought a little bit of East Coast with them. Following The Gaslight Anthem, I decided to check out Grouplove and although there was a manic energy to watch the Los Angeles popsters, I quickly lost interest in their Club Disney antics. We headed over to catch Weezer after enduring Grouplove’s Arcade Fire-ish schtick and I realized that Rivers Cuomo now resembled a young Woody Allen.
Day Three of the Bunbury Music Festival never materialized for me because I ate some questionable festival that didn’t particularly agree with me. I really wanted to check out Guided By Voices but I think I’ve seen them about a million times since the ’90′s. If anyone can post their thoughts on Day Three, please fill in the blanks… Overall, I thought the Bunbury Music Festival is what Cincinnati needs to compete musically with the other cities. I look forward to the 2013 Bunbury Music Festival and I hope that it continues to grow and expand. Until then, I’ll wait patiently for the Midpoint Music Festival which is just around the corner.