There were several planned street closures in Ithaca on Sunday for Porchfest, but crowds gathering to watch people singing and playing instruments on Fall Creek and Northside porches blocked off many more. As 180 bands played throughout the afternoon, people were watching, dancing and singing in the streets. Porchfest made Ithaca feel like any small town in America, despite also having a uniquely Ithacan feel. Considering Porchfest has grown to include more than 60 cities and towns in the U.S. and Canada, in a way, it really could have been anywhere in America. The quantity of artists at Porchfest was staggering; it would have been physically impossible to see and enjoy every act.
Local and national artists came together Saturday at the first Cayuga Sound Festival, delivering quality music to the unique Ithaca community and creating a one-of-a-kind experience that can only be found here in Ithaca. There was something special about the laid-back attitude of the Ithaca community, the musicians, the familiar location at Stewart Park, and the local businesses selling food. The familiarity and friendliness added comfort to the experience, breaking the stereotype of chaotic music festivals. There were two stages set up next to each other and artists alternated between them. Businesses and radio stations had tents set up along the park, with food trucks serving most of the local food found at the Ithaca Farmer’s Market.
I’ve never done ecstasy, but based on the Urban Dictionary definition which states it produces “strong feelings of positivity, empathy and connection to others” I can only assume it’s similar to the Two Door Cinema Club show at the State Theatre Thursday night. There probably wasn’t any surprise molly in my system, but nevertheless I found myself dripping with sweat screaming for more when the band “left” before playing everyone’s favorite song. Admittedly, I went to this concert because tickets were 40 bucks and it was ten minutes from my house. I had heard “What You Know,” a song from seven years ago, but that’s about it. I didn’t bother brushing up on their music before the concert, but that didn’t matter.
X Ambassadors are returning to their hometown of Ithaca on September 23 to headline Cayuga Sound, an outdoor music festival at Stewart Park that they curated to “bring bands that people of all ages would want to see.”
The experimental pop band, of Montreal, delivered a theatrical performance at The Haunt in Ithaca on Monday. The band was founded by lead singer Kevin Barnes in 1996, and their music has since endured various evolutions since their early rock, alternative sound. With the release of their most recent album, of Montreal has embraced an experimental pop vibe that deviates from the style of the band’s 13 previous albums. This performance not only showcased the band’s new sound, but also integrated various songs from their older albums, all which were welcomed by the crowd of veteran fans. The band’s publicist Naavin Karimbux described Barnes as “a sort of modern day David Bowie.” Though this statement seems a bit too bold, Kevin Barnes certainly knows how to entertain the crowd and his use of costume changes, dancers, sets and theatrics allows him to mimic Bowie, in his drama and androgyny. The first song on of Montreal’s latest album is “let’s relate,” which begins with the lyric, “how do you identify?” This question of identity pervades the band’s music and was an overarching theme of the performance.
Following a show in Berlin, Germany, Irish indie-rock band Two Door Cinema Club will be performing at the Ithaca State Theater Thursday, as part of their world tour. Before they travel the country and head off to South Africa, Two Door Cinema Club will be playing in upstate New York for the first time in almost four years. Two Door Cinema Club formed in Bangor and Donaghadee, Northern Ireland, back in 2007. The three members came together to produce and experience a new sound. Ever since their first album, Tourist History, was released back in 2010, people from all over the globe have been bumping their heads and tapping their feet along to the hip and electronic rhythm of their songs.
The Arts Quad was packed Saturday with students excited to hear the indie rock band STRFKR. The Portland-based band is known for its entrancing psychedelic and fresh sound. Psychic Twin, an Alternative duo, opened the outdoor show put on by Cornell Concert Commission. Over nearly 100 shows together, the Psychic Twin and STRFKR have developed a captivating show with each other. The openers provided a dreamlike pop sound with beautiful vocals that were the perfect opening for STRFKR’s exciting lineup of songs.
The Canadian rock band Barenaked Ladies played at Ithaca’s State Theatre Sunday night and delivered an incredibly upbeat and engaging performance. The group is known best for singles like “One Week,” “It’s All Been Done” and “If I Had $1000000,” but every song they played was filled with passion. Alan Doyle and his band, who blend folk and rock, opened for the group. Doyle was an excellent frontman who engaged the audience, even though most did not know the lyrics to his songs. Singer and fiddler Kendel Carson was an especially impressive member of the band, dancing around the stage while playing flawlessly.
The Decemberists kicked off their tour with a performance at Ithaca’s State Theatre this Friday. Despite having a couple of kinks to work out, the band produced a beautiful sound that involved a variety of instruments. The Decemberists delighted the audience with songs old and new, and great energy that filled the entirety of the theatre. The Decemberists were introduced by Julien Baker, a young songwriter out of Memphis. Her soft but slightly haunting vocals were perfect for the night’s setting and tone: captivating and emotive.
It was the perfect way to start off Spring Break — I was going to see Wet perform at the Haunt. The band filled the Haunt with a passionate and engaging performance, playing with a soft energy that gripped the audience and created a relaxed, yet compelling environment. It was a loving, intimate night. The band opened with “It’s All in Vain” from their album Don’t You. The phrases “I don’t believe you” and “I can’t feel you” were vocalized softly, but hit the crowd with a strong effect.