We started off the day with a bit of a disappointment because we missed Ground Up’s set, but we were able to catch a bunch of Bonner Band‘s set. They’re a family band, with three brothers and a sister fronting the act. They were solid enough, but will get better as the band matures. Jake Bonner, and his sister Morgan, are both seemingly quite young and don’t look confident on stage, and as a result, lack liveliness. Their two older brothers gave the set a much needed boost in both areas. We suspect as their band continues on they’ll become stronger, more mature, and as a result, a much more interesting show.
We then grabbed what sounded like an amazing idea: a pulled pork and cheese stuffed pretzel, the image of which is inexplicably gone from our camera, and were sorely disappointed. The pork inside was bland and fairly flavorless, leaving the whole thing a bit of a mess. For $7 it was pretty filling, but there’s many better places to spend your tickets (see: cheese curds or shish kabob). Also a side plug here: the new Summer Saison from Brew Works is a perfect warm weather Festing beer and will get you feeling good at a deceptively drinkable 7%.
Next up, was Daylight, a punk band out of Doylestown that, like Bonner Band and Ground Up, was booked by Liberty High School students as part of a class. Their set was tight and a departure from what the festival usually offers, a welcome change. The entire show would have been great if the band had done one thing: shut up and play. Their lead singer was so focused on making sure the crowd knew how out of place the band was and how punk they were for cursing in a tent full of families with kids that they immediately became tired and obnoxious. At one point between songs we’re pretty sure their mic was cut by the sound crew because they kept droning on about how they’re so ‘fucking crazy and loud and don’t belong there and shit’. What could have been a great thing for the festival was marred by a band that didn’t seem like they wanted to be there and should’ve stuck to playing dive bars and house basements.
Later on we hit up the Miracles of Modern Science show on Main Street. We were fairly excited to see the band after hearing some of their music online, especially their covers. We waited. And waited. The show ended up starting just a few minutes short of 30 minutes late due to sound problems, according to the band. And boy were there sound problems. The speakers for the show, in an attempt at waterproofing, were wrapped in plastic, muting the sound. The lead singer’s vocals were low and the cello nearly inaudible. The entire show sounded like the band was trying to use potatoes for speakers. We usually think bands that complain about their sound being faulty are overreacting, but in this case the criticism was warranted 100x over. And to be honest, the entire Main Street stage is terrible. The placement creates a bottleneck, the stage itself is old and warped, the tent is damaged, the lighting is absolute shit, and the sound was inexcusable. The entire setup, especially considering the nature of the music, was an insult to the band. There has to be a better way.
We then ended the night on a great note, with the old Musikfest favorites The Red Elvises. They can get a crowd rowdy like few others and command the tent with such precise stage presence it’s a wonder they’re still largely stuck playing bars. We’ve said again and again, if you haven’t seen this band, you must. And even if you have, they’re a few-time-a-year schtick that doesn’t seem to get old and always provides for the funnest of times. They play again tonight at SteelStacks.