80/35 Music Festival: Day 1

Kate Lichter, Online Editor-in-chief

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80/35 Music Festival


Day 1: July 10, main stage doors opened at 4 pm

St. Lucia|Main Stage|5 pm

Taking a break from the guitar, lead singer Jean-Philip Grobler sings in front of the main stage audience. Grobler is originally from South Africa before he moved to Brooklyn continuing his music career.

Kate Lichter
Taking a break from the guitar, lead singer Jean-Philip Grobler sings in front of the main stage audience. Grobler is originally from South Africa before he moved to Brooklyn continuing his music career.

For an opening act on the first day of the festival, St. Lucia definitely set the bar high for the other musicians to follow with their 80s style look and music. The pop band consisting of five, took on the main stage July 10 at 5 pm. I hadn’t known too much about the group before hand and was pleasantly surprised by not only their up beat energy brought to the stage but their musicianship. Having a similar sound to the 1975 and Smallpools, lead singer Jean-Philip Grobler’s vocals definitely corresponded with the indie-pop sound of the band and drew a crowd into the grassed area. The festival attendees responded well to the up and coming group, feeding off the high energy and catchy electronic beat.

Vocalist and instrumentalist Patricia Beranek points towards the crowd as they cheer the band on. Beranek and the band have been touring the US and Canada this year.

Kate Lichter
Vocalist and instrumentalist Patricia Beranek points towards the crowd as they cheer the band on. Beranek and the band have been touring the US and Canada this year.

St. Lucia

Instrumental: 8

Vocal: 8.5

Jenny Lewis|Main Stage|7 pm

 After walking around the front of the stage, lead singer Jenny Lewis takes a moment to sing out towards the right side of the crowd. Lewis was originally in the band Rilo Kelly until the split in 2011.

Kate Lichter
After walking around the front of the stage, lead singer Jenny Lewis takes a moment to sing out towards the right side of the crowd. Lewis was originally in the band Rilo Kelly until the split in 2011.

Following up St. Lucia at 7 pm, another indie musician hit the stage but with a bit of a country-rock twist. Jenny Lewis took the stage by storm in a white pant suit with a rather colorful pattern up top, continuing the 80s theme. Lewis’ voice was the strongest part of the performance meshing well with back-up vocalists and instrumentalists Megan McCormick and Tristen Gaspadarek, however over time the songs became a bit monotonous. But the group of five redeemed themselves in the entertainment category by interacting with the crowd more, preparing them for headliner Wilco. Overall the group was great vocally, though they lacked some in the instrumental category but the atmosphere with Lewis and her steady voice was enough to keep one hooked.

Vocalist and keyboardist Tristen Gaspadarek sings back up along with Megan McCormick during their performance. The band performed on the main stage Friday July 10 at 7 pm.

Kate Lichter
Vocalist and keyboardist Tristen Gaspadarek sings back up along with Megan McCormick during their performance. The band performed on the main stage Friday July 10 at 7 pm.

Jenny Lewis

Instrumental: 6

Vocal: 8

Wilco|Main Stage|9:15 pm

Standing alongside his band, lead singer Jeff Tweedy sings during the set full of alternative rock songs. Wilco performed on the main stage Friday July 10 at 9:15 pm.

Kate Lichter
Standing alongside his band, lead singer Jeff Tweedy sings during the set full of alternative rock songs. Wilco performed on the main stage Friday July 10 at 9:15 pm.

Finally to top off the first night of 80/35, headliner Wilco entered the stage to a buzzing crowd who were ready for the groups unique rock music. The most notable thing about Wilco is how every song seemed to have a different twist in sound, from random drumming in the middle of a mellow song to steady beats and story-telling lyrics. The band was great instrumentally but I felt that the spastic drumming in some songs took away from the original mellowness of the music, like they were trying too hard to bring some rock elements into the mix. However, the group from Chicago had amazing lyrics, each song telling their own individual stories through lead singer Jeff Tweedy. After watching the group of five, I have to commend them on their talents and ability to connect with the crowd with a whole other level of alternative rock.

Pianist Mikael Jorgensen plays in front of the bands lit backdrop on the main stage Friday July 10. Wilco played songs off of their more recent albums and old as well, such as Humming Bird from the album A Ghost Is Born.

Kate Lichter
Pianist Mikael Jorgensen plays in front of the bands lit backdrop on the main stage Friday July 10. Wilco played songs off of their more recent albums and old as well, such as Humming Bird from the album A Ghost Is Born.

Wilco

Instrumental: 8.5

Vocal: 8.5

Hot Buttered Rum|Kum and Go Free Stage|6:45 pm

A quick Q&A with three out of five members of Hot Buttered Rum, the band who brought bluegrass and folk to the Kum and Go Free stage July 10. The following band members Aaron Redner, Erik Yates and Nat Keefe participated Friday afternoon, showing off not only their love for playing music but a humorous side to themselves.

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Kate Lichter

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Kate Lichter