Bewilderfest 2018: A preview
I’ve been saying for awhile now that small, niche festivals are the future. We aspire to keep our own Steadfast Festival at a certain level that is focused on intimacy, community, and music discovery. Cincinnati’s Bewilderfest seems to be following similar aspirations, with the added bonus of putting the spotlight on craft beer.
Over 30 bands will perform over a two day period, spread out on three stages—two indoors and one outdoors, all centered around the Urban Artifact venue, a converted church.
I don’t have much in the way of flowery hype language to hype up the event further, so let’s partake in an exercise. And by “we” I mean me. Here are some off the cuff reactions/one-sentence descriptors of some band playing. Let’s do this. More info, as well as a ticket link, can be found here.
- Moon Hooch – Whatever you imagine the embodiment of straightforward party jam music to be, this is it.
- Freekbass – What year is it? I feel like I’m living in the past and the future at the same time. Oh well, let’s party.
- Bassel and the Supernaturals – Saw this group at SXSW last year and I wish I saw more. There’s more to this band as a selling point than having a frontman from Syria.
- Ed Schrader’s Music Beat – Royal Blood’s long-lost punk cousin.
- Go Go Buffalo – If you want to be confused and slightly enraged by today’s political climate but mostly entertained, this is the band for you.
- Tooth Lures a Fang – My first thought is that this reminds me of full-band Farseek from Columbus. Angsty indie music that isn’t quite punk.
- The Tangled Roots – If you looked at the name of this band and expected something Americana-ish… you would be right! This is another reminder that I need more of this genre in my life.
- Gran Bel Fisher – If you need something a little more down to earth, Gran is your guy.
- Lemon Sky – This psych-rock group has become a Columbus favorite, and their jams are catchy and groovy.
- Blossom Hall – Check out this low-fi garage trio who puts out no-frills tunes.
- Zach Shonkwiler – IDK man, it’s comedy.
- Ample Parking – Moon Hooch’s little bro with whimsical vocals.
- Room For Zero – The 80s made current. Their bio mentions influences such as The Police and Arctic Monkeys, and that’s pretty spot on.
- Toph – A cellist that raps. And so much more. Just that description should make you want to watch and listen.
- Mara Moon – Rich vocals from an applachian folk singer to give you a reprieve from getting weird.
- In2tiv3 – New hip hop/rock collective – heavy funk?
- Kyla Mainous – Earnest, passionate, bare bones songs.
- Cults – Surreal dreampop that gives me the feels but not necessarily in a sentimental way.
- Saintseneca – A symphony of dark and whimsical folk or something.
- Dawg Yawp – Sunny indie folk with a sitar. If that doesn’t sell you, then I don’t know what will.
- Gangstagrass – How can you read that band name and not be curious? It’s exactly what it sounds like.
- Hello Luna – Straightforward alt-rock with attitude. For fans of Silversun, Pickups, and The Aces.
- FOUNDING FATHERS – If you wanted to find out what punk sounded like mixed with new wave, listen to these guys. You’ll have fun.
- Fritz Pape’s Guitar Buddies – Who knows what to expect here, but expect lots of noise and visuals to zone out to. Not trying to be snarky.
- Acarya – Their Tiny Desk contest video is making me say “wow!” Love the theatrics and cello in the woods!
- Queen City Silver Stars – I mean, is there really a scenario in which you can go wrong with steel drums?
- smut – Lovely post-punk band that seems to spend equal amounts of time in both Cincy and Columbus. I’m miffed I haven’t spent more time getting to know them!
- Lipstick Fiction – They recorded their album at Urban Artifact, so now you’ll be able to get weird with the band in a very meta sort of way.
- Betsy Ross – The best rowdy blues rock trio you’ve never heard. Well, if you live in Columbus you probably have.
- Us, Today – Experimental band that reminds me a bit of Square Peg Round Hole—not post-rock but in that family.
- Chuck Cleaver (of Wussy) – A solo set from a loved member of a loved midwest indie group.
- New Moons – I saw this blues rock band round out a bill at Rumba Cafe quite nicely years ago. Good to see they’re still in action.
- Preston Bell Charles III – Looping violinist. Even the things that don’t seem deliberate at first are—stick with him, and minds will be blown.
- Juan Cosby – This is alternative hip-hop with a nostalgic early 90s vibe.
- Xzela – This atmospheric altnerative soul artist is certainly worth your time.