Cincinnati just makes me keep loving it more and more. I thought it was good enough that the city is large enough to attract many of my favorite musicians, but the city also hosts an annual music festival bringing to town dozens of acts, almost all indie, and representing local, national and international bands. The festival was held this past weekend (Thursday through Saturday) throughout many venues in Over-the-Rhine. The weekend was incredible and, despite it being a smaller festival, managed to bring in much of the appeal of larger events, while also making it feel like a night out.
Like any good music festival, there was more than just music. A few food trucks were in attendance, serving everything from pretzels, to quesadillas, to pastries. Street food was in abundance, and a little yet-to-open Belgian restaurant held a soft opening just for the festival (best waffles ever!). There were also poster sellers in attendance, I got myself a Washed Out poster. One stand at the festival even had a giant Connect Four game.
The music was the real attraction, though. With only three nights, with most performances between 6:00 PM and 1:00 AM, and 175 acts, it was quite impossible to see everything, but I was able to catch a good mix. The first night, I saw local act The Seedy Seeds (who I first saw opening for Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.), eclectic band Suckers, The Joy Formidable, and, as the highlight of the night, The Dodos. While I think this is true of many many bands and musicians, The Dodos are another one of those that may be best appreciated live.
The second night was a little more subdued for me. I caught Okkervil River at the Dewey Tent, who were another astronomical band. I had planned to stick around to see Xiu Xiu, but the venue was full and they weren't letting people in. I decided to head to the venue where Gang Gang Dance would be later performing, but my tiredness got the better of me and I headed home. Lame...I know.
The final night, however, I knew was going to be another good night. It was back to the Dewey Tent for Washed Out, one of my absolute new favorite bands. After their show, I stuck around for Cut Copy. They perhaps had the best audience reaction of all the bands I saw over the weekend. They stood out more in the festival than they had in several months on my iPod.
An amazing weekend in the Queen City and I'm pretty excited for this event next year!