Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

The Districts Awake! Music Festival

Posted by xneverwherex on October 31, 2006

10/28/06 – Bishop Allen, Forget Cassettes and Pela – DC 9

For the first year ever, DC has a music festival called the DAM Fest. There were a lot of good bands that were playing the festival, but unfortunately I could only make one night. But it turned out to be a great night. Hannah and I ventured on down to DC 9, and luckily got a great parking spot. Always a great way to start the night. Granted it was still early, 8:30, and we thought doors were at 8pm. But alas, we got there and doors were at 9. Saw Megan who I had not seen in awhile. Of course the 9pm thing didnt happen either. So around 9:45 we shuffled upstairs.

 The first band was Pela. A small band from Brooklyn, NY. They put on an awesome set that was about 30-45 mins long. The crowd was really into them with lots of dancing going on the front. Billy, the lead singer, worked the small stage and everywhere in front of the stage. He has a great voice with very catchy songs. Smoking a cigarette as the band played, he appeared to be very thrilled with the show. The band was clearly enjoying themselves and it was evident by the crowd response who were just as into the show. Needless to say, a great way to start the night. Once their set ended (and I really wish they could have played longer), I happened to meet Billy. He was standing right next to me, putting his stuff away, and I tapped him on his shoulder (he is damn tall), and asked if he’d be playing CMJ. I also went on to tell him how awesome his set was. He was such a nice guy, it added to the image of this great band. He came back over to me after a moment, and asked me my name. Thanked me for coming out and introduced himself. Definitely a class-act. Ok – so I read he’s from Santa Cruz. It must be the California thing going on 🙂

Next up, Forget Cassettes. Forget Cassettes is from Nashville, TN. They consist of 3 people. The female lead singer/guitarist, a drummer who is incredible and a keyboard/bassist. Well I will say the drummer was incredible but clearly didn’t belong in this band. They were pretty heavy at moments, and then would change the sound completely based on the singer. Unfortunately, she could not sing at all and just in general was irritating. She made a comment to the crowd asking “is that all you got?”, to which I really wanted to respond, “is that all youve got?”. She was just insulting, and the fact that she could not sing nor play made it equally awful. They seemed a bit chaotic on the stage, never knowing what song to play. Luckily the set was roughly 20 mins. which seemed incredibly short, but when youre not digging a band, it was plenty of time. Definitely would not recommend seeing them. Unless you dig music that goes somewhere between heavy one moment, then really slow the next. Definitely not my thing!

And the final band of the night (more did play, but we left) was Bishop Allen. Bishop Allen is another band from Brooklyn, NY. I was really excited to see them again, as I had not seen them since June. I must say, continuing on with the awfulness, a girl decides to stand right in front of Hannah and I. We were just a tad away from the stage as Bishop Allen had put all their instruments there. So she finally turns around and asks us, “Oh, Did I take your spot, and are you here to see Bishop Allen?”. To which I wanted to respond, well I’ve been here all f’ing night, and what difference does it make who I am here to see. We both said yes, and her response was “REALLY?”. Like total utter shock. Some people just irritate me, she went beyond. Luckily the band didn’t seem to happy with her.

Justin, who is an amazing front-man and even better story-teller, seemed very excited to be in DC. This was the beginning of their tour. The September EP has just come out. And for those that arent following, Bishop Allen is releasing an EP every month of the year. They started the set out with “The Monitor”, and by far its more amazing, energetic in concert than hearing it on the EP. The band gels so well together, and they just have a really great time playing together, and it shows while they play. Justin had a story to tell about the song “Same Fire”. “Click Click Click Click” is beyond catchy with the chorus, “take another picture with your click click click click camera”. And yeah, as you’d imagine lots of flashes were going off at that point. The set was entertaining, fun, quirky pop/indie music. Good stuff and they are definitely not to be missed.

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