All Things Go Lineup Release – A New Venue, A New Time, But Still an Indie Lover’s Dream

All Things Go Music Festival

After a two-year hiatus, the All Things Go music festival will take place on October 16th, 2021, with a jam-packed lineup of Indie heavyweights such as Girl in Red, Lauv, and St. Vincent. For the regular All Things Go attendees (like us), the festival will look different from previous iterations with a new venue and the switch to only being one day. In this article, we’ll outline the key details of the fest and offer some brief thoughts regarding the lineup release. Welcome back All Things Go! We are very glad to have you again.

Location

One of the biggest changes to the festival is the movement from Union Market to the ‘burbs of Columbia, MD at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Union Market had been the location since the inception of the festival, but the Post Pavilion provides much more room for distancing as well as the opportunity for multiple stages. Although the setup of the two stages have not been officially announced, it is likely that one will be under the main pavilion and the other will be on the lawn on the opposite side.

Having two stages will also be an excellent upgrade for DC festival fans longing to have a typical chaotic music festival feel, which is a departure from the intimate Union Market. This means more non-stop action and gives the attendee more options when customizing their day, which is both a blessing and a curse. However, with the diverse lineup that the fest has put together this year you will have the opportunity to listen to solid indie bands whoever you decide to see. Additionally, the Post Pavilion is located less than 45 minutes from D.C. and with bus options from nearly every area of the city it will be easy to access.

Time

The movement to a one-day fest is also an intriguing move. Whereas the previous vibe of All Things Go sort of felt like an incredible binge watch sesh starting with emerging talent and culminating with the likes of Billie Eilish, this year fans will have more choice in who they want to listen to. While this will inevitably cause some conflict among decisions of which stage to visit, it seems like a step in the right direction as the festival continues its growth.

Lineup

Even though many aspects of the festival have changed, one thing that remains the same is the excellent curation of an indie-centric lineup. Sticking to their guns, All Things Go is pairing up and coming artists such as Haim and girl in red with bedroom pop favorites Charli XCX and Lauv. This is All Things Go’s deepest lineup, which is perfect for their two-stage set up.

Many of the performers in this year’s lineup have risen to fame throughout the course of the pandemic, so it will be an awesome experience for much of this new talent to relate to fans at such a diverse venue. Some examples are Gus Dapperton who exploded in the music the scene with his release of the song “Supalonely” with Benee. And Soccer Mommy has generated critical acclaim with her song “Circle the Drain.” Haim also looks to carry the momentum from their recent album success with Women in Music Pt. III and their strong performances on nationally televised events such as the Grammy’s.

We are extremely excited for this year’s festival and welcome the changes with open arms! Look out DC your opportunity for a day filled with Indie-Alternative-Pop is quickly approaching! Find tickets at their official website here.

Follow FestivalPulse for additional news and highlights regarding this year’s All Things Go.

Something In The Water Is Back With Gusto in 2020

The second annual Something In The Water (SITW) festival returns to it’s Virginia Beach location. Organized and curated by Pharrell Williams, the festival is Virginia’s largest, bringing in top names like Chance the Rapper, Post Malone & Migos among many others.

Going back to Pharell’s roots, it’s held on the white sand of Virginia Beach. Festivalgoers can not only expect a star-studded lineup, but also a wide variety of activities. Whether it be a pop-up church service on Sunday morning, a massive balloon sculpture, sponsor-led activities spread around the greater festival area or food and drink tents, SITW has a jam-packed event schedule.

Though only the initial wave of events is announced at the moment, you can stay up to date with festival updates and activities by signing up for updates here.

Artists to Watch

Pharrell & Friends’ set blew away audiences last year with guests including Tyler the Creator, Snoop Dog, Timbaland, Usher and the surprise addition of Jay-Z. The 95 minute set featured a Grammy-esque performances where each of the artists would perform their top hits, oftentimes featuring Pharrell or the slew of other talented artists before passing it onto the next artist. It was the Billboard Hits of the 2000s, live. This year, with the usual suspects back in attendance, this is likely going to yet again be one of the festival’s top sets.

LANY – Coming off a nonstop touring year of 2019 and performances at festivals around the nation, LANY saw his star rapidly rise. Following a brief tour through Asia and North America, he will end this marathon tour with a performance at SITW. His sophomore album, Malibu Nights is a catchy yet heartwrenching capture of his emotions following a brutal breakup with pop starlet Dua Lipa. He also recently released a single “Mean It,” a collaboration with Lauv.

The Head and The Heart – Following a nationwide tour and release of their fourth studio album Living Mirage, Seattle-born The Head and The Heart add a folk-driven balance to the SITW lineup. With older, more folky hits like ‘Rivers and Roads’ to recent, upbeat singles like ‘Honeybee’ The Head and The Heart offer a musical variety with wide appeal.

We expect SITW 2020 to exceed 2019’s iteration.  Act quickly and get your tickets before all GA & VIP ticket tiers sell out.

Ticket Prices

3-Day GA $250

3-Day VIP $600

Ticket Site

Further Reading:

Artist Spotlight: LANY Reveals Heartbreak in Malibu

Artist Spotlight: LANY Reveals Heartbreak in Malibu

With over 5 million monthly listeners on Spotify, sold out arenas in Asia and landing the main stage at the summer festival circuit, pop group LANY has gained the world’s attention. LANY, a a shortened form of Los Angeles, New York is emblematic of their desires to be heard coast to coast. The band’s lead singer Paul Klein, met Jake Gross and Leslie Priest while in Nashville in 2014 before the group relocated to their current home in Los Angeles.

The band immediately started recording and put out a few early tracks like “Hot Lights” and “Walk Away” that later culminated in the “Make Out” EP. In the EP, a single off the track “ILYSB,” short for “I Love You So Bad” went viral, accruing 14 million streams online and landing them a full record deal. They released an eponymous album in 2017 which gained significant traction.

“Malibu Nights,” LANY’s second album, was released in 2018. If you listen to it end to end, it’s easy to see that this album was created not only for LANY fans, but it also appears to be a deeply cathartic release for Paul Klein following his supernova relationship with pop starlet Dua Lipa. They started dating in late 2017, only for Dua Lipa to get back together with her ex-boyfriend, model turned celebrity chef, Isaac Carew.

If you look at the lyrics in the track “Run,” you can viscerally feel the pain that Paul Klein was experiencing.

It was like something switched

We were fine, then overnight you flipped

It was made worse with the knowledge that Dua got back together with Isaac Carew closely after splitting ties with Paul. Paul doesn’t react well to this.

Got a handful of sleeping pills

A phone full of no one real

This is all too much to deal, ah

While hearing this verse, you can almost see the steel and glass mansion in Malibu. Paul is tossing and turning in his king bed while the memories from his relationship flashing like a film reel back in his head. An ambien bottle is his only recourse to get through the night.

LANY passionately belt out the lyrics at All Things Go this weekend and it felt as raw as it was when he first wrote it. The tinge of heartbreak is still as pressing and painful as ever, but in the performance it was almost a celebration of sadness, rather than a pure manifestation of it.

A crowd of dedicated fans, sharing in song shared this experience with him. With the clearly enunciated lyrics and catchy hooks, the album’s lyrics are easy to learn. In the show, LANY wants fans to be able to sing along. At one point during the show, LANY even put the lyrics on the screen in karaoke fashion to have everyone join him for “Taking Me Back.”

Not only are the lyrics instagram caption-worthy, but they also have an impact. The core themes of what LANY is discussing, breakups, loss and change, are rooted in an emotional vulnerability. LANY has excelled at harnessing that emotion in the form of song, and in the process brought a whole group of fans to the realization that:

I’m gonna be okay, right?

I’m gonna be okay, right?

I wish I could tell myself that at night

I’m gonna be okay, right?

“okay” (LANY, Julia Michaels”

 

Glitter, a Dystopian Adventure, and Love: All Things Go 2019

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All Things Go brought Washington DC’s top indie artists to the Union Market stage. From Lany’s boy-band pop to Melanie Martinez’s musical-esque performance, festival-goers’ left the festival satiated from a wide array of acts. Undercards such as Muna, Olivia O’Brien, and Allie X exceeded expectations with strong performances and headliners CHVRCHES and Melanie Martinez ended each night with a bang (although in distinctly different ways). From the food choices to the post-act dance party, FestivalPulse will break down the main highlights from the latest iteration of DC’s top music festival.

Best of the Sets

Coin brought the audience to life on Saturday night with unprecedented energy. Chase Lawrence’s contagious energy had the ATG crowd rocking. When the prelude to “Run” permeated the warm fall air, the crowd began to jump and shout as Lawrence ran up and down the photo pit area. Through “Crash My Car,” “Hannah,” and “Talk too Much,” this high level of energy filled the loading docks of Union Market and culminated with Lawrence sliding across a hightop table in the suites, which added to the madness.

After Coin brought the DC crowd to life, LANY found his groove by performing a majority of his Malibu Nights album, which was recited by much of the millennial audience. He started and ended his set very strong with fan favorites “Thick N Thin” and his all-time classic “ILYSB.” LANY’s lead singer, Paul Klein, intensely focused on the audience and eagerly encouraged the audience to sing along to his ballads.

Paul Klein (LANY) in an intimate moment with the crowd

To top off the jam-packed Saturday, CHVRCHES’ 90 minute set thrilled both peripheral fans and die-hard supporters. CHRVCHES’s excellently balanced their assortment of playing deeper tracks from The Bones of What You Believe to a solid helping of bops off their newest album Love is Dead. Once again, CHRVCHES’ unique electro-pop sound reignited the energy from COIN’s performance and Lauren Mayberry’s humble personality supplemented the lively musical performance. She reflected on her reaction when she was first told she would headline ATG, questioning “are you sure there isn’t someone supposed to play after us?” She hypothesized that “maybe they didn’t show up,” sparking laughter around the venue.

CHVRCHES’ Lauren Mayberry Performing “Get Out”

The inclusion of Deep Tracks such as “Science/Visions,” “Under the Tide”, and “Tether” unveiled the full depth of the CHRVCHES’s sound that can not normally be seen at usual performances. The band’s mixing of old and new songs revealed the evolution of their sound, which has evolved to include more pop and beat elements, but remains rooted in with their strong emphasis on techno-synth.

From “Get out” to the last techno beat in “Never Say Die,” CHRVCHES brought millennials what they came to see: another solid performance of the synth-pop band.

The All Things Go stalwart Betty Who thrived in her usual spotlight at this year’s festival. Betty Who fans were back in full force and her high-energy performance led to the culmination of excitement during Sunday’s set. Her act had similarities to previous year’s performances, but the show’s emphasis on fostering an even more inclusive environment was stressed throughout the duration of the show. Betty acknowledged her typical audience demographic was “[Betty] and the gays,” but she added that all are encouraged to jump in, even those she jokingly referred to as “breeders.”

Betty’s comfortability with the festival environment definitely showed as she maneuvered the stage with ease. Additionally, Betty’s diverse setlist that included hits from all three of her albums provided a concert that seemed to act as the best of Betty Who.

In addition to the positive vibes provided to the audience by Betty’s joy and enthusiastic emotion, Betty addressed the importance of the concert to her life as well. “Right now, I’m going through some things … so this concert means a lot.” The audience responded with cheers and showed their commitment to helping her by reaching an apex of emotion throughout “I Love You, Always Forever” which was one of the songs that rounded out her set. Betty’s set proved that she has become a staple of the ATG experience, and we would love to see her again next year!

 

Melanie Martinez? Melanie Martinez!

All preconceived notions of Melanie Martinez were thrown out the window after her performance. Festival-goers could have expected the typical Melanie Martinez eccentric display of unsettling elements in her set, but her performance based around her new album and movie K-12 sent shockwaves throughout the audience. The entire performance had a hazy nightmarish feel centered around a dystopian school setting. Many of the songs were preceded by a woman with enlarged pupils who recited a rule that would serve to preempt the social commentary that would be explored by the song. This interlude also allowed for the stagehands to set up the “set” for the next song as new props and costumes were used for nearly every song.

While the crowd began to thin out late during Melanie’s session, the intensity seemed to greatly increase. The fans that remained at 11:00 on Sunday night were amongst the most dedicated fans that our writers have ever seen. Despite the album only being released a few months prior, nearly everyone in the front rows were singing along to the songs.

Food + More

There was plenty of food and drink to fuel the party all weekend. Local food providers like Rocklands topped the food options and the bars served fan favorites such as Truly and local crafted beers.

All Things Go 2019 was a blast that proved that top tier indie bands can make for an entertaining festival. With the success of this year’s iteration, we hope All Things Go will be a long-lasting fixture in the D.C. music scene.

CHVRCHES, Melanie Martinez Headline DC’s All Things Go Fall Classic

Washington D.C.’s All Things Go Fall Classic is back and better than ever with a mixed-genre lineup. The two-day festival on October 12th and 13th calls D.C.’s trendy Union Market home.

Saturday’s headliner includes the likes of Glasgow-based band Chvrches, known for their anthemic indie-electronic sounds. Led by Lauren Mayberry, the band released their third album Love is Dead in 2018. Also in Saturday’s lineup is LANY, Paul Klein’s project that features sad yet undeniably catchy synth-melodies dripping in hearthrob. In addition to a slew of upstart undercards, indie-pop band COIN completes a stacked lineup on Saturday.

In Sunday’s set, there’s a solid lineup of undercards. Expect to hear from Swedish-born singer Léon, who has a vintage sound with contemporary infusions. After breaking onto the scene with her hit Tired of Talking, she released an eponymous album in 2019. Additionally, Betty Who looks to awe the All Things Go crowd once again with her synthpop tracks. Headlining Sunday’s festivities is Melanie Martinez. Following an appearance on The Voice, Martinez gained national acclaim with her 2015 album Cry Baby.

Full Lineup:

SATURDAY

CHVRCHES ~ LANY ~ COIN ~ MUNA ~ MXMTOON ~ NASTY CHERRY ~ ARKELLS ~ SNEAKS

SUNDAY

MELANIE MARTINEZ ~ BETTY WHO ~ LEON ~ OLIVIA O’BRIEN ~ ALLIE X ~ CARLIE HANSON ~ TEAMARR ~ SHENNA

These sets can be seen at affordable early bird rates.

2 Day GA – $99

2 DAY VIP – $229

1 DAY GA $65

1 DAY VIP $139

Additional ticketing information can be found here.

The Search is Over: Raleigh’s Budding Guitarist-Songwriter is In Bloom

Raleigh-based musician Ben Youngblood just released his joyfully funky debut single “The Search is Over.” This song is the first track off his first album, In Bloom, coming out later this summer. Recorded and co-produced in Miami, Florida with Andres Daza of Daza Records, the song is rooted in Youngblood’s taste for vintage pop, funk, and blues-rock married with Afro-Cuban percussion indicative of the tropical city.

Youngblood has always been fascinated by music centered around the electric guitar. This is evident in “The Search is Over,” as the song is built around a catchy, Mayer-esque guitar riff and is embellished with fiery guitar licks reminiscent of the mind-bending style of P-Funk guitarist Eddie Hazel.

Having fallen in love with playing the guitar at age nine, making music has been the guiding force in Youngblood’s life ever since. Discovering this lifelong passion and sense of empowerment through writing songs and performing is what “The Search is Over” is all about. Since graduating from the University of Miami Frost School of Music in 2018, Youngblood has stayed busy pursuing a career as a full-time musician and working to establish and promote his own brand of original music. We talked with Ben to learn a bit more about his roots and musical style.

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Tell me about your entrance into the music world.

I grew up in Raleigh, NC and my introduction to the music world really started when I was nine and had some friends that were playing who taught me a few chords. I immediately fell in love with playing guitar and after begging my parents for a few months, they finally bought me a guitar. I taught myself from an instructional DVD for a few months before starting to take lessons with Ken Demery, who taught me for the next nine years until I went to college. He taught me to read music, which has proven to be an invaluable skill. He also instilled in me the importance of thinking of myself as a business and what it means to be a true professional musician.

I started playing solo shows on First Fridays in Raleigh at a hair salon that doubled as an art gallery when I was about 15. Since then, I’ve played lots of local bars, restaurants and festivals. I also formed my first band in high school with some friends and we played private parties and school events. That’s when I first started writing songs.

What did early years teach you?

I always found it so inspiring to see my favorite artists captivate people, including myself, in concert and have such a profound impact on an audience with their music.

In my experience as a musician, I learned that I was able to make a deeper connection with an audience through playing guitar and singing songs and that is such an amazing feeling. I’m always chasing that feeling and hoping to make that connection with listeners. Some of my most cherished memories are making music with my closest friends and performing for people that I love and I want to continue making memories like those.

What’s your process for writing songs?

It’s never an exact science, but I have certain tendencies. I usually come up with a guitar riff or chord progression that I start singing gibberish on top until some words and phrases start to emerge, which I then mold into a more complete idea. A lot of times lyrics begin to formulate out of my subconscious before I even know what I want to write about, which I’ve discovered is a really common method among lots of my favorite songwriters. It’s a very organic process.

In the best case scenario, I feel like a conduit for energy that’s making itself present in the moment and it just kind of flows out with little effort. More often, I have to fight for every line and for that next chord or section of the song.

Tell me about your upcoming releases, what can fans expect?

My first album In Bloom (which will initially be available solely on digital platforms) is coming out late this summer. There will be two more singles released in the next several weeks and then the full album to follow. I’m planning on doing a tour in the fall to promote the release, so fans should follow my social media accounts to stay up to date on those details and get access to behind-the-music content from the making of In Bloom!

What inspired the song “The Search Is Over”?

I wrote it in the summer of 2017 after working at the Frost Young Musicians’ Camp at University of Miami as a teacher and counselor. I was really inspired by the students there and the song came from a realization that connecting to people through music is my true passion. It’s what I can always rely on to find soul satisfaction. In some ways, it’s a love song to music. My experiences as a musician are full of affirmations that I’m on the right path. A lot of other people aren’t as fortunate to find their lifelong passion this early in life, if ever, and I’m extremely grateful that I’ve found that. “The Search is Over” is an acknowledgement and expression of those feelings.

What can someone expect at a Ben Youngblood concert?

At this point, my shows are solo performances, just me with an acoustic or electric guitar. I hope to eventually form a band to play my music but I’m enjoying the intimate nature of my shows right now. Since I’m the only musician in my band, I’m able to improvise a lot and take my songs in different directions, which keeps me on my toes. I always make an effort to engage with the audience and talk to them about the songs I’ve written and what’s on my mind at the time. I think something unique about me is that I never put on the same show twice, and I don’t even really perform songs the same way twice.

Who do you compare yourself to as a musician?

I get regularly compared to a few people. Since I was a teenager, John Mayer has naturally been a big influence. After seeing his concert Where The Light Is on YouTube when I was a freshman in high school and being completely entranced, I knew I wanted to be on that stage, doing what he was doing.

Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. He’s like an anti-pop star. A large percentage of my walks to and from high school was spent listening to Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot in angsty introspection. He’s a master of writing lyrics that are cryptic while still being highly impactful because, to me, they often can mean so many things all at once. My guitar playing is also heavily influenced by Wilco’s guitarist, Nels Cline. His guitar solo on “Impossible Germany” changed my life.

I could go on and on about my influences, but a few other musicians that I’m often compared to by other people are Eric Clapton, Tom Misch, Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds.

What do you ultimately hope to achieve as an artist? Why are you here?

I hope to create music that will resonate with people in the way that the songs by my favorite artists have impacted me, because those songs have helped me understand myself and whatever it is I’m going through at the time. I love the idea of recording songs that will live on long after I’m gone, and if I’m lucky, be heard and loved by people in the future – maybe even help them understand a piece of themselves or inspire some kid to learn the guitar. But on the flip side, I also live for playing live shows that disappear into the vacuum of the universe while they’re unfolding. I think sharing that isolated experience with an audience, whether it be one person or 10,000 people is beautiful. Ultimately, I feel like I’m here to bring joy into the lives of others through playing the shit out of my guitar, singing songs, and producing music.

Check out Ben on Spotify, Soundcloud and Youtube .

Interested in seeing his socials? He can be found on Facebook Instagram & Twitter.

 

*Note: Interview edited for brevity and clarity

 

Review: Carla Geneve Dominates Baltimore’s Black Cat

As she took the stage at the Black Cat in Washington D.C., Perth-native Carla Geneve joyfully exclaimed “I was Abraham Lincoln today!” With a chorus of laughter following from the crowd, Carla dutifully jumped right back into another song from her set. It’s this excitement and sense of wonder which makes Carla’s songs so powerful and relatable.

Carla Geneve is another wonderful new artist from Australia, whose music scene is increasingly permeating over into American airwaves. With hints of more established Australian artists such as Courtney Barnett and Camp Cope, Carla produces a live set which draws on classic singer-songwriter, with a fun modern spin. Armed with only her guitar on stage, Carla was able to put her clever songwriting, touching lyrics, and powerhouse vocals on full display.

Carla Geneve is in the midst of a tour with Australian indie pop band San Cisco across the entirety of the United States in support of her self-title introductory EP, released at the beginning of June. With only a handful of songs previously released, her new EP has provided fans a much-needed dose of new music and served as the basis of her live set, along with established singles such as Greg’s Discount Chemist.

When listening to Carla perform live, her voice immediately stands out, both for its strength and rawness. While she obviously has the talent to bring the house down on any given note, her ability to use it is what makes her truly special. Carla sings with a restraint and control which belies her younger age. Rather than belt out every note, she masterfully picks and chooses her spots to let her voice fly, making those moments even more powerful.

Carla performed alone on-stage Tuesday, reinforcing her towering voice with strong guitar work and dynamic shifts. On fan-favorite Listening, Carla alternates between quiet picking and slashing riffs to emphasize the song. Another standout song was 2001, as she sang about how she uses the memories of books and movies from her childhood to help stave off the loneliness and boredom of life.

With her relaxed style and emotional lyrics, it seems likely that Carla Geneve will be a force among the music scene for years to come. With her first American tour finishing up, we here at festivalpulse are hoping it won’t be too long until she is back in the States for another set!

Hangout 2019: In Review

This weekend marked the end of the Hangout Festival, Gulf Shore’s annual beach music festival. For many, it was weekend that ended in sunburn, a hangover and the catchy hooks from some of the weekend’s meany stellar sets.

There was a lot to love. After surviving the strangely intense frisking by on-site Alabama Police officers, we were granted entry into the surreal grounds of Hangout. There were five stages, ranging from the massive Hangout and Pandora Stage, to the intimate BMI Mermaid stage all within a walking distance. Swimsuit clad festival-goers were as far as the eye could see.

Best Undercard Sets

For the performing bands in the undercard spot, Hangout offers an incredible opportunity to solidify your spot in the musical lexicon of 35,000 of today’s youth. Succeed, and you may very well end up with a sub-headlining spot a year or two down the road. Fail, and this will likely be your last appearance at the festival.

Some bands that stepped up to the plate this weekend were:

Bryce Vine – With hits like “Drew Barrymore,” “Sunflower Seeds” and “Guilty Pleasures,” Bryce Vine (Bryce Ross-Johnson) had deep array of known tracks to draw from in his set. He did not disappoint. With a 1:15pm set time at the smaller Boom Boom Tent, fans spilled out into the street to see his electric energy and electro-pop choruses. Lyrically, Bryce speaks of youthful transgressions, such as in “Guilty Pleasures”:

I can’t give a f***, I’m just living like so what // I live a life of leisure, full of guilty pleasure

With one of the most vibrant sets of the weekend, it’s clear Bryce Vine’s star is on the rise.

Superorganism – The seven folks that composed Superorganism had a double edged sword in their placement on Pandora stage. On the positive side, they were playing at the second largest stage, beachside at Hangout. That said, their set time was in the scorching 82 degree sun, in the middle of the afternoon. Led by vocalist Orono Noguchi, Superorganism was distinctly different, in an authentic way. By sticking to their originality, the group maintained a friendly, quirky vibe that complemented their electronically-centric tracks. Superorganism plays with the structure of songs, aptly infusing cash sounds, and camera flashes in their track “Everybody Wants To Be Famous.” One of the background vocalists B, took center stage and demolished the quirky, yet surprisingly catchy tracks “Hello Me & You,” featured on the soundtrack of the Lego Movie 2.

Shaed – Composed of twin brother Max and Spencer Ernst and vocalist Chelsea Lee, Shaed took the intimate BMI Mermaid stage. Whether it was stage providing a much needed reprieve in the shade or Shaed’s enrapturing stage presence, the set progressed so quickly that we were left double checking our watch to see that 45 minutes indeed had passed. Chelsea Lee has a strong voice, that is left to the forefront, with the building beats left rightfully in a secondary role. The set was reminiscent of a vocally-focused Sylvan Esso or Phantogram.

Best Headlining Sets

Travis Scott – Travis Scott lived up to expectations by performing another energetic performance. He delivered fan favorites off his discography, and he included hits off of Astroworld that included “Stargazing,”No Bystanders,” “Sicko Mode,” and “Astroworld.” Although he moved through songs at a rapid pace, the performance feel short as it failed to include “Yosemite,” “Upper Echelon,” and “Skeleton” which had been staples of his Astroworld tour.

Despite this performance coming at the culmination of his grueling Astroworld tour, he kept up the energy and satisfied the frenzied swimsuit-wearing audience.

Khalid

Khalid’s title as the most popular artist on Spotify silenced those who doubted his headliner status, but there were still concerns regarding his ability to engage the fans who longed an up-tempo finish to the day on the beaches of Gulf Shores.

His strategic interspersing of hit songs and the incorporation of visual effects and background dancers kept the male crowd that might have been skeptical. By the end of the evening the crowd was singing to his hits of “Location” and “Talk.”

Lumineers

A perfect Sunday headliner, the Lumineers offered the breadth of discography and hits to appease casual followers and loyal fans alike. Lead vocalist Wesley Shultz started off the show with the surprising announcement that he intended to play half of the unreleased album during the show. With singles like “Gloria” and “Life In The City” out, it was fascinating to hear their new discography. Staying true to their roots, kick drums and strong raspy vocals by Wesley still pervaded these tracks. Vivid lyricism and an emphasis on story seemed to resonate through these new tracks. A particularly catchy song was “Life In The City,” in which he had the crowd oooh ooh oh along with him during the melodies.

Four songs in, Wesley announced they were going to do something a bit different. Out of nowhere, a stage in the middle of the crowd lifted up, revealing six mics. The audience went nuts. The band members made their way over and proceeded to sing “Flowers In Your Hair,” “Ho Hey” before an intimate rendition of “Slow it Down”. For “Slow It Down,” just Wesley and the Jeremiah were left on the stage. For five minutes of bliss, the two went mic to mic belting the tunes. Once the chorus hit:

Slow it down, Angie come back to be bed // Rest your arms, and rest your legs

There was an unforgettable moment where 30,000 people were immersed in song to the backdrop of an oceanside breeze. The sense of community and togetherness during these intimate songs is a hallmark of the Lumineers’ stage presence.

 

Key Moments

 

Jimmy Buffett’s Surprise Appearance

During Kygo’s set on Saturday evening, fans were shocked when the rock legend Jimmy Buffett rose atop the DJ set to perform “Margaritaville” alongside a steel drum accompaniment. His announcement of Buffet’s name came as a shock because he had been introducing vocal features of some of his songs throughout the evening, but it came as a great surprise when the crowd spotted Buffet’s familiar jovial face.

Quinn XCII’s Absence

Another great surprise at the festival was Quinn XCII’S last minute pull-out of the festival. While the details of his removal from the lineup aren’t entirely clear, it is suspected that illness prevented him from performing.

He was expected to be a standout undercard performer and the team at FestivalPulse is wishing Quinn a speedy recovery.

Beyond the Music

Outside of the great sets, Hangout offered a constant stream of dopamine-inducing diversions. Though inside the realm of a sponsor area, the Monster Energy Beach Club offered a caffeine-laden, foam-covered, snapchat-worthy experience for inebriated millennial who just couldn’t get enough DJ time.

Swimming and relaxing by the crashing waves was another great benefit of the festival if you were willing to arrive early or wait in the seemingly endless line. For those not willing to bear the line, many people chose to collapse in the hammocks strewn about the rustling palm trees.

The Fruit of the Loom Air-Powered expedition provided a free sailboat ride in the crashing waves of the Gulf, but due to wave conditions this promotion only ran on Friday.

The PlayStation experience provided an area to receive some much needed air conditioning, an opportunity to play some favorite video games, and a secure compartment to charge cell phones.

This year’s Hangout fest left festival-goers with a satiated feeling as the diverse lineup and varied assortment of food and activities made for an exhilarating weekend.

The weekend began with the upbeat tone with Bryce Vine and those caught up in the emotions of the festival were entertained until the final strum on Wesley Schultz’s acoustic guitar on Sunday evening. The festival did an excellent job of fusing multiple genres and allowing folk and indie bands to be featured alongside their more mainstream pop and EDM counterparts.

Until next year, Hangout! 🤙

Concert Review: The Beths Conquer Union Stage

Not since the heydey of bands like The Chills and The Clean has a New Zealand band brought such excitement to the U.S. live music scene. At Union Stage on Saturday evening, March 2, 2018, The Beths renewed a strong kiwi presence in the District with a downright enjoyable performance to a sold-out crowd.

The Beths centers upon vocalist/guitarist Elizabeth Stokes and guitarist Jonathan Pearce, who started as high school friends and then attended the University of Auckland. While there, they came upon bassist Benjamin Sinclair and drummer Ivan Luketina-Johnston, forming the band and making their music scene debut in 2016, releasing their EP Warm Blood.

 

Two years and a bit of touring later, The Beths released their first full-length album in 2018, Future Me Hates Me. The Beths star appears to be on the rise. After selling out D.C.’s Songbyrd Cafe last year, their return to the District saw them playing to a sold-out audience at the Wharf’s Union Stage. (This year’s U.S. tour is drawing sell-out shows in nearly every city, with secondary market tickets selling for as high as $200.)

At Union Stage, The Beths took the stage after opening sets by Bad Moves and Bad Bad Hats. Upon gracing the stage, Liz squinted to see the mass of tightly packed fans and appeared a bit overwhelmed at first. However, that feeling seemed to quickly subside as the band dove into the first song, Whatever, and kept the audience dancing and singing along for the reminder of their set.

Having only one full-length album to play can be a blessing or a curse for a band and the audience. In this case it was clearly a blessing, as The Beths had the audience in the palm of their hand as they played all the tracks from Future Me Hates Me.

Liz remarked that she was excited to see the larger audience at Union Stage compared to their past two visits to the District. The audience repaid this compliment by emitting a huge cheer for the band and their songs.

The songs from their debut album came alive in the confined space of Union Stage, with all of the songs having a magnetic, pulsating beat. Little Death, written from the perspective of someone who is overwhelmed by the attention of their crush, benefited from harmonies which were placed on top of Liz’s increasingly urgent lyrics.

Not only do The Beths inject a playfulness in their pop-rock riffs, but they also seem to infuse witty, meaningful lyrics throughout. With lines like “Cause you’re in my brain taking up space / I need for remembering pins and to take out the bins / And that one particular film that that actor was in” (from “Happy Unhappy”), relationship woes have never sounded so catchy!

They ended their set in high energy, closing with one of the highlights from Future Me Hates Me, “Uptown Girl,” with bassist Benjamin pogoing into guitarist Jonathan in a playful fashion.

Starting in the 1980s, New Zealand’s Flying Nun record label was home to some of the best rock music of the time, with bands like The Bats, The Chills, The Clean and many other standouts on the label’s roster. (If readers don’t know these bands, the Festival Pulse editorial team suggests that readers check them out.) There is a clear path from those Flying Nun bands to The Beths, who seem to equally value clever lyrics and infectious melodies. Let’s hope that The Beths can continue to create albums in the future that build upon their remarkably confident and clever debut.

Interested in seeing The Beths in a town near you? The remainder of their U.S. tour dates are below.

MARCH 3 First Unitarian Church @ Philadelphia, PA
MARCH 5 Beachland Ballroom @ Cleveland, OH
MARCH 6 Lincoln Hall @ Chicago, IL
MARCH 7 The Basement @ Nashville, TN
MARCH 8 The Earl @ East Atlanta, GA
MARCH 8 – 17 SXSW 2019 @ Austin, TX
MARCH 9 Savannah Stopover Music Festival 2019 @ Savannah, GA
MARCH 10 Gasparilla Music Festival 2019 @ Tampa, FL
MARCH 11 Mohawk @ Austin, TX
MARCH 14 Scoot Inn @ Austin, TX
MARCH 16 Deep Ellum Art Company @ Dallas, TX
MARCH 16 Not So Much Fun Wknd 2019 @ Dallas, TX
MARCH 17 Satellite Bar @ Houston, TX

Atlanta’s 2019 Shaky Knees Amasses Modern Rock Heavyweights

Shaky Knees, the three day festival taking over Atlanta’s Central Park May 3rd-5th, has teed up a stacked group of indie heavyweights for it’s 2019 iteration. With arguably one of the best lineups of the year and priced at an extraordinarily affordable rate of $179 for 3 days, the festival is sure to draw large numbers again this year.

Headliners to Watch

Tame Impala – The Australian rock band is hitting the festival circuit in full force this spring. Led by frontman Kevin Parker, the band recalls the psychedelic pop of the 60s in a distinctly layered format. Following their 2015 smash hit album Currents, with the likes of “Let It Happen” and “The Less I Know the Better,” they’re set to a release a new album in 2019.

Cage the Elephant – The mainstream rock band from Kentucky is expected to follow up their widely lauded 2015 album Tell Me I’m Pretty with a new release in 2019. The band even tweeted in November that the album is finished, leaving festival-goers and fans alike hoping new tracks will be debuted at the Atlanta fest. Longtime followers of the band have watched their sound evolve, though they’ve maintained a lodestar in the up-tempo rock genre. Indie-rock fans will find it hard to resist the contagious energy found within tracks such as “Trouble” and “Cigarette Daydreams.”

Beck – A veteran on the festival circuit and with an extensive discography harking back to the mid-90s, Beck recently has developed a more polished-feel to his rock tracks. His 2017 album Colors was widely acclaimed and included a hit single in Dreams, which was featured on the 2016 FIFA soundtrack. Known as an enthralling performer and with a great stage presence, Beck will be sure to please longtime fans and new listeners alike.

 

Undercards Worth Waking Up For

Grouplove – Well known for their idiosyncratic yet catchy high tempo tracks, the L.A. based indie rock band is a solid addition to an indie-rock centric group of sub-headliners. They made waves with their hit 2011 album Never Trust A Happy Song, and followed it up with the 2017 studio album Big Mess. More Grouplove music is on the docket for 2019 as reports circle that they have a new fourth album in the works.

Phosphorescent – Known for homespun, folk songs, singer songwriter Mathew Houck is set to add to the diverse array of indie artists composing the 2019 fest. Listeners may recognize “Song for Zula,” often featured in television commercials and sentimental film scenes, yet Houck has recently added to an enjoyable catalog of polished songwriting hooks in his 2018 album C’est La Vie.

Rayland Baxter – The lacrosse player turned singer songwriter is known for his poignant lyricism pervaded with witty, self-reflective qualities. His 2018 album Wide Awake was released after three months of dedicated production in a Nashville factor referred to as “Thunder Sound.” Rather than what he is, it’s what he’s not that make Rayland Baxter a must-see artist. He’s not commercial, he’s not perfect, and he’s not going to avoid taboo topics. His guitar-twinged, somber, sway-inducing tunes will add a much needed folk thread to the Shaky Knees lineup.

In addition to the stellar lineup, there is a curated selection of eateries as well as photo booths and games. Interested in going? Tickets are a steal at $179 (without fees) for a 3 day pass. Prices are set to increase to $189 on 1/24. They can be found here.