Daytrotter Downs Day 1 Highlights
Yesterday evening, Daytrotter kicked off their two-day 47-band festival in downtown Davenport. As we mentioned in our Daytrotter Downs Spotlight, there's not a bad band on the line up. While every set I caught yesterday was incredible, one of the highlights on Day 1 was just this mutual energy and respect displayed between each band and the audience. Everyone at the festival just seemed to be genuine fans of music, and as a fellow music fan, that community and mutual bond is just something really special to witness. Here are some of the additional highlights to Day 1....
Michigander Promotes Doing What You Love
Fronted by Jason Singer, the Kalamazoo based band Michigander had the task of opening up the two day festival to a scarce crowd. Although the crowd was small, they were receptive and instantly hooked by Singer's raw and emotive vocals and the chemistry between the band members. The three piece not only delivered a beautiful set, but Singer reminded us all of a very important message. "Do what you love...life is short," Singer said before playing the band's last song on the set. He had prefaced the statement by encouraging everyone to take a chance on something that they love, even if they're scared that no one will like it or they won't make any money doing it. In a community of up and coming musicians and music fans, that message is so important. It's the best when a musician can deliver motivation and great music, and that's exactly what Michigander did during their opening slot.
P.S...Make sure you check out Michigander at SXSW if you're going.
Seasaw Worked Through Technical Difficulties, While Smelling Good
Meg and Eve of Seasaw won over their crowd instantly with their beautiful harmonies, their bedazzled drum kit, and their coordinated, bold outfits. What really set their performance apart was their ability to keep playing through some technical difficulties with Meg's keyboard and their quirky stage presence and sense of humor. Towards the end of their set, Eve mentioned that the pair are sponsored by Schmidt's Deodorant, which is equally hilarious and awesome. The duo are currently on tour, so make sure you check them out if you're looking for a night of good tunes and laughs. I also got the chance to chat with them after their set, so stay tuned for an interview.
The Golden Jaybird filled in for Kississippi
While I was bummed to find out that Kississippi couldn't make it to Davenport safely for their 9PM slot, due to vehicle issues, the replacement on the line up did not disappoint. The Golden Jaybird swooped in to save the day, delivering a completely magnetic performance, which was just incredible considering they'd only been asked to play an hour before their set. Composed of two local bands, The Golden Fleece and Condor & Jaybird, the hybrid group pulled off a last minute performance with a massive stage presence and response from the crowd. Their psychedelic-laced jams got the crowd moving the most that they'd been all night, which continued on through the remaining sets. Condor & Jaybird will be touring the Midwest this month, and after such a great set last night, they're definitely on my radar.
NE-HI Rocked a Receptive Crowd
Chicago rockers NE-HI just released an album last week, and as they mentioned in their interview with us (coming soon), their week has been non-stop since the release. Despite the long days and nights that they've had since the release of Offers, the guys didn't hold anything back during their 45 minute set last night. The crowd, which included some of the band's family, was feeding the energy right back. Like Michigander, they'll also be at SXSW so make sure you catch one of their sets if you're heading out to Austin!
Joan Of Arc Awed the Audience
While talking to other attendees and even some of the bands, it quickly became apparent that Chicago's Joan of Arc was one of the most anticipated acts of the night, and it was easy to understand why as they completely captivated a full house during their 11 PM set. The energy and chemistry between the four band members was so evident during their entire show. They exuded this subtle confidence as performers, which no doubt stems from their years of making music together. They just delivered such a completely packaged performance it was just amazing to witness how enchanted to crowd became during it.
Mountain Swallower Completely Underestimated Themselves
Hours before their midnight set that closed out Day 1, I sat down with Mountain Swallower to find out about their background as musicians and what they have planned for this year as a band. During our conversation, they came across as really good friends just having a good time making music together, with a goal of taking it one step at a time and just becoming better musicians. While they really seemed to share a mutual love for making music, they definitely came across as humble and even critical of their own music. However, as soon as they took the stage, the crowd's energy surged to an all-time high. People were moshing, stage-diving, crowd surfing, and just having a great time throughout the hour long set (check out ANCHR's Instagram for a video of the action). With each song, the Quad-Cities band just kept feeding the energy back, and they displayed raw talent and such incredible musicianship. Needless to say, they definitely underestimated themselves in our interview. If you're in the Quad-cities area, you need to see this band perform. There couldn't have been a better ending to Daytrotter Downs Day 1...