Category: Music

FPSF: Lightning Strikes Twice, Sparks Fly at Free Press

It was early afternoon on Day 2 of Free Press Music Fest, and the California-based Stick Figure was playing a reggae cover of Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd. It was then that God exhibited his twisted sense of humor, so that as the final chorus was sung, festivalgoers were notified to evacuate the premise immediately. Wish You Were Here? Attendees forced to leave halfway through the day were left wishing they could stay.

But this day, the evacuation was different – different because they had to do the exact same song and dance the day before. Except this time, they were never allowed back in.

For every great performance, there’s a stormed-out story to overshadow it. For every great bite, there’s a soggy romper crumpled up in the back of the car. For everything Free Press Summer Fest had done right and gotten under control, it will be remembered for the weather that was out of their hands.

Free Press has been under fire for years, with criticisms pointed at weak lineups and poor days of the year. C3 Presents, the festival’s majority shareholder, has been feeling the pressure ever since, made evident by their lack of ticket upcharges and single-day ticket sales.

But while the critics stayed at home, a lively and captivated audience stepped foot on Eleanor Tinsley Park to find a masterfully produced event. From corporate sponsors like Brisk and the Taco Bell Food Truck giving away free items, to the Houston Eats row of local restaurants serving some of our cities finest meals, the first half of Day One was finely tuned and orchestrated seemingly with ease.

Free Press has always strived to provide the most inclusive entertainment for the nation’s most city, proven by their large variety of artists, genres, and amenities. You know that if a festival starts Day One off with Black Swan Yoga for fit and adventurous festivalgoers alike, you’re up for a fun ride.

The calm before the storm was anything but: local artist -Us had the audience vibing to his electronica symphonies, Hurray for the Riff Raff struck all kinds of chords with their anti-war melodies, The Struts rocked out with unparalleled audience engagement, and Jon Bellion captivated an audience with a vocal range wider than Buffalo Bayou’s flood gauge.

But it was during Bishop Briggs’ set, the artist most known for the rock hit “River,” that torrential downpour flooded Eleanor Tinsley Park quite literally like a river. The hill between the Budweiser and Mercury Stages turned from a relaxing viewing spot to a muddy slip-and-slide that claimed the outfits of many, leaving many retro basketball jerseys and floral rompers looking like something you could buy from Nordstrom’s for $425.

Beneath the heavy downpour were more than attendees sprawling for the exits, but rather an amazing showcase of human nature – not what you’d expect from a summer music festival with a predominately high school audience.

While attempting to escape the rain, it wouldn’t be odd to be helped up those muddy slopes by a human chain of people, linked arm-in-arm, pulling people through as if they were horses stuck in quicksand.

While looking for shade, it wasn’t out of the ordinary to find a bridge with over a hundred people covering underneath, still managing to squeeze closer together to make room for the occasional straggler. 

While venturing towards unpopulated areas of cover, it was commonplace to find an extended poncho or blown-down Taco Bell banner draped above a swingset for use as a makeshift tent.

As terrible conditions had been, there were still people refusing to leave, even when forced out by the security crew, because the thought of that night’s musical performance overshadowed the thoughts of staying dry. And when the festival reopened their doors hours after having been closed, the festival continued as if nothing ever happened, with avid festivalgoers rushing to see the artists they came there to see in the first place.

Post Malone was grateful in his welcoming on stage, understanding the shit each and every one of the audience members experienced just to see him play. And with that graciousness, he blew the crowd away with party anthems “Congratulations” and “Go Flex” showcasing his raspy rap style and graveled vocals. He may as well been the headliner for the evening, because if anybody were to remember one performance at all that night, it was going to be his.

But Day Two came and went. Cut short well before the halfway point of the day, some had not even been able to attend Day Two at all. Hundreds of ticket payers checked their phones for any updates while huddled in the nearby parking lots, only to receive word of its cancellation and 50% refund policy.

And like that, Free Press will be remembered for its downfalls and downpours, rather than the truly amazing event it had been prior to its setbacks.

And like that, the future of Free Press remains in the balance.

 

 

FPSF Interviews – Us.

Us.

 

I got a chance to catch up with -Us., a local electro-pop singer making his FPSF debut Saturday afternoon. Coming off his second EP, “Contact,” his short term ambitions have the industry keeping a close eye on what is coming next.

Who are you? 

I am he as you are he as you are me

And we are all together.

-Us.

What’s it like preforming at Free Press Summer Fest as one of the festival’s most anticipated local acts? What has the city meant to your recent successes? 

It’s honestly a bit of a shock, to me. I’ve worked so hard on my live performance over the last few years and it’s pretty unreal to be considered as such. I have such vivid memories of going to the first FPSF, when I was in high school. I never thought I would be performing as a solo artist at the premier festival of my hometown.

I completely owe my recent success to this city. I am who I am because of Houston and the people who live here. I’ve been really fortunate to have support from soooo many people in this community.

What are you expecting out of this performance?

I just want to be able to share my music and passion for performance with as many people as possible.

Your second EP “Contact” is out now. Anything in particular we should listen for?

Listen for growth. That’s all I can hope for as an artist. Thematically, it’s so far from my previous EP. I hope that is apparent. I’m a much different person now.

What’s next for Us.?

I’m currently working on a full length album and striving to develop my sound. I have a pretty clear vision for where the new tunes are going. I’m so excited to get the new stuff recorded.

Are you excited to see anyone else at FPSF?

I’m super stoked to see The Shins, Cashmere Cat, Post Malone, Lorde, Miike Snow and all my Texas homies! Gotta see the fam shine.

Show Us. some love on Facebook and Twitter.

Check out his sound on Soundcloud!

 

Houston Whatever Fest 2017 Recap

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Houston, TX, April 2017 – Let’s run through it. A year and a half later, we witnessed (of some sort) the third installment of Houston’s own, Whatever Fest. This “grassroots” festival was a trip, no doubt. From show delays to an entire venue shift due to…..no rain(?), these two days proved to be something else. One thing is for sure, H-Town still knows how to have a good time and artists have taken note. Despite the circumstances, Houstonians could not have felt more at home.

Here are some stand-out acts from the weekend:

Walker Lukens- Post Dr. Dog era, Walker Lukens sure kicked off Whatever Fest right.  Regardless of his Austin background, a green jumpsuit and high kicks shook the Modelo Stage early Saturday afternoon. This electric performance drew similarities to that of the The Black Keys and Spoon.

T2 the Ghetto Hippie- This man exemplifies Hustle Town Hip-Hop. Performing under ‘Houston Next’, this south side rapper shows promise in the scene. GH’s tracks, “Double Cups and Taco Trucks” and “Hustle Town” showcase his love for the H and his upbringing. His 15 minutes on stage were not enough to truly encapsulate this city driven talent.

Check out these HWF comics:

Ashton Womack

Ray Connelly

 

BASS INVASION PRESENTS DAY OF THE DEAD

neilTake your Halloween weekend to the next level with an additional show designed specifically for this ghostly celebration. WeRaveHard and Social Nite Life have partnered up to bring you a Bass Invasion that will have you running for the hills. Bass Invasion: Day of the Dead will be November 1st from 9pm-2am at 5002 Washington St. to keep you going all Halloween weekend. The venue will be decked out in Day of the Dead decor. Costumes are welcomed as we celebrate one of the year’s most spooky nights.

Performers include Vegas Banger from Caked Up, Seb & Valko, Psychetronix, and Jacob Stogner. We’re going to kick this event off with special effects including confetti blasters, CO2 blasters, fog machines, champagne showers, professional lighting, and much more. Gogo dancers and other artists will be there to put you in the haunting mood.

Tickets will be available at EventBright.com. There will be a limited amount of RSVP tickets, so get em while they’re here. GA tickets will be $10 pre-show and $20 at the door. 18+, doors open at 9pm.

Come celebrate the scariest weekend to date with our Day of the Dead show packed with unlimited bass.

Tickets

Social Nitelife Facebook

 

Palace Winter – Menton

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In June Danish-Australian duo Palace Winter released the first single from their forthcoming EP Medication. The track “Time Machine” had a great run on taste-masker sites across Europe over the summer and the band has played select shows since then, for example as support for Jacco Gardner and Woods.

Now the band is ready with the 2nd single, it’s called “Menton” and it’s an uptempo alternative rock-track with a terrific synth-theme that’s hard to sit still to.

The title “Menton” is also the name of a French town where Carl Coleman (one half of Palace Winter), stayed in the summer of 2014 at the hotel Winter Palace, which also inspired the band name.

 

Listen to Palace Winter’s 2nd single “Menton” here: https://soundcloud.com/palace-winter/menton 
 
“Ambitious and engrossing, this stands tall as a further statement of intent from the genre spanning talent of one of Denmark’s rising stars” GoldFlakePaint
 

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