Hot off JEFF the Brotherhood’s raucous set last Tuesday, the juggernaut of concert season rumbles on, bringing not one, but two concerts to the hallowed halls of the Eclectic house this weekend. Taking cues from the annual shitstorm Awesomefest, tonight sees the first-ever Bestival, a five-band, two-stage musical circus featuring some promising New York up-and-comers performing backtobacktoback. Yet, the show goes on. The next night, Baltimore haze-folk-barnburners Wye Oak bring their aching melodies and epic dynamic shifts back to Eclectic, with Linus side project Treasure Island opening.
Born out of the ashes of the Matisiyahu fisasco this Spring, Bestival sets out to prove big sounds don’t need to cost big money.
“Hopefully, it will show students that you can book good music for cheap, and it’s not hard,” said Concert Committee Chair Sky Stallbaumer ’12 in an interview with The Argus earlier this week. “Not one of these acts is getting paid more than $300.”
Featuring two stages for non-stop jams (one band sets up as the other plays), Bestival strives to hit a variety of sweet spots on a dime, ranging from throbbing electro to spacey R&B revisionism to that effervescent brand of beach-pop that popped up on every hipster and their mom’s blog in 2010. For the aspiring Brooklyn hip, here’s your homework: catch pop-experimenter Rioux, beachcombers Beast Make Bombs, goth-electro crew Night Eyes, retrofuturists Kuxxan Suum, and hip-hop beatsmith DJ Shy Guy. Listen to them before they’re cool and watch your cred skyrocket. Aural Wes promises the night will be “equal parts party and concert,” so rage accordingly.
Not to be outdone, dreamy folk-wailers Wye Oak follow on Saturday. Bridging the gap between Neil Young and Sonic Youth, Wye Oak is comprised of siren Jenn Wasner, who shreds like few other female guitarists, and Andy Stacks, who provides rumbling drums with his right hand and ethereal keyboards with his left. Cloaked in reverb and noise, the duo churns out surprising tunes, rolling from moments of acoustic, alt-country calm to sublime crash-cymbal-and-power-chord highs and back again. The duo alternates between ghostly and triumphant, earthy to otherworldly, with Wasner’s caterwauls and six-string freakouts punctuating the fuzz. Wye Oak released their third and arguably finest album “Civilian” and have been riding the wave ever since, playing shows with the likes of the Decemberists and Okkervil River and hitting up Late Night with Jimmy Fallon this summer. Opening is Treasure Island, reminding listeners that, despite Linus’ return, the sunshine-pop crew is going nowhere.
Eclectic doors open at nine for both Bestival and Wye Oak, tonight and tomorrow night, respectively. In a packed concert season, this weekend stands out as particularly excellent—and there’s more on the horizon. Keep it coming, Concert Committee.