The loud bass drops, flashing lights, mob of people that was Deasmaus' audience from Bunbury day 2 is still vivid in my mind. Expectations for the final chapter of an already superb musical expierence were a bit reigned in after seeing some genre defining artists the night before. How wrong was I, because by the end of Sunday's festivities the Bunbury Music Festival ratcheted up the energy all the way to 11.
My final trek across the bridge had my ears greeted with Flint Eastwood interacting with the crowd and apologizing for what they were about to do. What did they do? They went off the rails crazy, before closing down the set with mobbing bodies raging in the audience.
My next stop was to catch the Holy White Hounds. With next to no idea of what they played or sounded like, I learned that they were some no nonsense, rock n roll playing bad asses from Iowa. Lead guitarist and singer Brenton Dean and guitarist James Manson are energetic, thrashing about whilst shredding to the max in a no holds barred, living ode to loud rock.
Deciding to take load off, I sat on a blanket with some friends as we caught the jam band LANY provide a beautiful soundtrack to a perfect day, partly cloudy with occasional wind blasts.
We ventured over to catch Arlo McKinley and The Lonesome Sound who did what they do, which is make some music that makes you want to sit on a porch, drink whisky, and cry; that kind of blues. McKinley seemed to have enjoyed quite a bit of Jack Daniels, but did sound alright. Good blusey music and a riverbank go hand in hand, but it was off for my second surprise.
Grimes was nowhere on my radar, but after a very impressive stage performance that has changed. Starting with a single woman dancing onstage with echoing vocals floating across the stereo system, she is joined by two more dancers before Grimes comes out. Wearing oversized sunglasses, a white t, and non-stop motion, she went straight to work on various instruments. The soundboard, a guitar with a drumstick, shred a guitar riff; it was really cool to see. The techno-heavy, synth based music is not really my bag, but the vibe and energy she puts into the performance keeps you there to dance around with everyone else.
Elle King hopped from style to style with ease, joking in between songs with the crowd. Her voice sounded just the same as on the radio, and I was left impressed at her versatility after a stunning rendition of "Folsom Prison Blues," always is a bonus in my book. Coleman Hell displayed the powerful voice and his keyboard fueled music men tickled the digital ivories.
While I would have liked to give them a bit more time, it was off to get a good spot to check out Monsters of Men. They provided such good music in all facets. Between the harmony from all members coming together for the chorus, the primal drum beats, the beautiful combination of vocals in their contrast, the horns, piano, everything blended perfectly to create a lush harmonious sound. The crowd fervently sang along, and all of it justified for they were truly awesome.
The appetizer for Florence and The Machine was a ninche band call Here Come the Mummies. All the members dress like mummies, but they play music and sing hilariously worded songs. They put on a rambunctious funk show, part big band, part comedy act. Pulling energy from the audience, the mummies then leave you doubled in laughter with their choruses.
Last but most certainly not least to take the Bunbury stage was Florence and The Machine. Florence took us to musical church, led us down the rabbit hole, pushed us off the edge; pick one of these grandiose descriptions, and I guarantee that she did it.
Possessing a truly remarkable voice that hits the clouds and keeps on climbing, Florence truly left a mark on Bunbury. She had us join as the choir of hungover angels to sing along to her joyful "Shake it Out." She had the entire crowd put their phones away for "How Big, How Blue, How Wonderful," so we could share the moment. She ran down the photographers ramp to get to the back of the crowd. Whatever she asked, the audience obliged willingly. It was truly going to the church of music, and Florence was delievering the sermon. I was on the fence with Florence and her machine, but after seeing the sheer brilliance; I proclaim her reigning rock queen.
And with that we have triumphantly finished our recapping of Bunbury Music Festival for the year, and we're already looking forward to 2017!
What were your favorite moments of Bunbury 2016? Weigh in below!