Sorry for being away so long, dear readers. My face LITERALLY melted off following Sunday's performances at Bunbury. The idyllic scene Saturday morphed overnight into a raucous, pulsating party, starting late in the afternoon and pounding on late into the night. The party echoed across the mighty Ohio into neighboring Kentucky and Cincinnati suburbs.
The action got underway with local favorites 500 Miles to Memphis, among others. Then Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band (not to be confused with Reverend Horton Heat- easy mistake) played a scorching set on the River Stage. The thermometer approached 90°, but their set may have been hotter. The three piece band, composed of drums, double bass and the washboard, provided a kick ass set of Bluegrass tunes.
Following the Reverend, Manchester Orchestra took the big stage at Yeatman's Cove. The Atlanta based outfit only seemed to turn up the heat. Although lead singer Andy Hull joked about reuniting with his long lost illegitimate son and canceling the gig, the show went on and they slayed through a set full of their hits. The crowd loved the aggressive set, and stuck around for Brand New. The hard rocking quartet from New York played to a huge audience, which left plenty of room on the other end of the park for some of the hip hop acts to play.
In a genre full of posers and fakes, Lil Dicky took the stage with his honest, unapologetic rap style. The dude has crazy-good delivery and timing, with hilarious punchlines. Think Childish Gambino, except white and Jewish. The crowd had a great time rapping along with tunes like "White Crime" and "Classic Male Pregame." The jaw-dropping set concluded with Lil Dicky pulling a fan up from the audience and serenading her with "Let Me Freak." Pantsless lap dance and all. Jaw-dropping, pants dropping, whatever.
An up and comer like LD would be wise to closely watch a legendary act like Atmosphere. Ant lays down bright, funky beats and Slug lays down smart, introspective lyrics and catchy hooks. The group has been at it for twenty years and have been integral to underground hip hop. Slug explored tracks from the entire catalog, going as far back as "Fuck You Lucy" and played his newest hits like "Sunshine." After giving props to Cincinnati and sharing some of his history with the city, they concluded the set with "Trying to Find a Balance."
After a quick DJ set by teen whiz kid and Radio Disney star Alex Angelo, the crowd positioned themselves to see Columbus's own twenty one pilots take the stage. The crowd was eager to see some live versions of the band's chart topping album "Blurryface" and the duo did not disappoint.
The high energy set started with the beginning of "Blurryface" and had the crowd ready to explode. Lead singer Tyler Joseph kept the momentum going and indicated that this very crowd would be featured in the new music video for "Lane Boy." After a quick choreography lesson, the crowd obliged and slowly rose from the ground and jumped up to party, creating a visually impressive effect. All the hits were covered, with singalongs for "Holding on to You" and "House of Gold." The set concluded with Joseph milling through the crowd, climbing the sound/ lighting scaffolding and spitting a few verses from "Car Radio." Fans had barely enough time to absorb and enjoy the finale before taking off for the opposite end of the park to watch the weekend festival's swan song.
After a long, undisclosed interruption, low bass and familiar synthetic screeches blared from the massive sound system. The legend Snoop Dogg emerged from backstage, wearing Cincinnati Reds favorite Deion Sanders' jersey. Luckily for neighbors, the Sunday night set only lasted an hour. The bass could be heard reverberating several miles away in the city's neighborhoods.
But Snoop left no stone unturned, playing bits and pieces from the entire catalog, including guest appearances like "Wiggle, Wiggle," "California Girls" and Tupac's seminal "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted." The crowd danced and sang along from start to finish and fell to a hush as Snoop imparted his wisdom before bidding farewell, "Smoke Weed Everyday, Mothafuckasssss!!" And with that, the lights came on, Bob Marley's "We be Jammin" echoed from the speakers and the crowd left in a euphoric (weed-induced?!) state.
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