Northside Roundup Day 1 – Monomyth // Sexores // Lower Dens // Dead Leaf Echo // Monogold
The Northside Festival is Brooklyn’s version of South By Southwest in Austin: it packs film, technology (“innovation”) and lots of music into one exciting week. It is much younger and smaller than SXSW, but it is growing from year to year and is well on its way to become another mega festival.
We kicked of Thursday night on N 6th Street, which is slowly morphing into an exclusive shopping mall, but still features some exciting music venues, for example the Black Bear Bar, which replaced Public Assembly. At the newly outfitted music veneu we could enjoy an international line-up, starting with Monomyth from Halifax, Canada, who took the stage like an all male version of Warpaint: two singer/guitarists with the bass player standing between them.
Next up were Sexores, shoegazers from Barcelona via Ecuador. At the core they are a two piece comprised of singer/guitarist Emilia Bahamonde and drummer David Yépez who were joined for the evening by a fellow Ecuadorian bassist calling New York his current home. We have talked about Sexores several times already and were delighted to see them finally live after they had to cancel SXSW this spring.
Having gotten into the mood nicely, we wanted to check out Lower Dens from Baltimore next door at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. The show was sold out and this was the first test how well a Northside badge works: so far so good – we were let in after standing in line just for a few minutes. Fortunately, because Lower Dens are fantastic on stage. I wouldn’t have thought that Jana Hunter is such a charismatic performer. Their career trajectory reminds me a little bit of Muse – they are putting out album after album while getting more and more popular. Maybe they do a stadium tour one day as well.
We were back at the Black Bear in time for a round of all new songs of Dead Leaf Echo from Brooklyn. Their new material is crazy good, but none of it is recorded yet. We know that there’s some recording under way and also learned of an anticipated release date. You’ll hear more about it on glamglare as we get closer!
Around midnight, another Brooklyn band, Monogold took the stage. Like always, they put on a great show, playing crowd favorites as well as material from their fantastic Fall 2014 EP This Bloom. We have seen Monogold – like Dead Leaf Echo, yet never before together in one line-up – many times in different venues, so we didn’t feel too bad to leave early for a good night of sleep. There’s just so much more Northside to come!