NIGHT 1 LINEUP
Slicked back hair standing stoic—the limited time we have.
It's rare that young adults are as aware of their mortality as Guytano is. Their debut album, "I Am Inside My Body," exudes an existential urgency segmented between quiet piano chords and instrumental loops, expeditious changes, and pulsing walls of sound performed with anthemic intensity.
A look into the lyrics quickly transforms this danceable record into a contemplative one. The pressing, cathartic shouts from lead singer Grant Hamilton leave you feeling simultaneously larger than life and smaller than your body. It's a double edged sword—we can't have the surface without what lies underneath.
Our finiteness finds a way of sneaking up on us. In the case of these three young men from St. Cloud, the awareness is always there, and the wisdom and confidence is beyond their years.
FAUNA & FLORA
It's not a location; it's a space.
The name 'Fauna & Flora' implies a duality—between animals and nature, between natural and artificial sounds, between man and woman, between love and loss, between the familiar and the foreign.
There's a grand piano upstairs and a pad synth downstairs in the Nelson household; each serve their purpose. There's an alto voice on stage floating above sub bass patches, rhythmic loops, and percussive scratches, blips, and pops; all living together.
The air becomes denser by the downbeat. Each song by this Rochester trio seems to exist in a parallel universe—one where sound encompasses us like nature and we are drawn to contemplate and reflect with them.
GOOD LUCK FINDING IRIS
Soulful, smooth—from the depths of the Mississippi.
"From the misty haze of morning light emerges a sound, drawn from the rivers of spring and lifted to the edge of the forests’ reach. This is the place where the Iris climbs upward. This is the sacred hollow, the common ground of four wanderers. Ours is the voice of youth, of light, of harmony; the voice that speaks louder, crying out in search of meaning. In search of a guiding melody that returns the soul to the forest. The Iris is that which is in all of us, growing, and changing. Allowing each person to embrace their beauty, and to develop into that which they absolutely must. This is the search for that pureness of self: Good Luck Finding Iris."
We couldn't have said it better ourselves.
Pastels and hi hats—innocence.
Oranges, purples, pinks, and baby blues streak through the sky on a still summer night. Layers of the sky peel back until stars begin to appear. These songs are playing in the background on the car stereo—the feeling of motion.
Meeting Luke is similar to a listen through his music: it's open, smiling, thoughtful, and aware of our human differences.
Realize, however, that these songs are a refuge. It's taking the difficult inter-workings of human connection and recognizing that all that is good is better with time. Self reflection and music production are often characterized by the depth, the struggle, and the time to get to a place of fulfillment.
And yet, he croons smoothly over the ambiance of pads and percussion—it’s effortless. Maybe it should be.
KEVIN & THE KEEPSAKES
Showmanship—smiling cheek to cheek.
A best friend, an extrovert, a performer. A familiar face in and around the local scene stepping out into the spotlight with lounge act swagger and Vegas-level grandeur along with a backing group of big band era proportions.
You can analyze all you want but it will do you no good. There is a threshold we cross for catchy music—the point of no longer standing still. At that point, thinking can no longer occur, and why should it? We are fulfilled when our ears and bodies take control over our brains.
Kick drums and bass guitars pound and thump, pianos pulsate, brass bells cut, guitars jitter and whirl, cymbals sizzle, a man in a velvet suit croons and belts. It's all part of the job; music is—most importantly—the act of moving people.
For a short moment after, those who witness this display are struck with an ethereal energy—all the fun has been had.
COMMUNITY JAZZ BAND
COMMUNITY. Swinging together.
Opening the festival will be a band of brass, a horde of horns, a congregation of chord tones, a sleuth of swingers, a plethora of polyrhythmic pandemonium. All of these musicians are at the top of their game and itching to show it off. Worth it to show up early.
CARPET BOOTH SIDE STAGE FEATURED ACTS
The newest project from local creative Kris Tremain. Experimentation with sampling, electronic production, and slinky keyboard solos—you can get lost in this groove easily.
Featured ROCKchester photographer Emily Nelson also performs under the moniker VILD. It's all about feeling and it's all building up to something new. Her debut single 'Why / Fall' is out now.