Monday, September 24, 2012

Another First - Dayton's Downtown Revival

A few weekends ago I had the very fortunate opportunity to to attend the Downtown Revival here in Dayton. Over 30 bands played, local and national with three stages set up for set rotation. For being the very FIRST festival of it's kind that Dayton has put on, I think it went really well. Incidentally, it was also MY first music Festival. Hard to believe? Well, I usually avoid crowds. But this seemed like a ton of fun - and it WAS!
The Bands I Got To Hear

The Motel Beds

John Legend

Lauren Elysse

Rusted Root

Good friends make everything more fun!
Some of the standouts for me:
  •  Wheels - These were YOUNG high school kids who just kicked butt! Seriously, I couldn't believe the voices coming out of these kids. Awesome!
  • The Motel Beds - So one of my ex-co-workers is the drummer. But I still had a ton of fun listening to them.
  • The Ohio Players - Totally Fun.
  • Cowboy Mouth - Ok, at this point my friends and I were a little beer-buzzed, but we had the best time dancing silly and singing silly to these songs. Plus I was impressed that the drummer was also the frontman.
  • Lauren Elysse - Apparently she's a South Park native. Gorgeous with a powerhouse voice!
  • Andy Grammer -  He nearly missed his chance to perform because of a late bus. They snuck him in for a half hour on one of the stages. His acoustic set rocked and was one of the most fun performances of the second day.
  • Rusted Root - They gave me a chance to belly dance in a public setting so hey... I had fun.
  • Train and John Legend - the headliners on their respective days.  OF COURSE they were AWESOME!
One big let down for me was Guided By Voices. I'd been hearing they were supposed to be a fantastic band, originally local. Not only were they late to the stage but I thought their show sucked. I was so bored I got up and left for a different band. And it wasn't just a matter of me not knowing the music - I pretty much didn't know any of the bands that played except Train.

One overall observation: If you're into "Covers", festivals like this are a great place to hear some interesting takes on some songs that may or may not get released by the artist. For example, we got to hear John Legend cover several different people, and Train surprised us with a verse of "We Are Young" just for fun and to keep us pumped. I loved it.

Woman dancing silly!
Styrch's Festival Survival Tips
How could I possibly leave this post without giving a few of you some pointers should you choose to attend this even next year or a similar event in the meant time? After all, this WAS my first and I learned a lot. 
  • Pack Sunblock, Bandaids, Neosporin, Hand Sanitizer, and Earplugs... Just in Case - Inevitably, someone WILL Take a bad fall. Earplugs... you never know when someone will ask for some even if you don't use them. 
  • Opt for the Blanket Over The Chair - You can fold the blanket up easily and carry it with you if you want to get to the front of the stage. If not, it's a GREAT place holder if you intend on having a group join you eventually. Or bring the chair and be willing to abandon it if necessary.
  • Dance Often, Dance Silly - The food will be junk and chances are you'll be drinking more beer than you originally thought. So just MOVE! Plus you'll have more fun, especially if you don't care how silly you look. And no one will think you look silly if you look like you don't care.
  • Move to Another Stage Between Sets - There will ALWAYS be someone else playing. So go - you don't know what you'll end up loving. The exceptions to this rule is if you're tired or if you want get prime spots for the next act on the current stage.
  • Beverages in the Chair Bag - Just saying, they only checked the purses. So if you bring your own water (for example) that's where you want to put it.  
Did you miss the Downtown Revival in favor of the Greek Festival or something else? Not to fear! Check out the Dayton Downtown Revival Playlist on Spotify.