WRITTEN BY Emily Meadows
Sitting on the brink of March, students are ready to thaw out, liven up and start making those anticipated (and well-deserved) summer plans. But for many music fanatics, summer translates to only one thing: festival season.
The days of coast-to-coast travel to secure your camping spot are long gone, and the mass concert craze has sprouted in nearly every region of the country.
Maybe you want to save some cash on gas, or Bonnaroo just isn’t for you. Whatever the case, you’re no longer bound to Manchester or Chicago for a live, musically packed outdoor experience.
Here’s a list of some of this summer’s best northeastern festivals that may be better suited for you, or maybe just a little closer to home:
WRITTEN BY Emily Meadows PHOTOS BY Emily Meadows & Cori Lucotch
Indie pop vivacity took the stage in a familiar form at 123 Pleasant Street Tuesday night. Pittsburgh-based Donora and WVU alumni duo TeamMate returned to the venue’s stage together for a second time, with the addition of local Morgantown-based opener, Best Friends.
While the mid-week show didn’t attract the largest crowd, it did appeal to a vibrant variety of fan loyalists.
Best Friends brought fresh performances from their newest release, keeping their set exuberant as always. Jordan Pack and John Casey swapped divergent vocals for a favorable variety, and Jami Calandros provided the first dose of strong female drumming of the night. The quartet upheld their unique and diverse approach to electronic and pop genres while keeping classic rock and roll vibes in tact. Currently the number one charted album on U92 FM, Best Friends is bringing their talents to the forefront of the current local music scene.
No strangers to Morgantown, Donora returned for another well-received backyard performance following Best Friends. The former mayday! dance party regulars still foster a dedicated following in the area, bringing their soft and sweet danceable pop-rock hooks. Recently featured in a Nationwide Insurance commercial, the trio has gained more expansive recognition within the last year, but proved they haven’t strayed away from their steadfast fun loving roots.
TeamMate kept the party rolling with their effervescent persona, complimented with a second sighting of female drumming from Dani Buncher, a former snare drum player for the WVU marching band. The duo, which just so happens to be a creative collaboration between exes, unites their talents in electronics, keyboarding and percussion to formulate an easy-going yet animated sound. The duo also premiered their newest single, and made sure to give a formal shout out to their Alma matter. Wrapping up just before midnight, the twosome kept fans on their feet until the final minute.
PHOTOS BY Cori Lucotch
Local ska outfit Black Action Cop performed alongside rising New York based ska-funk fusion band, Non Stop to Cairo, for a packed out show at Morgantown’s recently revamped Tunez and Cue on Saturday night.
Check out this gallery from Black Action Cop’s colorful and dance driven performance:
To stay up to date with events happening at Tunez & Cue, follow them on Twitter (@TunezAndCue)
Listen to Black Action Cop play “Modern Incomplete” live at Mr. Small’s in Pittsburgh, P.A.
WRITTEN BY Alec Berry
Every Monday night, the best of West Virginia’s music scene can be found on U92-FM’s Morgantown Sound. This live music show is broadcast straight from the Mountainlair’s Gluck Theater, and it’s completely produced by West Virginia University students. Listeners can hear the show at either 91.7-FM or online at u92.wvu.edu. Here’s a preview of tonight’s performer.
C&S Railroad, a quartet from Barboursville, performs a variety of Americana and traditional music, but band vocalist Chris Sutton says they aren’t exactly purists about what they do.
“I think it’s great that some musicians strive to keep certain things alive, but I like that we sort of do our own thing with these genres,” Sutton said. “We help the greater tradition by helping grow the music.”
Along with Sutton, C&S Railroad is guitarist Mark Cabbel, bass player Jim Branham and percussionist Steve Hall, though Sutton is more or less the band’s core and founder, sometimes playing solo as C&S Railroad.
The entire band will take the Gluck stage this evening and cross a variety of genres like blues, country, rock and soul.
This is their 10th year of being a band, but Sutton sees the milestone as more of a fact than a cause for celebration.
He’s still concerned with crafting new material and constantly looks ahead. C&S Railroad hope to write and record their third record in 2013, and Sutton says he already has a title in mind.
“I’ll probably just call it Thirds,” Sutton chuckles. “I’m not the best with names.”
Morgantown Sound airs at 8 p.m. on U92-FM, and anyone is welcome to watch in the Gluck Theater.
For more information on C&S Railroad, visit their Facebook page.
For more on Morgantown Sound, check out the show’s blog.
Check out C&S Railroad perform “Magic Boy”:
WRITTEN BY Emily Meadows
PHOTOS BY Cori Lucotch
Uniting technical and free flowing instrumentation, indie-rock quartet Maps and Atlases took the stage at Morgantown’s123 Pleasant Street Thursday night.
The Chicago-based outfit brought together the atypical rhythmic chords, electronic notes and percussion that define their signature sound. Frontman/guitarist Dave Davison accentuated his stunningly clear, inimitable vocals, epitomizing their harmonious and enduring folk influence.
After opening with an interactive and well-received performance of the 2010 Perch Patchwork track, “Pigeon,” the set quickly shifted its focus to the band’s latest full-length album, Beware and Be Grateful, released on Barsuk Records last April.
While hitting key tracks “Winter” and “Remote & Dark Years,” the foursome incorporated popular archives from previous EP’s You and Me and the Mountains and Trees, Swallows, Houses.
Morgantown-based trio, The Cassingles, kicked off the evening with new tracks nearly a month after their debut performance at the venue.
Maps and Atlases had music featured on NBC’s “Parenthood,” a 2010 Nintendo DS and Pabst Blue Ribbon commercial. Their next performance will be in Berlin, Germany on February 13 to kick off their UK/European tour.
For more on The Cassingles, visit their Facebook page here.
For more on Maps and Atlases, visit their website here.
Watch the latest video for “Remote and Dark Years”