Northside Festival Lights Up The Weekend!

June 27, 2017 by
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Northside Festival 2017-McCarren Park Stage / photo by Howard B. Leibowitz/ courtesy of B.L.Howard Productions

From June 7th to June 11th, the northern Brooklyn streets were filled with over 100,000 festival goers, concert hopping throughout Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick in Brooklyn for the 9th annual Northside Festival. Every June, this festival features hundreds of bands and speakers, showcasing the future of music, innovation and content.

Brooklyn Roads settled in on Friday for the 9 different bands playing at the Bushwick venue, The Well. The Well’s massive indoor and outdoor space featured food trucks, two stages and multiple bars. For such a giant space, the exterior was unassuming, with just a simple sign outside of an unmarked door in a black brick wall. Industrial decor highlighted a comfortably crowded interior, where people socialized and snacked beneath marquee lights. Outside a double stack of modified shipping containers hosted a bar and nacho stand.

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Festival Goers Outside The Well /photo by Ray Fontaine

The Dig started playing indie rock jams, perfect for summer daydreaming. Guitarist Dave Baldwin threw around falsettos like it was easy to do, throughout the chill wave rock performance, while bassist and leading man Emile Mosseri brought raw showmanship, with energetic dancing and a big stage presence. The show was full of surprises, like the two leads switching instruments back and forth between songs like “Self Made Man “and “Simple Love”.

The final act of the night, Monogold, played inside of a cozy room highlighted by beautiful, massive murals that shifted color under the stage lights. On the stage synth pedal scattered, the folky funky trio played upbeat, fast-paced songs off of their upcoming untitled album. Monogold blasted falsettos alongside fun guitar melodies, treating the audience to Naked, their most recent video release, and Cinnamon, off their upcoming album. These Northside Festival veterans include Jared Apuzzo on drums, Mike Falotico on bass, and Keith Kelly on lead vocals and guitar. After the show, Keith Kelly told Brooklyn Roads, “We focus on diversity. Our new album lives in the fusion genre of Strange Wave, inspired by another band called Liars.” What does strange wave sound like? A weird, danceable celebration of sweet melodies and fast rhythm.

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Monogold Blasts A Falsetto / photo by Ray Fontaine

On Saturday, June 10th, Brooklyn Roads attended a badges only promotional event for Jameson and Pernod Ricard at The Gibson. Attendees were greeted with food and drink tickets, and the country rock twang of duet HoneyHoney. Female lead, Suzanne Santo, filled the bar with bitter-sweet harmonies telling epic stories and capturing hearts. The crowd went wild for covers of old classics like Bob Dylan’s A Satisfied Mind and Etta James’s At Last. Wearing a wide brimmed felt hat, Suzanne switched between a chrome banjo and a cherry colored guitar to accompany guitarist, Ben Jaffe throughout the folky set.

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Miguel at Northside Festival / photo by Howard B. Leibowitz / courtesy of B.l.Howard Productions

After the Jameson  event kicked off Saturday with a bang, Brooklyn Roads ventured out to McCarren Park for the main event of the evening, Miguel. McCarren Park appeared to be the most traditional music festival venue: a fenced in lot, people sitting on blankets, VIP spaces, and a large elevated stage crowded with the bold happy fans who dared venture to the front. Miguel started with Simple Things from the HBO series Girls, serving up a Rock & Roll / R n ’B fusion. Heavy drums, electric guitar, and hundreds of women’s heartbeats echoed through the giant lot that hosted the concert. Later Miguel sang hit single “Do You Like Drugs?”. The crowd went wild and began to sing every lyric along in unison. This concert might have been the most widely attended of the festival, but there were still so many more shows to see!

Brooklyn Roads closed the night with a visit to Matchless, a dark bar where the bartender was available and the backyard stage was easy to access. The band, Wild Honey, jumped from sounds reminiscent of Chromeo to Jackson 5 to The Pixies for their captivated audience. Wild Honey’s late night performance was a relief from the bustling world of the Northside Festival outside.

In the end, Brooklyn Roads walked 20 miles plus over the weekend, and still didn’t make it to all of the venues in the Northside Festival including  The Knitting Factory, Alphaville, Our Wicked Lady and Baby’s Alright. Sadly, there are only so many hours in a weekend .

The Northside Festival is a lively affordable event and not to be missed! See you next year!