This summer was a flurry of activity in the music scene, with new albums, reunion tours, festivals both large and small, and seemingly a band playing every night, somewhere and somehow. It has been difficult to catch everything, and indeed some things fall through the cracks.
Coming tomorrow night to the Accord in downtown Champaign is Canadian alternative group Arkells. Coming fresh off two hit singles in “Private School” and “Drake’s Dad”, Arkells put on an energetic dance-pop show, filled with enough tongue-in-cheek lyrics and catchy choruses to have you shouting along before you know it.
Anyone who reads my column regularly knows I like to brag about the quality of our music scene in the CU, not only because of the sheer diversity and talent, but the quality of the people creating. Lately we’ve all had a bit of a wake-up call; we need to help each other out, and people just aren’t being excellent to each other anymore.
LOCKN’ finally happened, and truth be told, I’m having a hard time even knowing where to start as I write this review. I had heard so many good things going in that my expectations were sky high, and I have to say I was not disappointed. It was an insane weekend from the minute I left my doorstep to the minute I returned home, sweaty and in desperate need of air conditioning.
Shoe Fest 2016….man, I don’t even know where to start. It’s taken me forever to figure out how to get my review going, because every time I even begin to plan it out I’m overloaded with smiles and memories of an amazing weekend. The musicians were on fire, the weather was perfection, and the crowd was the friendliest I’d seen yet.
Well, I’ve returned safe and sound from LOCKN’ Festival, and reintegrated myself reasonably well back into my daily life. I’m trying not to get too complacent in my routine though, because in just two short days the venerable, the magnificent, the last dance of the summer, Shoe Fest, will be upon us, and Shoe Fest is anything but routine.
Here we are, smack in the middle of the summer music season. We've seen festivals big and small, local bands touring all over the country, and new artists from hip-hop to folk, funk to bluegrass, jam band to electro and everything in between.
This summer has been a whirlwind of insane music performances, from Phish and Dead and Co. on their respective tours to festivals both titanic and microscopic. Many of these bigger tour dates feature pre and post-show events as well, and both local and touring artists are putting together innovative tributes to these legendary musical figures.