Thanks to the Outdoor Club and the Cultural Forum at the University of Oregon, I celebrated my delightful sunny Saturday listening to live music on my college campus.
I sifted through the festival events calender in the Daily Emerald no more than five days before. I heard rumblings of a festival at work and in classes, but overall I was pretty uninformed about it. For someone who empties their piggy bank on concert tickets, I felt like I should have been a little more clued in. Fortunately for me, the spread in the newspaper was eye-catching enough to get my attention.
My roomates and I made a day of it. It was beautiful and warm! Sixty-eight degrees to be exact. Street vendors were out selling my favorite vintage journals and absolutely delicious mouthwatering BBQ pulled pork.
After pacing back and forth between food stands debating if we wanted more, we grabbed a seat at the amphitheater. We watched a sweet little toe-head girl named Madeline dance around in her pink ballerina dress, sunglasses and rain boots to the music of the local musicians. To say the least, we were lighthearted and in a very good mood.
We listened to a young singer, song-writer and student from the U of O play a few songs on her guitar for what seemed like maybe her first show in front of a large crowd. I was inspired watching this girl my age have the confidence and vulnerability to not only perform in front of a large crowd, but share her private poetry to her peers and the public.
As I mentioned before, the festival was put on in part by the UO Outdoor Club. Part of their project was to power the music by bike. Members of the club asked spectators to volunteer to peddle the bikes to energize the amps connected to the stage. I jumped on one the second I was offered, enthused just to be a part of the set-up. I was thoroughly amazed at the crew for making such a cool concept a reality.
A duo from New York city named Phantogram played my favorite show of the day. Their music reminded me of a combination of some of my favorite eclectic electronic bands like Helio Sequence and Minus the Bear – but they stood out with a sassier, more soulful sound. The girl sang with so much poise and conviction I had to catch myself from staring with my mouth dropped open. The guitar was electric, smooth and so specific, I couldn’t help but be reminded of some of the sounds that came out of David Gilmore’s guitar from Pink Floyd. Despite the sound troubles that seemed to curse every band that day, it was a truly great performance. The band announced they were honored by our applause and thrilled to have their first ever crowd surfer.
The night finished with the much anticipated crowd pleasing performance by the Cunninlynquists. Thanks to my roomate, I watched the show with my arms draped over the stage. The group was made up of three rappers and DJ Flip Flop. In my opinion, Flip Flop was the show stopper (the crowd cheered when they heard he was from Portland). Their music is defined by their stunning combo of beats and song mixes – it was icing on the cake for the audience to hear he was from Oregon. I swear the crowd was waiting for another excuse to roar louder.