Midpoint Music Festival kicked off on Saturday with a bang. Cincinnati delivered bands ranging from instrumental punk to melodic indie rock.
I arrived at this year’s venue with only a few bands on my Saturday list that I wanted to catch, but I ended up enjoying more than I expected. The festival was spread between four stages, but I primarily stuck to the Taft Theater and Taft Ballroom stages.
I started out the afternoon in the Ballroom seeing Lo, The Loyal Conscripts. Despite the loudness and lack of vocals, the guitar hooks were very pretty. The bass and drums provided a solid foundation for the melodies from the guitar, and they owned the stage even with very few people there. Their final song built up in a layer of reverb heavy guitar licks, taking a while before bursting open with a huge vocal part from all of the members.
I moved upstairs to the theater stage and took a seat to watch Blossom Hall. This was my favorite group of the day – their songs were memorable and different from what Cincinnati typically produces.
The guy and girl switched off on vocals but occasionally came together for some tight harmonies. Although they are a newer act, they had a wealth of material to fill their set and a great stage presence that fit with the songs they were playing.
Heading back downstairs to the Ballroom, I saw Even Tiles, a Cincinnati five piece with really stunning music. The drums and percussion/guitar players switched back and forth between songs, which was really interesting to see.
They haven’t released any music since late 2013, but they’ve clearly been playing live for a while. The banter was great too, with quotes like “this song is called ‘The Weather’, because if you’re from Cincinnati you know the weather sucks.” I can confirm this to be accurate.
After that, I caught bits and pieces of sets from Saturn Batteries, Kid Stardust, and DYAN. Kid Stardust delivered loud, messy punk that sounded pretty good in the Ballroom setting. There was a lot of discussion between the lead singer and the audience, but it was hard to follow what was going on.
I came into the Theater to Saturn Batteries’ bass player singing “Fly Me to the Moon”, leading into a pure rock song. The guitar solos throughout their set were great, but the setting was weird for the music. I caught DYAN’s soundcheck after that, featuring some excellent saxophone and interesting string pieces. Their set was relaxed and sounded fantastic.
Check back throughout today for live Sunday updates – we have some great interviews and reviews coming for the stacked lineup today, all leading up to a hometown performance from WALK THE MOON.