Our Look Back at Northside Festival 2015



Our Look Back at Northside Festival 2015

Remember our write-up Getting Excited for Northside Festival? The bands we wanted to check out for the first time or see live again? A good three weeks after the 7th Northside Festival has concluded, we can take stock: whom did we end up seeing? And… where there any surprises? New favorites? Lets dive right in!

First up, the photo gallery of the bands we have seen playing live. Enjoy our Northside Festival 2015 concert shots!

According to our list from June we wanted to see – and managed to see – the following bands:

  • Blonde Redhead @Warsaw – After having to wait until the trio played their fourth song and until the remaining badge holders were allowed into Warsaw, we got treated to a concert as good as it can be. As usual, Blonde Redhead impressed with their impeccable professionalism and sheer joy of playing live. 
  • Bully @50Kent Avenue – Well, sorta, kinda… We only got one last song of Bully and left the gigantic stage and area of 50 Kent quickly again, moving on to different venues.
  • Dead Leaf Echo @Black Bear Bar – Knowing that Dead Leaf Echo would start their set with some of their “classics” -that I dearly love- we quickly headed out for a sneak peak into next door’s Music Hall of Williamsburg but were back right in time to treat ourselves to Dead Leaf Echo‘s new energetic and melodic ear candy. For now, live only!
  • Def.GRLS @Black Bear Bar – This Brooklyn trio is as much fun to watch as their songs and lyrics are fun to listen to: quirky, goofy, melodic and… pretty! Check out Def.GRLS.
  • Jackson Scott @Rough Trade NYC – While I liked Jackson Scott‘s album Sun Redux, I was absolutely surprised by his live performance: so much raw energy, talent and musicality! So much so that we decided to his second show of the day at Cameo as well. Here’s a young talent not to be missed.
  • Light Asylum @UO Live Stage – Having seen Light Asylum during Northside Festival 2013, I knew I don’t want to miss this performance either! There’s more to Shannon Funchess and her touring keybordist Raphael Radna than Dark Alleys but even if it was only for that song, seeing them live is a special treat!
  • Little May @Rough Trade NYC – The three women who form Little May, hailing from Australia have an album coming up soon and their live performance was impressive and even “sweet”, in a way. I’d like to see them again. Soon!
  • Lower Dens @Music Hall of Williamsburg – There was no problem to enter Music Hall of Williamsburg as a badge holder, especially since the show has already started. The venue was almost sold out and Lower Dens did a pleasant show. After having listened to three songs though, we’ve seen “enough” and headed back to Black Bear Bar… 
  • Merchandise @UO Stage – Florida’s Merchandise was some sort of “last minute” addition to the festival, playing Urban Outfitters outdoor stage. It’s no secret, I do love Carson Cox’ voice, and wanted to see if Merchandise are live as good as recorded. They delivered! They were a great joy to be experienced live. 
  • Monogold @Black Bear Bar – As a long time fan of Monogold (the three piece who inspired my #3IsABand series!) I make every live show of theirs I can. This one having started after midnight, on a school night, I had to cut short early but as usual, they were a great joy to be experienced live. The new songs are fantastic too!
  • Salt Cathedral @Living Room – Long, truly looong after midnight, Salt Cathedral took the stage at Living Room to wake everyone up again. Glad, we showed stamina because this was an excellent show!
  • Sexores @Black Bear Bar – Granted, the festival featured many local bands -and there’s no shortage of great ones in Brooklyn- Sexores made it over here from Spain via Ecuador. Their shoegaze sound will find many new fans, and their album Historias de Frio is one to be listened to. 
  • Sunflower Bean @UO Live Stage – Another three piece from Brooklyn (no shortage of them either, much to my delight) played the outdoor stage Saturday afternoon. I’d like to see Sunflower Bean again indoors, at night, dark…

We planned on seeing these acts but didn’t get around to do it, this time: 

Dead Stars, Jacco GardnerNude BeachOLYA (sorry, Olya, you were head to head with Blonde Redhead and our inner “long time fan” won), Swampa_ZZ,  Young EjectaZola Jesus, Velvet Black, Viet Cong. 

And… like every cool festival, we also came across bands, we initially didn’t have on our radar or thought we might not be able to go to their show. Here are the “discoveries” and/or surprises:

  • Courtesy Tier @Bar Matchless – As a fan of three piece bands, I wanted to see Courtesy Tier live, although there’s currently no material available online, aside from a few concert cuts created by fans. Courtesy Tier did not disappoint and I am looking forward to being able to listen to their material in recorded form, although seeing them live again would a nice treat too! 
  • Hard Nips @Black Bear Bar – Reading the Northside program a little bit more closely, I realized, we kinda know the drummer, and an all female rock band (see PINS) is something we definitely want to see! Hard Nips did not disappoint with an energetic and fun live show yet their songs hold their own too. This was not the last time we saw this American-Japanese powerhouse!
  • Monograms @Black Bear Bar – We came to see the band after Monograms, and caught their whole set as well and luckily we did! This three piece from Brooklyn is on our radar now.
  • Of Clocks and Clouds @Union Pool – Bummed that we only made it for Of Clocks and Clouds last three songs because I most definitely would have loved to see their full set! This electronic-rock duo seriously sets the stage on virtual fire, THAT good. Listening to their 2014 album YOU, they’re one of my fav new bands without a doubt. 
  • PINS @Rough Trade – Another midnight show, another all female band, this time from the UK, formed and fronted by the enchanting Faith Holgate. Great pleasure to watch PINS own the stage, and this being Brooklyn, seeing Dee (Dum Dum Girls) another famous band leader dancing and cheering in the audience.   
  • Stranger Cat @Living Room – While we only caught Stranger Cat‘s less electronic but more classic piano driven set, we’re glad to having seen her at all. Won’t be the last time…

Doing the numbers, it looks like we’ve seen 19 bands (plus a handful not mentioned ones) live, not too shabby for a 4 days festival, no? Considering, we’ve seen whole sets of most of the bands.

Northside Festival 2015 was big fun and has definitely found its place. In its 7th year, it’s festival that has established itself and must no longer be dismissed as “not relevant” or “too small”. Northside Festival 2016 will be even bigger (with so many new venues in Williamsburg/Greenpoint opening, for those that got closed) and if even possible “better”!

Here a recap of our individual articles, day by day:

Northside Roundup Day 1 – Monomyth // Sexores // Lower Dens // Dead Leaf Echo // Mongold

Northside Roundup Day 2 – Courtesy Tier // Of Clocks and Clouds // Leverage Models // ONWE // Stranger Cat // Salt Cathedral

Northside Roundup Day 3 – Sunflower Bean // Merchandise // Bully // The Present // DEF.grls // Little May // Blonde Redhead // PINS

Northside Roundup Day 4 – Jackson Scott // Monograms // Hard Nips // Light Asylum // Jackson Scott (2nd show) // Shilpa Ray

And once again, in case you missed it, the Northside 2015 highlights gallery.