River's Edge Music Festival Day 2, 6/24/12

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Photo by Erik Hess
River's Edge Music Festival 2
with Dave Matthews Band, The Flaming Lips, Puscifer, Poliça, Awolnation, Diplo, Mutemath, Delta Spirit, K. Flay, AM & Shawn Lee, Mexican Institute of Sound, Civil Twilight, Hey Rosetta!, Kids These Days
Harriet Island, St. Paul
Sunday, June 24, 2012

15 gorgeous GIFs from River's Edge Music Festival 2012
Review: River's Edge Music Festival Day 1, 6/23/12
Slideshows: Music Day 1, Music Day 2, People Day 1, People Day 2

If Saturday at Harriet Island was highlighted by metal, then Sunday was a day reserved for jam bands. For a festival that, at first glance, looked like it picked its lineup out of a hat, Live Nation did a good job selecting acts that would draw people to Harriet Island like ants flocking to an abandoned piece of fried cheese curd.

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Photo by Erik Hess
The crowd was fairly full and active for early performers Civil Twilight at the Bishop Stage. Lead singer Andrew McKellar asked the crowd, "Why are you guys here so early? I'm gonna have a drink, then we'll start this song, because it's 5 o'clock where I'm from." The South African band certainly had looks going for them, and it didn't hurt that the musicianship was tight and reminiscent of U2 and early Radiohead. Visibility was not a problem at this point in the day, but the stage was flanked by two large screens to enable people a view of the band. One of the obvious highlights of the set was a dramatic cover of Massive Attack's "Teardrop," which also was a bit of a tease for what the grounds might feel like with an electronic headliner.

Photo by Erik Hess
The two main stages on Harriet Island allowed ease in setup time for bands and kept the festival flowing rather smoothly, keeping people migrating back and forth between the stages for the different bands. The sets for bands grew progressively longer as the day passed, and indie-pop Awolnation took the stage for an hour, entertaining with pieces that sometimes bordered on the edge of metal -- despite lead singer Aaron Bruno looking like he'd just stepped off the set of a beach movie. It made sense for the band to be playing the festival since they are signed to Red Bull Records, and you couldn't escape the the fact that Red Bull was one of the sponsors this weekend with its logo plastered everywhere.

Photo by Erik Hess
Poliça was likely the most "indie" band on Sunday. This festival was a chance for the band to branch their audience to people that may have heard the name and had a chance to see them yet. One of the four Twin Cities bands to represent this weekend, Poliça certainly lived up to its hype. The two drum set and bass are interesting, but the backbone of the band is clearly Channy Leaneagh, who knows how to command the crowd with her petite stature and wandering voice -- and a killer pair of purple cutoffs. She overcame early sound issues to make this one of the finest sets of the day.

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