Stone Arch Bridge Music Festival 2013with The Honeydogs, Bloodnstuff, Fury Things,Sean Anonymous and moreMinneapolisSaturday, June 15th, 2013
Outdoor music festivals and our cherished Minnesota climate mix about as well as rain meeting the oil slick from the back of a leaky food truck. Saturday afternoon's surprise monsoon may have thrown a wrench in the engine, but it's a testament to our bloody-minded Midwestern stubbornness that a sizable crowd still flocked to Water Power Park to catch 2013's installment of the annual Stone Arch Bridge Festival.
Despite ground so muddy that festival organizers were forced to squeegee the very earth they stood upon and the occasional ominous rumble of receding thunder, the mighty Mississippi proved once again to be a thoroughly gorgeous destination for live music. Capped off by a Honeydogs set full of warmth and positivity against the backdrop of a truly stunning sunset, Stone Arch 2013 overcame its limitations and proved why it's still a player in our local festival circuit. See Also:
Slideshow: Stone Arch Bridge Festival 2013
Kicking off at around noon, the music portion of Stone Arch Bridge Fest was distributed between three stages, with the louder bands holding court near the waterfall overlook and two smaller stages by the Central Avenue bridge and Father Hennepin Park hosting mellower acoustic acts. A modest network of artist's booths and food trucks connected the somewhat isolated stages, giving the festival a distinct block party vibe that sets it apart from the more professional and restricted Rock the Garden. Unfortunately, sprits and attendance were pretty low by the time the storm finally broke, and organizers pushed back set-times for the night's main attractions to deal with technical issues resulting from the deluge.
Good thing that it's pretty much improssible to be unhappy while Sean Anonymous is performing. Backed by the experimental music collective Dream Crusher, who have become a regular feature of his live show, the Minneapolis MC brought a much-needed dose of his infectious good nature and verbal dexterity to the soggy onlookers. Playing through material on his bonafide college-radio hit of an EP Anonymo as well as a few unreleased songs, Sean did his best to combat the weather and get an energetic reaction out of the limited crowd.
Despite some unresolved sound kinks, the rapper's cartoonish personality and elastic flow never fail to impress, and Dream Crusher's capable backing helped seal the deal. As the clouds started to break, Sean dedicated his song "Sunny" to his absent stage-partner, Lizzo of the Chalice, who was facing similar weather troubles out at the Women Rock Franconia festival. Drummer Jared Isabella filled in on the the vocals for the song's intro capably, and Stone Arch Fest finally started to feel as positive as Sean is when he's performing.
Over on the City Pages Stage tucked underneath the Central avenue bridge, local folkers Batterboy showcased their simmering intensity in a more subdued setting. Featuring the talents of Shannon Frid of Cloud Cult on violin, the group plays music steeped in Americana traditions and the high-drama of acts like Arcade Fire. Wood smoke billowing in from a nearby barbecue pit gave the appearance of a smoke machine, which was an apt visual effect for the band's frequently dark and emotional songs. Frid's voice meshed nicely with her harmonizing partner Cobey Rouse, and their melodic interplay seemed to please the patrons looking for a mellower experience away from the main stage.
|Zach McCormick|Back on Water Power Park, newly minted local fuzz-rockers Fury Things kicked off their set with amps set to full-blast. Reminiscent of melodic 90's acts like Sugar and Dinosaur Jr., the relatively young group slathers their guitar heroics in a wash of fuzz and reverb to give their music a contemporary shoegaze flavor. Similar to Japandroids, the trio manages to make their sound much larger than their band's size should allow, and a lot of credit for that should go to drummer Andrew Carson, who's an absolute monster behind the kit.