A Review of the Artists at Liberty Music Festival by the Artists

A Review of the Artists at Liberty Music Festival by the Artists
Contributions by Tom Coyle, Erik Cistaro, Brittany Rotondo, & John Dempsey
Compiled by John Dempsey

Thursday the 16th

Meet me on South Street 7:00 PM Main Stage
The Fest kicks of with George Manney’s “Meet Me on South Street,” a History of JC Dobbs. Previous generations of patrons clapping every time someone they recognize appears on screen. This movie is a reminiscent hour, where people forget the wrinkles on their hands and the lines earned around their smiles. And if you weren’t there back then, this hour helps you realize the scene you’re a part of is even bigger than you thought. ~ JD

Honor By August 8:00 PM Main Stage
The perfect band to transition from the movie to the music. They travelled a bit to get here. They’re up here from DC, by the way of last night’s show at Arlene’s Grocery in NYC.  Clean vocals and multiple harmonies over a stripped down set, of acoustic & electric guitars, keys, and light percussion.  Perfect mood setter. ~ JD

Kenny Curcio 8:30 PM Second Floor Stage
Four piece band, with acoustic guitar, bass, drum, and saxophone. The drums and bass player are on the same page. The sax player is incredible. This band has strong hooks and strong content. Their sound is similar too Jason Mraz, G Love, Dave Matthews, etc. They touched all genres of music. ~ EC

Lotus Hill 9:00 Main Stage
Taking the sound up another step. The smooth serenade of Lotus Hill rings throughout the bar.   Double female vocals, with a plugged in acoustic, indie sound.  Strong pro-set delivered. Nothing less expected. ~ JD

New Sweden 9:30 PM Second Floor Stage
Rotating six-member band from Delaware. Instruments included violin, mandolin, banjo, acoustic guitar, and bass. Folk Rock, Indie Rock, could you call them Punk Folk? They play well, but there’s definitely a loose feel with country overtones. They are reminiscent of bands such as Wilco, Mumford & Sons, The Jayhawks, etc. There has been a great response from the crowd for the entire set. ~ EC

Open Road 10 PM Main Stage
A fitting name.  They just opened up the sound in here. This band is overflowing with local session players, like rhythm player/songwriter Brian Bricklin, formerly of the Bricklin Brothers.  Brian’s on the board of the Training Center. He also used to run the Philadelphia Music Conference. Country, blues, rock leads over tight rhythm and drums.  That dirty bone in all of us. ~ JD

The Great Socio 10:30 Second Floor Stage
Four piece line-up consisting of keys, bass, drums and trumpet. That’s right no guitar. They definitely have their own sound. They use bass lines for melody, filled with accents from the keyboard and trumpet. Their songs are more or less stories. They touch on all genres. ~ EC

Waylon Speed 11 PM Main Stage
These longhaired country boys are coming for that Southern Hot bed of Burlington, Vermont.  Haha. Seriously though that’s still on that Appalachian Trail. They play that mountain country rock, the best form. And they’ve only played half of their first song.  Second song. They’re still awesome, “Whoooooaaa, whooaa silver & gold!”  ~ JD

The Jackson Rider 12 PM Main Stage
Hey Jackson Rider!  Heeeeeyyyy Jackson Riiiiiderr!!  Now it’s time for the ladies to dance. No standing still when these guys are on stage. The rock, rhythm & roots group is headlining opening night of the festival. ~ JD

Deadbeatz Inc 12:30 PM Second Floor Stage
Five piece rap/rock band, with. Party music. Good riffs and sick rhymes over rock. Their lyrics are clever, spitting out words that rhyme with Wawa Hoagies and how they’re, “hotter than redskins.”   ~ EC

Pravda (credit Vince Volz)

Friday the 17th

John & Brittany 8 PM Main Stage
Kicking off the second night with John Faye and crew.  Opening their set with the lead track off of their up-coming album Start Sinning.  Driving hooks as usual. Tight bass and drums, as usual. You can almost hear Brittany sing the backing vocals.  Good Pat just turned her gait up, that’s better. It’s always good to see a band that enjoys playing on stage together. ~ JD

The Vowels 8 PM Second Floor Stage
This unique 5 piece electronic-rock band blends densely layered loop based rhythms with heavily processed vocal hooks. The end result is a totally fresh sound that is definitely worth checking out both live and recorded. ~ TC

A Little Affair 9 PM Main Stage
Indie power trio next up on stage. Nice fan support.  Slowed down cover of Billie Jean, not bad.  Catchy, pop tunes.  Now an impromptu cover of El Scorcho, with John Faye and James of The Way Home.  Awesome!  Hope to see some more of this throughout the weekend. ~ JD

Red Letter Life 9 PM Second Floor Stage
A real crowd pleaser! This old school Rock ‘n Roll outfit was just plain fun. Their danceable rhythms and upbeat sound kept the crowd on their feet cheering for more. ~ TC

Dynasty Electric 10 PM Main Stage
Turning heads at sound check, and now for something completely different.  “Hello, I Love You,” by the Doors to open.  But not like that, drums, electric guitar, vocals, and a bunch of digital sounds. And she’s has a belt made out of Christmas lights.  Now someone is twirling fabric on stage. This is different than what we’re used to at Dobbs, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  Bubble machine. Great sound.  I don’t have the words to do this performance justice. ~ JD

The Parachuting Apostles 10 PM Second Floor Stage
High energy and high musicianship is the name of the game for this group. The Apostles mix RHCP style heavy funk and modern indie rock to create a very original sound. They tear through their set, never missing a beat. This is a band you just have to see live! ~ TC

The Way Home 11 PM Main Stage
They have fun task of following Dynasty Electric. It’s a good thing they’re completely different. The stark contrast serves them better. Don’t get me wrong these guys are good in their own right. Have been playing all over lately, the Queen in Wilmington, they’re in Pittsburgh next week.  They have a sound that is reminiscent of the Shirt & Tie rock of the 80’s.  Americana before it was cool again, with some rock and pop.  Great set fellas, “It’s the end of the world as we know it…” ~ JD

Megosh 11 PM Second Floor Stage
This group was an absolute showstopper. Employing a heavy alternative rock sound featuring complex prog rhythms and harmonized vocals, Megosh was one of the best bands to play the festival. ~ TC

Tonight has such good vibes. The rain hasn’t killed the evening. Glances at friends, with nothing need be said. Smiles and head nods. Rock and roll.

Syrrah 12 PM Main Stage
The lead singer enters through the crowd with cloak and a staff.  Melodic vocals followed by the screams of an infidel, or a native. Their sound is very “System of a Down,” very theatric. And we’re still in the first song.  The sound is pronounced and deliberate.  Strong performance. ~ JD

Late Cambrian 12 PM Second Floor Stage
This band sounds like perpetual summer. Their head bopping choruses were delightful and their vocal harmonies couldn’t help but make you smile. ~ TC

Glim Dropper 1 PM Main Stage
Closing the night. Power trio. Strong vocals. Very sharp sound.  Little dash of grunge.  Wearing a mechanic jumper without shoes. So I guess that’s more than just a dash of grunge.  Clean grunge.  Is that a contradiction?  Great crowd reaction for the last band of the night, a great sound for the end of the night. So we rest till tomorrow.  And bring liberty again. ~ JD

Pravda 1 PM Main Stage
A female fronted alt rock group, Pravda brought the heavy jams to close out Liberty Music Fests second night. Their grooving rhythm section and heavy guitars kept the place kicking into the early morning. ~ TC

Jake Falana (credit Vince Volz)

Saturday the 18th

Frank Viele Trio 6:30 PM Main Stage
They’re down from Connecticut to kick off night three of Liberty Music Fest. Acoustic funk, electrified with a shot of pop, rock, and soul. Delightful set. Soothing to the ears. ~ BR

Standing Cinema 7:15 PM Main Stage
Four piece. Dueling guitars, matched by a keen sense of melody/ies. They sound like burlesque, reggae, pop/punk. Break downs that shake. ~ BR

Ross Bellenoit & the Goods 7:30 Second Floor Stage
The Goods opened up the second floor on Saturday. They kept the growing crowd happy with their beautiful harmonies and tasteful rhythm sections. They are a delightful bluesy folk-rock band. It’s good to see a band not trying to blow the room out. “I thought I was dying, but I was only crying,” great lyrics.  The backing vocals just add to the overall effect, fuller sound.  ~ TC

Side note: when you don’t blow the room out, pretty girls are more likely to dance to your songs.

The Parsnip Revolt 8 PM Main Stage
Driving drums. Their cadence flows. The guitar work is thunderous. Their sound is topped off with dynamic lyrics. ~ BR

Rob Snyder 8:30 Second Floor Stage
These acoustic-y jams are sure to put a smile on your face. Sometimes all you need is some simply good roots music and this band does that fantastic. ~ TC

Mach 22 9 PM Main Stage
Four piece, with big ‘ol Marshall stacks amplified and cranked out to 11! Their sound is the definition of rock ‘n roll. Their showmanship is the pure essence of entertainment. ~ BR

Craig Greenberg 9:30 Second Floor Stage
A power trio. They are styled in a vein similar to Ben Folds Five. They’re Heavy on the bass, not Sledge but pretty solid.  The vocals have the nerd rock thing
down. ~ JD

Midnight Mob 10 PM Main Stage
Loyal, local following, despite their NYC roots. Sizzling cover of “Ring of Fire.” Bass lines like butter. Their harmonies are out of this universe. Lead vocals heard like WWIII! Powerful. Raw. ~ BR

The Cold Roses 10:30 PM Second Floor Stage
Always a pleasure to see these guys play. They have pop, blues, rock vibe. Very practiced, very tight. They’ve grown a lot over the last year or so. Very committed to the sound as a whole. Jamie Briggs on the drums is amazing. The harmonies are great. Great crowd reaction. Great set. ~ JD

Kid Felix 11 PM Main Stage
Outstanding local support for the festival’s headliner. They drew over a hundred people. It was well worth it for everyone. Guitar licks worth a million words. They are lyrical deviants and produces of bittersweet hooks and rifts. ~ BR

I’m biased. I don’t care. I’ve never seen that here at Dobbs before, on that level. The crowd sang every word. There was a legit mosh pit, circa 1991. A hundred people who love this band.  A hundred people who want to tell their friends about this band.   Still kind of stoked to have been in a mosh pit. ~ JD

Stolen Rhodes 11:30 PM Second Floor Stage
Rock and Roll four piece. Blues country rock. This seems to be a trend. I have no problem with that. Great vocals. Great dueling guitars.  Their music has balls. And their set hasn’t started to fade; some of this genre tends fade 3/4’s through the set. Overheard someone, who’s been here every night, saying these guys were the best band of the festival. That’s saying something after what Kid Felix just did downstairs. ~ JD

My Enemy Complete 12 PM Main Stage
Pseudo industrial/grunge sound, Bowie-esque if I may. Or maybe The Clash meets Fun. The vocals are filthy. The guitars are heavy. Nice set. ~ BR

Kaiyotes 12:30 Second Floor Stage
Jammy. Two guitars, one acoustic, one electric.  Nice sound. Way to end the evening upstairs. Night 3 of Liberty Music Fest is almost in the books. Hands down my favorite night so far. ~ JD

Revel 9 1 PM Main Stage
The guys made it out despite the recent passing of their guitar player. Making the trip all the way up from DC. The vocals are stylistic. Some would say their sound is something like Coheed & Cambria meets Taking Back Sunday. ~ BR

Sunday the 19th

Mark Lancaster 7 PM Main Stage
A two-piece band, with a drum wood box and acoustic guitar. Strong vocals. Very well-written songs. Good chord changes. They’re a little funky; a little poppy. Drum box was awesome. I like this band. I’d watch them again. They kept crowd interested. ~ EC

Rodger Delany 7:30 PM Second Floor Stage
A delightful singer, songwriter. Rocking out with his acoustic guitar and blues harp. He has a clean sound, with songs that most can relate to. ~ JD

Seth Adams 8 PM Main Stage
Two-piece band with a mandolin and an acoustic guitar. Good vocal harmonies over an indie country rock sound. Def cool, like foot stomping folk music. Little bit of picking in there, that gives a little bluegrass feel. Good time. ~ EC

Nomad Clientele 8:30 PM Second Floor Stage
A rock, reggae band, with some catchy tunes. Clean vocals. Their sound is similar to 311’s more reggae styled songs. The whole bound is committed to the sound. They translate well live. ~ JD

Perfects 9 PM Main Stage
Duran Duran meets Nine Inch Nails. Four piece with guitars, bass, and drums. Vocals disco beats. Sonic guitars, like Edge. The bass lines are strong. The lead singer fits around the band well. Their sound includes backing tracks with like keys and noise swells. ~ EC

Last Scene in Reno 9:30 PM Second Floor Stage
A Power pop punk trio. Very catchy songs. They have a strong, radio friendly vibe. They sound similar to Blink 182, Fallout Boy, etc. They bring a strong energy onstage. ~ JD

Give Me Gravity 10 PM Main Stage
A strummy, indie rock band similar to Taking Back Sunday. The guitars are loud. The drums are tight. Overall the songs are pretty good. They are another solid alternative, rock band in Philadelphia. ~ EC

Venice Sunlight 10:30 PM Second Floor Stage
Sharp, pop rock. The sound is very deliberate. They pull from a multitude of influences, spanning fifty years of rock and roll. They have clean vocals and strong harmonies. These guys always sound good when they play Dobbs. ~ JD

Pet Clinic 11 PM Main Stage
An aggressive alt rock band, almost emo. Their sound comes across as very big. Great guitar work, keys were awesome good band. Good up and downs in the songs. They don’t blast you for 45 minutes with the same shit. ~ EC

Paradox Please 11:30 PM Second Floor Stage
These guys fit well with the theme upstairs tonight. Though, they’re a little heavier, a little darker. A welcome break. Strong, metallic guitar work, honed in the Steel City. Nice set to wrap the upstairs portion of the festival. ~ JD

Black Stars 12 PM Main Stage
Funky sound. The music is akin to Incubus’s early non-radio songs. Though, the vocals are a little more rapped than spoke. They could be classified as a little more Rage Against the Machine, vocally that is. Nice bass lines. ~ EC

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