I must say, Sound on Sound fest was quite trill. If one had any sense of adventure, they would have found themselves at the festival of kings and queens. Alas, Sobre Sound gathered some thoughts and photos by Sir Ricardo Romero, so relax and par take in the visual delight that was #SOSFest.
The grounds of a Renaissance Fair stood firm, while black and plaid clad fest goers navigated a forest party. The DIY feel and Sherwood Forest environment provided a festival experience unlike any in Texas. Red River lay empty, while a daily average of 12,000 made the journey into the piney woods east of Austin.
Some of the most fun I’ve had in a while, not just at a concert but anywhere period, was getting down to Run The Jewels. They played the hits like "Blockbuster Night," "Nobody Speak," "Run The Jewels" and even their song featuring Zack De la Rocha, "Close Your Eyes". A little past mid point into their set, the DJ table took spill and stage hands swarmed the decks to fix the situation (photo in above gallery), meanwhile El-P hit the mic to explore his new “spoken word career.” Professionals right there folks, they didn’t get all diva pissed but instead made light of the situation and brought to crowd to laughter. Then hit it hard again. RTJ is church.
One thing that seemed noticeable, was that the artists kept mentioning how much they were enjoying themselves and the audiences, and it genuinely felt that way. The crowds were in a good mood- the vibes were so chill.
As mentioned before, Sound on Sound had a DIY feel. It was unlike the massive productions like ACL or Bonnaroo with branding everywhere and expensive beers. There were no video screens on the main stage and lighting through out the grounds seemed minimal. It was truly a party in the woods. There was glass blowing and a ton of great artwork for purchase in the retail booths and damn good food vendors. Riding the shuttle to and from Mohawk, was convenient and intense. They were charter buses with power outlets and a restroom, being brought an hour outside of downtown. The approach to the drop off spot included a barely paved road, just wide enough to hold the bus.
I couldn’t see HEALTH, because of the set up and arrangement of The Keep stage. Medieval displays and trees made the crowd form awkwardly around the obstructions making it difficult to even see the band. But I love HEALTH’s music and they were sounding really good. But the moment of obstructed views was saved by a delicious turkey leg that started a party when ever fest goers saw one.
Deerhunter was incredible. Bradford Cox is more of an entertainer than given credit, that dude is a classic frontman. They played classics like "Agoraphobia," "Helicopter," and newer(ish) songs like "Breaker." I caught a little bit of Car Seat Headrest, but I really want to check them out at small cap club. The forest seemed a little too out of their element. But again, good band, they sounded great. I was into it, but I had to find my way back to the Dragon's Layer.
Big Boi played the hits. A lot of his set was Outkast classics which was intense fun and unexpected. "Bombs Over Baghdad," "Ms. Jackson," "Rosa Parks" had everyone singing along. He even busted out with "International Players Anthem" and did a verse. "So Fresh, So Clean," "The Whole World." It was a dance party for sure.
Beach House was subdued but sounded great, especially their enduring performance of "Myth." The highlight of the festival for me was Purity Ring's visually stunning set. Without the use of screens, Purity Ring came out with an interesting design that used strings of LEDs to create a 3D synchronization of light that was amazing. Megan James' voice sounded crisp, while Corin Roddick rocked out a row of electronic drum pads that lit up a diamond shaped light different colors. They played a lot of both another eternity and Shrines including "Belispeak" & "begin again."
Word around campfire is that the second installment of Sound on Sound will be at the Sherwood Forest again. We'll keep you updated of any information for 2017!!