It was a beautiful day for outdoor music this past Saturday in NYC, and thousands chose to spend it at the Village Voice's 4 Knots Music Festival at the South Street Seaport. The free event featured two stages with buzzworthy bands like Speedy Ortiz, Radkey, and Mac DeMarco performing. Indie rock icons Dinosaur Jr. headlined to close out an afternoon filled with sunshine and great tunes.
Dead Stars at 4 Knots Music Festival, South Street Seaport, NYC 7.12.2014
Brooklyn band Dead Stars kicked off the afternoon's music on the smaller second stage with a comfortable mix of indie pop tunes that sounded perfect under the bright skies of lower Manhattan.
Radkey at 4 Knots Music Festival, South Street Seaport, NYC 7.12.2014
Punk rock brothers Radkey got the crowd headbanging over at the main stage with their brand of fast-paced songs and stage energy. Midway through their set, the PA blew and left the band playing without any amplification. The band showed great poise as they waited the problem out, and in no time it was fixed and they were able to finish out their set the same way they started it, bursting with energy. For additional Radkey music and news information, check out their Zumic artist page.
Crazy Pills at 4 Knots Music Festival, South Street Seaport, NYC 7.12.2014
Filling in for Re-TROS, who couldn't make it due to visa issues, were local area trio Crazy Pills. Their style of garage-pop and trash-punk songs drew a sizable crowd to watch them perform. Lead singer Amanda B. may be pint sized in height, but her energy onstage was grand, and the band turned out an enjoyable set.
Speedy Ortiz at 4 Knots Music Festival, South Street Seaport, NYC 7.12.2014
Speedy Ortiz, led by guitarist/vocalist Sadie Dupuis, have been creating a buzz for themselves since the release of their EP, Real Hair. Judging by what I overheard in the crowd following their set, their brand of noise-pop songs won over those that were gathered at the main stage to watch them perform. For additional Speedy Ortiz music and news information, check out their Zumic artist page.
Juan Wauters at 4 Knots Music Festival, South Street Seaport, NYC 7.12.2014
Despite a few monitor problems, indie folk musician Juan Wauters brought a more relaxed set of songs to the crowd with his acoustic playing and exposed vocals. It was a nice change of pace hearing him perform instead of the punk music that was dominating the afternoon.
Viet Cong at 4 Knots Music Festival, South Street Seaport, NYC 7.12.2014
By the time 3:30 PM came around, the crowd over at the main stage area was filling up with curious onlookers because Viet Cong had taken the stage. These Canadians are another band who have been creating a buzz in the music community. They performed a loud and impressive set of indie rock songs mixed with a unique style of art rock similar to Frank Zappa.
Nude Beach at 4 Knots Music Festival, South Street Seaport, NYC 7.12.2014
Long Island natives Nude Beach drew a big crowd of fans who had seen them perform before. They delivered a punk-heavy set of songs that made their followers happy and piqued the interest of curious onlookers passing by.
Those Darlins at 4 Knots Music Festival, South Street Seaport, NYC 7.12.2014
Tennessee may be famous for country music, but the state can produce a kick-ass rock and roll band, with the proof being Those Darlins. They brought a style of southern-influenced rock tunes that had the crowd at the main stage area throwing up their hands and nodding their heads. Loud guitars, distorted riffs, and screaming vocals were the ingredients in their songs, and the final result was a set of impressive music that left people asking, "Who are they and when do they play again?"
Mac DeMarco at 4 Knots Music Festival, South Street Seaport, NYC 7.12.2014
As the afternoon's heat from the sun was becoming less oppressive, indie singer-songwriter Mac DeMarco took to the main stage to perform a number of songs from his newest LP, Salad Days. Mac can be rather quirky at times, but it works with his blend of slacker rock songs. A sizable amount of people had gathered to hear him sing, and a good number of them sang along to the songs they knew. For additional Mac DeMarco music and news information, check out his Zumic artist page.
Dinosaur Jr. at 4 Knots Music Festival, South Street Seaport, NYC 7.12.2014
When 7:00 PM arrived, there was barely any room to walk around, as everyone anxiously waited for indie rock legends Dinosaur Jr. to take the stage. When they did, cheers erupted and the energy level was at its peak. Frontman J Mascis led the charge with his distorted guitar sounds and rich melodies. Bassist Lou Barlow displayed an incredible amount of energy while thumping out bass notes. The crowd reciprocated with an endless amount of passion and, as expected, people moshed and crowd surfed nonstop. The setlist was varied and featured at least one song from many of their older albums, but fans were most happy when they played songs from their 1987 album, You're Living All Over Me. Dinosaur Jr. is widely recognized as one of indie's most significant rock bands, so the love and support they got from the fans was no surprise. Choosing them as this year's headliner was a special treat and a summer highlight for many who were there.
Although a large portion of the South Street Seaport was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, it did not keep the crowd away. There were plenty of food vendors, a beer garden, and various fun activities for the family. To all those involved with putting this thing together and making it free to attend, I extend a huge thank you. See everyone next year!