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Sunstock Solar Festival With YOyA, Gateway Drugs, Trapdoor Social, The Big Pink At The Autry, Saturday June 18th 2016


The Big Pink


Sunstock Solar Festival, a 100% solar powered indie rock festival, proved one thing: it is possible to power an entire music festival during a whole day, using only solar energy, and although they were running late, they probably lasted an hour longer than they expected, there was no power shortage at all. The festival had this feel good vibe, with a young crowd, which certainly got rowdy at the right time, and people having a really fun time with an eclectic lineup of music, plenty of earth-friendly food trucks and eco-minded businesses.

yOya opened the festivities with a torching temperature of 90ºF, but it didn’t matter much for the trio, their heartfelt harmonies and upbeat combination of guitar and synth. It was gentle and bright music to open the day, a bit exotic at times with a few falsettos over pastoral melodies, some wild guitar-synth duos awakening drums, and a sort of hippie look quite perfect for a green festival.

It may have been a bit too early, too bright and too sunny for Gateway Drugs’ dark psychedelia, but they manage to impress me every time I witness their ‘witchcraft rock ‘n’ roll’. There were echoes of the Brian Jonestown Massacre, one guitar piercing over the fuzz, and a violent druggy VU chaos going on. The quartet kept a badass unapologetic attitude all set long with waves of horror punk, lots of distortions and noise, and their guitarist’s curled upper lip. They ended their set in a feast of anarchic noise and distortion, all sun-powered despite the goth looks.

Trapdoor Social, the band of Sunstock founder Skylar Funk, was next and it was easy to understand why this festival was running so smoothly, the band incarnates youth’s enthusiasm, determination and optimism. The high-energy quintet played a set of explosive harmonies and soaring choruses, with many instruments and a few acrobatic moves. They played a song with a sax and Skylar jumped in the crowd with the instrument, as if their set was not enough about over-the-top exuberance. They seemed to tell me, enough about these 40 something middle-age morose guys who think the future is doomed, …are you listeningThom Yorke and Stanley Donwood? This youth has their future in their own hands and they refused your doom vision, they are really taking care of the everything.

Noise electro-punk The Big Pink was the only band from the UK, playing an unique brand of catchy loud pop with sweet boy-girl harmonies emerging from a busy electronica. Their explosive music had cathartic effects and some killer basslines, pumped up by a smog machine. Singer Mary Charteris, a tall hot blonde behind a keyboard, was holding two mics at once, and didn’t keep her bomber jacket very long. They told us it was ‘a privilege to be here for such great cause’, and they looked good with their post-punk-ish look, a rock star attitude and all the right pauses. They ravaged the place with a killer loud sound and let everyone very impressed.

More pictures here YOyA, Gateway Drugs, Trapdoor Social, The Big Pink




Gateway Drugs


Trapdoor Social

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