KSC student travels to home state for music festival


Albany, New York is home to a good deal of music festivals.

From the summer’s weekly ‘Alive at Five’ concerts, to ‘Lark Fest’ and ‘Tulip Fest,’ the city knows how to put on a good show.

But last Saturday’s fourth annual Pearl Palooza, hosted by local radio station 102.7 WEQX, was more exciting and entertaining than many had predicted.

Just two weeks before the festival, original headliners The Dirty Heads and Palma Violets were swapped out with Portugal. The Man with Crystal Fighters, a change that many thought was questionable.

Nevertheless, the day had a few bands worth mentioning and a few that would be better left alone.

Gentleman Hall went on at 12 p.m. to open the festival.

By playing songs like “Sail into the Sun” and “All our Love,” the band set the mood on one of fall’s last warm weekends.

But following the upbeat sound, an indie rock group from Boston was a local, dreamy/synth rock band called The Titanics.

Playing on the local stage, the band consisted of only two people; a keyboard/electronic percussionist and an electric guitar player.

As a large crowd gathered to watch, few heads bopped and few smiles were cracked as the band began down a dark, gothic road.

All in all, it was less than entertaining and brought the mood down a good bit.

But later in the day, good vibes continued when highly anticipated rock band Wild Adriatic took the stage.

Even on the local stage the band managed to draw a larger crowd than many of the day’s main stage bands and were more entertaining than almost every band at that.

Those on the opposite side of the festival could hear the absolute roars from the crowd, as the band played hit songs like “Bound to Let You Go” and “Letter.”

But when they covered Led Zeppelin’s “Ramble on,” the crowd went absolutely insane.

The band was the only band aside from the headliners to play an encore, a decision made outside of the day’s original schedule.

Eastbound Jesus was the last band to take the stage before the main acts and was also the only band not classified in the alternative/indie rock genre.

Even so, the day’s only bluegrass act put on a more entertaining show than some of the previous acts, to the point where people were lining up on their apartment rooftops to see what all the commotion was.

Crystal Fighters, a band that came all the way from Spain, was the first of the two headliners to take the stage.

With upbeat, dance-like music, it was hard to not clap your hands and jump around to almost every song of the bands set.

The lead singer was the most energetic front man of the day, combining styles of Edward Sharpe and Mick Jagger.

By the end of the set, the entire crowd, even those who weren’t originally fans of the band, had fallen in love with their music and high energy style of play.

But the main act of the night proved to be the best and most impressive one.

Portugal. The Man has been around for the last decade, but just began its festival run.

The group took off by playing Coachella and Bonaroo this summer.

Becoming most famous, as of lately for their song, “Purple Yellow Red and Blue,” the band began its set with it—at least, some sort of version of it.

When they first began playing the most desirable song as their opener, many people were in shock.

It was clearly noticeable that the crowd was wondering just how the band could play their best song first.

Maybe it was because they wanted to show the crowd that they were more than just the one song that they have become famous for.

But what seemed like the songs original version quickly turned into a 20 minute jam, where the band showed off what they were truly capable of.

Playing majority of the show in a cloud of smoke and with little to no stoppage time at all, the band showed serious signs of being comparable to Pink Floyd.

But at the very end of their set, the band began to play their hit song “Purple Yellow Red and Blue” for the second time.

As balloons fell from the sky, it was easy to see what the band was trying to say.

They weren’t saying that they were more than this song, but that they were this song. This was their alma mater.

As the crowd chanted, “All I needed was something to believe in,” the band huddled around the drummer jamming and laughing together.

This song is what brought them to the festival and this song is who they were.

After the band played 35 minutes over their allotted time, the crowd demanded a double encore and waited an extra ten minutes before leaving.

While the band was only allowed to come back out for a brief goodbye, the crowd knew they would have if they could have.


Luke Flood can be contacted at lucas.flood@ksc.keene.edu

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