Are you are heading to the MidPoint Music Festival this weekend in Cincinnati? If so, The Fire Note has 10 can’t miss artists you should seek out during your three days of music bliss. Of course, there are plenty of impressive acts and all of the headliners should put on a great show but like all festivals you might need to make some choices as with four stages, many sets will overlap. Below are the artists we feel should have you walking away completely satisfied with your experience!
Easily one of the best up and coming acts to hit the Cincinnati festival this year. Founder/singer/songwriter Will Toledo’s history is one of classic storytelling with his incredible eleven DIY releases on his Bandcamp page. His newest album, Teens of Denial, was released earlier this year and received a full 5 headphone approved review from TFN and should land quite high on our year end list when 2016 wraps up. If you love indie rock then do yourself a favor on Saturday and make sure you are front row for this one – thank us later!
The chance to see this iconic indie rocker should not be passed up. He latest record, Patch The Sky, still rocks out and I can’t imagine any reason that the man behind Sugar and Hüsker Dü won’t flash his veteran status when he hits the stage. Even with a shorter set, I am sure we will hear some classics – just make sure you are there to witness it!
Bob Mould Website
Bob Mould Facebook
This West Virginia unit has a subtle smooth groove to their indie rock style that fits in with the like of Blitzen Trapper, Band of Horses and My Morning Jacket. Ona may not be a big name on the marquee but I guarantee that they will put on a great show. Their last record, American Fiction, has been out for about a year now and it still sounds great with its timeless roll. Also, its strategic use of pedal steel keeps me coming back. Ona should fit in perfect with the start of the festival evening.
Why go to a music festival if you don’t branch out some right? Well, Antibalas should be one of your branches this year. Born in a Brooklyn warehouse in 1997, this 12-piece ensemble helped introduce Afrobeat to a wider global audience, and is rumored to have a live show that is the stuff of legend. This should be a wild party at 7:45 and it would be ok to bring your dancing shoes. Antibalas is a true highlight of the Friday lineup!
Alright – so you need to show up early on Saturday to catch this rowdy indie/garage/punk group from Brooklyn. I think the group has a very Parquet Courts approach and sound which is what sucked me in. Honduras released their latest EP, Gathering Rust, back in March but have an already loaded catalog that goes back to 2014, so they will not be short on material. They are playing the free stage when no other music will be going on, so if you are planning to hit the festival at kick off – start with Honduras.
A band does not make it to their 20th anniversary without having some great music to back it up with. Joan Of Arc is one of those bands that pushes the limits and never really lands in just one genre. This should lead to a superb musically sound live show. Band leader Tim Kinsella now has his hands in multiple projects but if you ever get a chance to read his tour diary from last year, All Over And Over, (which documented the final full U.S. tour of his band Make Believe in 2006) you should look it up. It was an interesting read just like Joan Of Arc will be an interesting band to watch live.
Joan Of Arc Website
Joan Of Arc Facebook
If you really want to experience something completely different at MidPoint then Russian Circles is the stage you should be at Saturday night. They are a heavy instrumental band that has a substantial catalog. You can check out TFN review of their recently released record, Guidance, HERE. They most certainly will bring an exciting set and I believe Russian Circles are the most unique band in the MidPoint lineup.
Russian Circles Website
Russian Circles Facebook
Sargent House Records
The Harlequins are a psychedelic garage-pop trio that have been one of Cincinnati’s best indie secrets since they formed in 2007. They have four albums in their arsenal and have played MidPoint multiple times. The group has a solid new record out called One With You via Dizzybird Records which you can see the video for the single “Step Inside” below.
Royal Holland is the moniker for singer-songwriter Matt Mooney and he is from nearby Newport, KY. He for sure will be under the radar for many attending the festival this weekend. Don’t miss your chance to see his set on Friday because I guarantee you will be impressed with his honest folk rock and emotional delivery. Royal Holland has been compared to Elliot Smith and Jeff Mangum while logging over 10,000 touring miles and winning the 2014 Ohio Music Award for “Best Folk Album.” Mooney is set for a larger exposure and Friday will be your chance to say “I saw Royal Holland before…”
Royal Holland Website
Royal Holland Bandcamp
Royal Holland Facebook
Here is a band that dates back to the MTV days of playing music videos but if that is the last time you remember Nada Surf then it is time you reconnected. The group has released strong album after strong album that includes this year’s You Know Who You Are. The band also gained more guitar depth with the official addition of Guided By Voices’ Doug Gillard for the latest record and hopefully he will be in attendance since he recently joined back up with GBV. Regardless, this now veteran act will not disappoint and will not only own the stage but show why they are still relevant today.
Nada Surf Website
Nada Surf Facebook
For more information on the MidPoint Music Festival and ticket information click below.
MidPoint Music Festival Website
MidPoint Music Festival Facebook
MidPoint Music Festival Twitter
MidPoint Music Festival Instagram
-Feature by Christopher Anthony