ACRN's Popfest: Margot and Vanderslice
Every Spring the college radio station here at Ohio University hosts a myriad of free and almost free concerts. Despite ACRN being a web-only radio station, they are able to bring in some great artists. Last year at Lobsterfest (the radio station's mascot is the "Rock Lobster" a la B52's) I was lucky enough to see Saturday Looks Good to Me, Owen and Matt Pond PA all for free one afternoon. This weekend here at OU I got to see a stellar set by Margot and the Nuclear So and So's for free on Saturday night and then paid a mere $5 to catch St. Vincent and John Vanderslice.
All the performances were great. I was a bit saddened at the turn out for these shows because it's a campus of 25,000 people and you'd think college kids would be the target market for such great indie rock, but alas I forget that I am in my own little indie world sometimes and that people don't know about such bands as much as I might think. I also don't think it was advertised as well as it should have been, plus the weather was absurdly rainy and windy Saturday night. Regardless, great music, small crowds, along with Ohio's new public smoking ban made for enjoyable concert going for me.
Margot and the Nuclear So and So's had 8 musicians on stage, including 3 guitars, drummer, percussionist, keyboardist, trumpet player and violinist. They really impressed me and I definitely feel like more of a fan now than I had before. St Vincent I had only heard a totally of 2 or 3 songs by before I saw her. She is amazingly talented though and I see big things ahead for her. Her guitar skills were definitely impressive. She's like a rock 'n' roll Audrey Hepburn. And of course John Vanderslice I had seen before a number of years ago, but I had not remembered him as quite as personable and as infectiously smiley-faced as he was last night. His songs were great and he played all my favorites, including a great rendition of "Nikki, Oh Nikki" with the help of St. Vincent. I couldn't have asked for more.
Some John Vanderslice tracks for your enjoyment: