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I walked in Saturday able to catch the last few songs by Grizfolk, the Los Angeles based alternative rock band with
Swedish roots. What I heard left me seeking more online and I look forward to the opportunity to see them live again.
Also on the bill was Finish Ticket, the Alameda/San Francisco group who originated while still in high school, took a
college break and reformed the band only to find themselves opening for the likes of The Black Keys, Twenty One
Pilots and fellow PromoWest artist, Fitz & the Tantrums. With their energetic stage presence and indie-pop sounds,
they will certainly make a name for themselves on their own merit.
Holy White Hounds is what I would call just a good ol’ hard rock band. No 'alt,' 'indie' or 'pop' on these guys who hail
from Des Moines, Iowa. They’ve been on the scene for about 10 years and lead vocalist/guitarist Brenton Dean told
the crowd, “I’ve been at his for awhile now so I’m not picturing you all naked from the waist down if you get what I
mean,which means you all must be that special kind of beautiful and that’s the best kind.”
The band gave props to local Columbus' radio station 99.7 The Blitz for spinning their tune “Switchblade.” I met up with
the guys later on while walking the festival and they were very animated and funny, yet humble and appreciative of the
fans and compliments.
Lindsey Stirling came out on stage dressed in red plump pig tails, a white and black checkered shorts jumpsuit, black
knee high socks with silver glittered high top shoes. She bounced, glided, and acrobatically danced across the stage
while playing poppy violin music with her clear 'half' of a violin. I’m guessing this unique violin pays homage to her
humble upbringing where her parents could only afford ‘half’ violin lessons to which her instructor argued that there
was no way a child could learn violin in only 15 minutes a week; I would love to ask that teacher what she thought now.
While Stirling herself doesn’t provide vocal work, she recently was asked to collaborate with Andrew McMahon and
the Wilderness to record “Something Wild” for the newest Disney remake of Pete’s Dragon. Entertaining to watch and
listen, Stirling is definitely an act worth getting to know. A 'big sound' and performance for the likes of Trans-Siberian
Orchestra fans. Solo artist and Shiny Toy Guns' vocalist Carah Faye made a special guest appearance to perform
"Shatter Me" onstage with Stirling.
All Time Low, a pop-punk band from the burbs of Baltimore hit the Pepsi stage--well MOST of the band was on stage
while lead guitarist/backing vocalist, Jack Barakat, ended up playing IN the crowd for quite some time and emerging
with a couple fan autographed bras hanging from his guitar. Later, while on stage, he flipped his guitar over showing
a sign expressing his love for the Biebs!
The band engaged the crowd even more when lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist, Alex Gaskarth began expressing that
“It was so hot my penis has gone back into...” as he was cut off from a fellow band mate so we never heard where his
penis went. Gaskarth addressed the people standing on the apartment balconies by inviting the PromoWest Fest
crowd to their place for an orgy later. Gaskarth and Barakat also hosted the Third Annual AP Music Awards in
Columbus at The Schottenstein Center on Monday.
The highlight of my weekend occurred between 6:45-7:45 p.m. when DJ Z-Trip began spinning familiar tunes from
Biz Markie, DJ Kool, Beastie Boys, and Kurtis Blow: preparing the crowd for LL Cool J. “I Need Love” was iconic of
my youth and I was thrilled to watch this performer, rapper and actor sing basically a Greatest Hits' album in that hour.
LL opened with “Mama Said Knock You Out” and added all the favorites like “Going Back to Cali,” “Rock the Bells,”
“Doin’ It,” “Around the Way Girl,” “I’m Bad” and more. During “I Need Love” he handed long stemmed roses into the
crowd and afterwards decided to have an 'Ozzy moment' as he said, and bit the red flower head off and spit it out!
My inner 12 year old came out while I sang loud, proud and danced and grooved to the likes of Mr. Cool James.
Saturday ended with another iconic performer, Snoop Dogg. His face graced the center of a giant red, yellow and
green ‘dollar bill' adorned with pot leaf corners and smoking J’s along the bottom as the stage’s backdrop. His sinewy
self sauntered melodically out on stage singing crowd favorites and tracks from his latest album Coolaid. Truly a great
way to conclude the second day of the first ever PromoWest Fest in Columbus.
PromoWest Fest : Day Two
McFerson Commons : Columbus, Ohio Arena District : July 16, 2016