4onthefloor, Bethany Larson and the Bees Knees, Bruce Springsteen, Gabriel Douglas, Indie, Indie Music, Koo Koo Kangaroo, Maudlin, Melismatics, Midwest Music Festival, Minnesota, MMFest, MPLS Music, Music Fest, Rock, Savannah Smith, Tom Petty, Winona, Winona Arts Center
Back at home after a couple of days in Winona at the Midwest Music Festival; twelve bands in two days is a great way to take in a lot of music. Festival shows are nice because they are short and sweet; we attended multiple locations so we also got to see a lot of Winona. Thanks Winona for a great weekend, we will definitely be back next year!! Now onto reviews of some of the shows from Saturday.
Koo Koo Kangaroo-so how do you describe Koo Koo Kangaroo? They do kids songs but provide adult humor and are loved by kids and adults alike. They led us through their hits like “LMNOP” and “Awesome Rainbows”; and do you remember those parachutes we played with in elementary school, they have one of those two. Both the kids and the adults were up for this and it was a perfect addition to the Earth Day Festival that was being held at the same time.
Savannah Smith-Gabriel Douglas of 4onthefloor recommended we check her out and I was glad we did. An angelic voice combine with a ukalele; Savannah sang songs of heartbreak and covers by Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen; that was definitely the best cover of “Dancing in the Dark” I have ever heard. Her stage presence really showed her personality and how adoreable she really is.
Bethany Larson and the Bee’s Knees-they performed at the Winona Arts Center; a former church (one of those little white ones you see on small town corners) and the acoustics really helped with their set. They were rushed on stage because the band before went fifteen minutes long but after a quick setup they delivered a great set even with a slightly different lineup; Bethany’s brother’s wife was giving birth so he missed the show. Another reason to like local musicians is their flexibility, members can move positions and not miss a beat. Bethany delivered a strong performance with great vocals that sounded like real country, not the canned stuff you hear on the radio today. Keep up the good work Bethany.
Melismatics-I think they were a little upset about the lack of an audience; as I was surprised also I was supporting better support for the bands that traveled to the show on Saturday night. A suprisingly musically tight group I was really impressed by their show. They have great pop sensibilities and an excellent stage presence. What I know is next time I want to see them with a full crowd I bet a very good performance would turn into a great performance.
Maudlin-this was the second time I have seen them in the last month and they continue to impress. Another strong performance by the trio shows that you only really need three members of band to make a power-pop song work. The set was short and sweet plus we were treated to a couple of new songs that I suspect will be on the new album that they begin working on soon. When I think of Maudlin and the Melismatics I wonder why they don’t have bigger followings; they seem to have the ingredients for much larger success. Let’s see what happens now that the Melismatics have a new album out and Maudlin is working on one.