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Tegan and Sara at High and Low Festival

tHeARTofLA got to check out Tegan and Sara at High and Low Festival on Saturday, September 9th at the NOS Event Center in San Bernadino, CA. Tegan and Sara are a rockin’ Canadian twin sister duo who just celebrated the 10 year anniversary of their indie/alternative rock classic, The Con. Their newest record, Love You To Death was released last summer.

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Check out the other articles on High & Low Festival

Overview – High and Low Festival at NOS Event Center in San Bernadino, CA

The Hard Times Comedy Room at High and Low Festival

Bad Suns at High and Low Festival

Best Coast at High and Low Festival

Now, Now at High and Low Festival

Kevin Devine at High and Low Festival

Death Cab For Cutie at High and Low Festival

Brand New at High and Low Festival

 

Overview – High and Low Festival at NOS Event Center in San Bernadino, CA 

The inaugural High & Low Festival hosted by K-ROQ was an exciting hotbed for alternative and indie music on multiple stages inside and outside along with live comedy curated by The Hard Times featuring popular and emerging talents in San Bernardino at NOS Event Center on September 9. The comedy acts will be reviewed in a separate article following this overview of the bands that performed at the High & Low Festival.

High and Low Fest, Saturday, September 9, 2017, NOS Event Center San Bernadino, CA

Many attendees found comfort, relief and cooled off from the heat sitting on the grass in shady areas lined large trees and some tented places around the festival grounds and inside the fan-cooled Side Stage and Comedy Room.

There were a number of vendors selling CDs, concert merchandise and more. On-site, the festival provided food, snacks, drinks, cocktails, and beer for sale and several food trucks offered even more choices.

As the sweltering and humid temperatures soared back the 90-degree mark, the diverse and eclectic lineup of music sizzled and sparked the interest of the thousands of concertgoers that attended.

Brand New, Death Cab For Cutie, Tegan & Sara, Best Coast, Andrew McMahon, Bad Suns, Coin and Kevin Devine performed on the Main Stage. Other notable acts include Pup, Citizen, Cloud Nothings, Now, Now, (Sandy) Alex G, Jessica Hernandez,  Charly Bliss and Elder Brother on the Side Stage.

theartofla.com saw a number of bands do their full set lists and others we got a glimpse of. Still, we got to experience the vibe and flavor of the music. It was a rich and satisfying experience for every fan to see maybe acts they weren’t so familiar, and with the bands, they knew so well, that they enthusiastically sang along to very song lyric and danced often to the music.

On the side stage, we got to check out Elder Brother, Charly Bliss and Now, Now.

Elder Brother is the indie rock side-project from East Bay, CA and includes Kevin Geyer (The Story So Far) and Dan Rose (Daybreaker) with in-studio assistance from Matthew and Charles Vincent (The American Scene). They have a melodic, level-head sound with a lyrical focus on self-reflection. Their songs offer anthemic hooks and breezy riffs with dynamic indie guitar work. The wonderful and poignant “Who Is Going To Carry You Home” from their 2014 LP, “Heavy Head” on Pure Noise Records was touching and deep. This song was the final number their earnest, well-intentioned but sonically uneven, ultimately muddled sounding set.

Charly Bliss is a four-piece power pop band from Brooklyn, NY. The group includes Eva Hendricks (vocals and guitar), Spencer Fox (vocals, guitar), Sam Hendricks (drums), and Dan Shure (bass) Charles Bliss has opened for alt-rock bands Sleater-Kinney and Veruca Salt. In 2014, they released a three-song EP along with a three-part music video and a comic book trilogy. The band released a new single, “Glitter” in February. Their debut full-length album, Guppy, was released in April.

Dressed like a cheerleader, Eva Hendricks burst onto the stage with upbeat and peppy performance singing in what can be described as sort of high-pitched super girly voice. Their sound has been characterized as breathing new life into the poppier side of 1990s indie rock that is both wry and sincere. Watching the dynamic guitar interplay and chemistry between Hendrick and Spencer was fun to watch and definitely a highlight in an animated set.

Now Now – High and Low Fest, Saturday, September 9, 2017, NOS Event Center San Bernadino, CA

Now, Now, formerly known as Now, Now Every Children, is an American indie rock duo formed in Blaine, Minnesota and based in Minneapolis. The band is composed of Cacie Dalager (vocals, guitar, keyboard) and Bradley Hale (drums, backing vocals). Now, Now offers up dreamlike pop with an indie bang. The sound is notable for clipped acoustic guitar progression, subtle vocal manipulation and slowly-building layers of atmospheric guitar effects. In concert, Dalager utilizes her voice with hiccups, coos, sighs, and shouts demonstrating its elasticity. There was a drive and intensity to vigorous performance that held one’s interest throughout their energetic show.

On the Main Stage, we saw Kevin Devine, Bad Suns, Andrew McMahon, Best Coast, Tegan & Sara, Death Cab For Cutie and Brand New.
Kevin Devine – High and Low Fest, Saturday, September 9, 2017, NOS Event Center San Bernadino, CA

Kevin Devine is a singer/songwriter and musician from Brooklyn, New York. Devine is known for introspective and political themes in his songs. In 2016, he released his ninth album Instigator. Live, Devine was the embodiment of being a troublemaker and instigator in not so subtle ways, but with that New York punky in-face attitude provoking and trying to pry a reaction out of the audience. Musically he can’t be denied: his chops are with unquestionably excellent. His songs are original, catchy, fun and smart. They are completely memorable after one listen. Devine is a natural frontman/ringleader and his backing band is really good.

Bad Suns – High and Low Fest, Saturday, September 9, 2017, NOS Event Center San Bernadino, CA

Bad Suns are a rock band formed in 2012, which consists of Christo Bowman, Gavin Bennett, Miles Morris and Ray Libby. A majority of the band members are from Los Angeles. They released their debut album, Language & Perspective, in 2014. Their sound takes its inspiration from the 1970s and 1980s post-punk pioneers like The Cure and Elvis Costello. Bad Suns’ sophomore album was released in 2016, Disappear Here.

The band, lead by singer Christo Bowman, gave a heartfelt, sincere, no-frills performance that was crowd-pleasing. They engaged the audience frequently, but held their own at the same time, as artists remaining independent and self-possessed. They didn’t try too hard to make a connection or overcompensate because of the size of the festival.

Andrew McMahon is a singer/songwriter. He was the vocalist, pianist and primary lyricist for the band’s Something Corporate and main songwriter for Jack’s Mannequin and performs solo both under his own name as well as his moniker, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness. In 2013, he debuted his first solo work, an EP titled The Pop Underground, which was followed by his debut album Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, released in 2014. His second solo album, Zombies on Broadway, was released in 2017.

McMahon is outgoing and exuberant. The creative frontman is known for reinventing himself and can’t be pigeonholed. His show High & Low Festival was a virtual lovefest with the audience. Rumor had it that in every show in every city, he performs in, the set list is different.

Best Coast – High and Low Fest, Saturday, September 9, 2017, NOS Event Center San Bernadino, CA

Best Coast is an American rock duo formed in Los Angeles, California in 2009. The band consists of songwriter, guitarist and vocalist Bethany Cosentino and guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno. They indie pop, rock, jangle pop and lo-fi music. They have released Crazy For You (2014), The Only Place (2012), California Nights (2015) and two EPs: Fade Away (2013) and Summer Is Forever (2011).

Best Coast is known for writing amazing pop-rock songs in 2-3 minute formats. The style is light but the lyrics dig deeper: tinged with sadness. Onstage at the High & Low Festival, Bethany Cosentino excluded a raw coolness and personified a rock and roll vibe. She wore a groovy tan pantsuit and had on retro sunglasses.

Tegan & Sara – High and Low Fest, Saturday, September 9, 2017, NOS Event Center San Bernadino, CA

The Canadian indie pop duo Tegan and Sara are identical sisters are singer/songwriters and multi-instruments. They’ve had an 18-year-career and been the critical’s darlings and are openly gay. Speaking of which, they dedicated to anyone queer in the audience, the song, Boyfriend. Tegan and Sara also sang Nineteen dedicating it to their grandmother. Their likable set featured a number of catchy synth-pop songs.

The vaudevillian, off-the-cuff playful onstage banter was worth the price of admission. Their witty conversations with audiences seem real and never rehearsed. They wanted everyone to know they are grown up but grown-up ladies. They don’t “perform,” they are just being themselves. Even where they stood onstage became the focal point for a joke. Tegan stood next to something resembling a body part shaped like a T and Sara stood next to another floatable object shaped like a body part which was shaped like an S. It being a festival, Tegan and Sara managed to work in pot smoking jokes into their comedic routine saying they were getting a contact high being from the audience.

Death Cab for Cutie – High and Low Fest, Saturday, September 9, 2017, NOS Event Center San Bernadino, CA

Death Cab For Cutie is an alternative rock band from Seattle, WA. The group features Ben Gibbard, Nick Harmer, Dave Depper, Zac Rae and Jason McGerr. The band set was a fan’s dream setlist featuring all their greatest hits: I Will Follow You Into The Dark, Soul Meets Body, I Will Possess Your Heart, Cath and more. All well-crafted and radio-friendly material performed with instrumental prowess, but the songs tended to sort blend into one another. Therefore, they became monotonous and repetitious sounding. When the band took a break from performing to speak to the audience, the singer/guitarist Ben Gibbard made a joke about being a wimpy band compared to the others on the bill and thanked the High & Low Festival for the invitation to perform there. It seemed like a moment of self-doubt coming from an established band possibly seeing younger acts move up in the ranks and steal some of their thunder. Maybe this will inspire the band creativity to venture outside its box and cast out the formula.

BRAND NEW – High and Low Fest, Saturday, September 9, 2017, NOS Event Center San Bernadino, CA

Formed in 2000, the headliner, rockers/post-punk Brand New, featuring Jesse Lacey, Vin Accardi, Brian Lane and Garrett Tierney, dramatically descended upon the stage with an epic and spectacular stage show with brilliant, compelling and controversy visuals elements and phenomenal lights utilizing all color schemes and effects. The towering high-voltage rock sound with its signature razor-sharp guitar riffs was the main ingredient in this unforgettable show. Brand New released Science Fiction their first album in nine years in 2017.

At the High & Low Festival, fans traveled from all over the U.S. to see the band perform in what is rumored to be either hiatus from its long and successful career or ending the group permanently. Either way, if this was last show they did or were taking an extended break, Brand New would certainly be going out on the top, based on this uniquely conceptualized performance and breaking more “new” ground.

From the Main Stage to the Second Stage, all the musical acts contributed to the success of the High & Low Festival, from emerging up-and-coming talent to established veteran acts. There was something for every indie and alternative music fan. This bodes well for festivals planned going forward as possibly concertgoers will be talking about what a good time they had to their friends. Thereby, spreading the word through social media building the momentum to create more excitement and enthusiasm for the next one.

Check out the other articles on High & Low Festival
The Hard Times Comedy Room at High and Low Festival
Bad Suns at High and Low Festival
Best Coast at High and Low Festival
Now, Now at High and Low Festival
Kevin Devine at High and Low Festival
Tegan and Sara at High and Low Festival
Death Cab For Cutie at High and Low Festival
Brand New at High and Low Festival

 

Festival director Laura Wise talks about the feminine energy within Mothership

Since 2014, MOTHERSHIP Women’s Festival & Retreat has become a special and sacred place for women to convene in Coachella Valley, CA. The three-day overnight event, which will take place from October 13-15, is billed as “one-of-a-kind camping experience is designed to bring together art, music, culture, education, philanthropy, and feminism.” It offers events by day such as tattoos, sexual health workshops, tarot, self-defense, songwriting, yoga and more.

This year, MOTHERSHIP has partnered with the Tegan and Sara Foundation, a non-profit that helps women and girls of all ages. A portion of festival’s proceeds will be donated to the organization. In addition to special appearances by Tegan and Sara, a number of other artists and talents will include Farrow, Madame Ghandhi, WASI, LP Giobbi, Dirty Rich Kidd, Lea Beiley, Halle Johnson, Little Indian, Madison Paige, Bounce House, Goodboy and more.

Recently, tHeARTofla caught up the MOTHERSHIP creator and director Laura Wise to get an in-depth look putting the event together. Wise also spoke at length about feminism and activism and how it intimately connects to MOTHERSHIP. Wise also gave her insights as to why she feels this event creates a welcoming space for all female voices to be heard, effectively combating sexism in a positive and empowering way.

MOTHERSHIP

How have the MOTHERSHIP FEST been evolving and growing since its inception in 2014?

MOTHERSHIP started as a small feminist fest in Los Angeles. I started it because I felt like there was a gap in feminist events. We needed a way to get people excited about activism and feminism again. The people who were showing up to feminist panels were already interested in the movement. I wanted to find an enticing way to bring L.A. women into the feminist movement. Because I knew when they arrived, I knew they would be here to stay.

Our event now is much larger. It’s a destination festival in Coachella, California. We anticipate anywhere from 600-800 women attending the festival this year. We have brought in lots of unique and talented women to speak, perform and sprinkle in their magic onto the event.

How did you go about creating the topics for the workshops and panels? Would you say the current political climate has influenced certain workshops and panels more than before?

I always want MOTHERSHIP to have plenty of fun events and entertainment, but I always wanted to include more workshops and panels with a little more meat. I think we will talk more about direct actions we can take this year. We’ve involved with some smart lawyers to get into the legalities of activism and the ways to defend yourself against political injustice.

Could you discuss the topics of them more in detail?

We have so many workshops and panels this year! We have workshops on poetry, progressive relaxation, solo travel, self-defense and much more! We also have special workshops on a variety of topics from women’s sexuality in the media to an intimate discussion with Tegan and Sara!

Who will be the guest speakers on the panels?

So many strong women will speak, from different spheres as well in art, business, design, music, etc. Tegan and Sara will be speaking to how women can empower themselves in the music world. We are welcoming the editor-in-chief at NYLON.com, Gabrielle Korn, renowned artists Tasya Van Ree, TV Personality Whitney Mixter, trans activist Eli Erlick and designer/author Nicolette Mason to name a few.

Can you talk about the artists performing at this year’s FEST?

WASI is a pop-punk duo from LA. We love them and they have grown with us every year of the fest. Little Indian is an amazing producer and DJ. Madame Gandhi wrote “The Future is Female” and will be headlining.

How did you decide to choose those artists?

Music festivals overall have a huge sexism problem. Not only do many women at festivals report sexual assault and rape, but also over half of the music festival attendees are women and that’s not reflected on stage. At MOTHERSHIP, I want to combat that by putting all women on stage and creating spaces for these amazing female performers and voices to be heard.

How did Tegan and Sara get onboard this year and tie in their inclusive organization to women of all ages?

Tegan and Sara will be onsite at the event to partially benefit their new organization that benefits the justice and empowerment of LGBT Women and Girls. Our event is 21+ but we always work with a non-profit that benefits women directly. To me, the Tegan and Sara Foundation was a no-brainer because they are going to do great things.

Can you discuss the drum circle and mediation more? How has it brought all the women together that participate in the FEST?

We have a yoga tent that is created to unwind and relax in. All of our spiritual and wellness events that take place there are typically in the morning to ease into the day. In the afternoon, we move into more active events like self-defense classes and musical jam sessions.

What has the feedback and response been like from the attendees?

Last year, the biggest complaint was people wanted it to be longer. We aren’t ready to add another day just yet, but we did extend out hours this year. We also changed locations and it will be on a beautiful lake this year.

Can you talk about the attendees and are they coming from all over the U.S.?

Last year, we have attendees from Australia and Europe as well as almost all 50 states. Most attendees are from California as it is more accessible for them, but we are seeing a huge variety of participants. I think partially because we have an active Instagram community of feminists from around the world.

 

High and Low Festival to Takeover Southern California

Introducing High and Low Festival, a full day concert experience with multiple stages that is confirmed to take place at the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino, CA on Saturday, September 9th, 2017. The festival, which is presented by KROQ, includes headliner Brand New, Death Cab For Cutie, Tegan and Sara and more. In addition to music, The Hard Times will be curating a comedy area that will feature popular and emerging comics.
High and Low Festival comes from the mind of Andy Serrao, producer of many successful Southern California festivals and owner of Chain Reaction. A reflection of both Serrao’s personal listening tastes and the very nature of music, he says the festival’s name has multiple meanings. “Sonically, music has highs and lows, and emotional highs and lows, and with the California topography, we have the mountains, the desert and the ocean,” says Serrao. “The name High & Low fit for us, with the vision for where we wanted to go. Great music has got me through every aspect of my life. With every high and every low, came a soundtrack in my head that defined my life. This festival is a good representation of artists that do this for myself, and tons of other people.”
High and Low concertgoers can expect a festival with a coherent, cohesive identity, crafted by someone who truly understands what makes a live performance great.
General admission and VIP tickets for the festival will go on sale Friday, May 26th.
To view details and purchase tickets, head to www.highandlowfest.com
Follow High and Low Festival on social media for day-to-day updates on the festival: