Inaugural music festivals can be a tricky. You need a mix of just the right elements: good music, tasty food, and broad promotion. The Jersey Music Festival had two of the three going for them. The biggest downfall was that there was this great music event going on that no one really knew about.
According to the Asbury Park Press 5,000 tickets for the festival were sold. However, when you looked around the large fenced off concrete parking it looked like there were less than a 1,000 people at the show. Maybe it was the heat wave that keep people away from the show. Despite the low numbers, this day long festival featured a plethora of music that would satisfy many festival goers tastes. The five stages placed strategically across the festival grounds showcased a lot of talented acts. Here are ESBM’s highlights:
Audio Machine– This NJ based hard rock band packs a punch with their infectious and moshadelic sounds. They rocked festival goers to the core.
The Careless Kids– The Toms River, NJ quintet features beautiful vocals paired with gritty, rock, and roll that made for an good time. They interacted well with the crowd with their dancers getting concert goers involved in the show.
Julian Fulton & The Zombie Gospel – I stumbled upon Julian Fulton and the Zombie Gospel when going to see another band at the Skyland stage. The crowd gathered around the stage was dancing and singing to the charismatic lo-fi indie rock. Their energetic performance was only topped by their catchy rhythms and harmonies.
The Fax Machine Situation – With a name like The Fax Machine Situation, I was intrigued to hear what the band sounded like. I was pleasantly surprised by the piano-based ballads incorporating slick rock n’ roll.
The Porchistas – The Montclair, NJ quartet brought a sense of delight with their feel good rock n’ roll. Their music blends the best of rock, folk, punk, and jazz to make a unique and loveable sound.
Midnight Mosaic – Midnight Mosaic lit up the night with their pulsating soul infused rock n’ roll. The band rocked out and got the crowd involved dancing with concert goers.
Echo Movement – Echo movement is a band perfect for the summertime festival. Their smooth reggae rocked the crowd wih their smooth reggae vibes. They performed an interesting rendition of Sublime’s “Santeria” to the lyrics of John Lennon’s “Imagine.”
The Racer – The Monroe, NY quintet caught my ears as I was grazing through the festival grounds. I was instantly captivated by their tunes. With influences like Radiohead, My Morning Jacket, and Brand New, they have crafted a sensational sound that is catchy combining the best of rock and pop.
Brick + Mortar Every time I have seen Brick + Mortar I continue to be impressed by their hypnotic blend of electronica rock. They pair guitars, drums, and slick sampled beats to create a gritty, brash sound that you will not want to get out of your head.
River City Extension – Watching River City Extension is always a good time. The band not only looks like they are having a blast on stage but they play some darn good music. They pair folk music with some great indie beats for a sound that is unparallelled.
The Front Bottoms – The NJ indie rockers were finally able to play after the thunder and lightning subsided to chants from the crowd egging them to get on stage. They played a full set of their eclectic indie fused punk rock. The crowd was singing along in unison to their humorous lyrics.
The Hush Sound – The Chicago quartet helped close the night with their dancy, delectable indie pop. The crowd was going wild for their light-hearted sounds.
Overall, it was a fun day at the ballpark.