SHOW REVIEW: Foothills Fest (Cauldron Point, Conflicts, Via Luna, and more)

Foothills Fest 2013

Amongst a day full of erratic weather, including blistering heat in the afternoon and torrential downpours in the evening, Foothills Fest arose to display the best up-and-coming talent the Midwest has to offer.

Last Saturday, flocks of musicians, artists and fans alike gathered in Mid-Missouri to deliver a day full of varieties of surprises. From the unexpected tsunami of rain that washed through the event come mid-festival to the pure and honest music bellowing across the crowd, it was a day that could keep even the most experienced festival-goer on their toes.

The day began interestingly enough with Missouri-based hip-hop duo YSC, an energetic collaboration of young artists both making their debut at Foothills Fest. YSC battled through the heat of the afternoon, rapping catchy hooks, keeping the fans entreatingly engaged. The energy of YSC rolled into the next set, which contained St. Joseph pop-punk trio, Airport Novels. Despite the temperature rising, this youthfully energetic three-piece did everything they could to keep the crowd interested, giving the festival a solid set.

The day proceeded to local psychedelic artist, Indian Giver. As the sun blared down on the crowd, Indian Giver provided a calming relief. The soothingly mellow and simplistic tunes of this borderline-folk/borderline-experimental artist proved to be the break the crowd needed before headed into what they expected to be the bulk of the festival. Jib Jab Jones and the Indigo Circus took the stage next; normally an angst-filled acoustic act, Jib Jab performed his honest and spiteful songs with a full band successfully backing him, stirring a positive buzz amongst the attendees and other artists.

The day grew more interesting as scene newcomer Toy Instruments, took the stage for a debut performance. Blaring smooth guitar riffs along side simple and catchy melodies proved this band to be the true surprise of the festival. Not only did Toy Instruments bring the rock and roll to Foothills Fest, but they also brought the rain. Just as the set concluded, an intense blast of rainfall came to drown the entire festival, putting momentum to a pause.

As festival heads heatedly discussed their options as to what to do, the rain continued to pour. Alas! The show will go on — a local business opened its doors to the fest and the entire event literally packed up and moved indoors. After a surprisingly smooth few hours of re-location logistics and makeshift jamming, the show continued.

Mime Game opened the indoor portion of festivities with an intimate acoustic performance, providing a dose of outstanding and seasoned songwriting. Hailing from Kansas City and fronted by former Josephine Collective brainchild, Mime Game is one of the fastest moving up-and-coming acts from the Midwest. Another act coming from the heart of America you do not want to sleep on. As Mime Game broke from a set full of diverse numbers, local heroes We Make Noise took the stage. After giving themselves a much needed beer bath (who wants to be covered in water, anyway?), the acoustic-punk trio took the stage, ripping into songs old and new. The most unique sound of the festival, We Make Noise did what they do best; entertain an entire crowd of people, who hang on every single one of their words.

After We Make Noise came another standout act: Kansas City-based experimental rock outfit Via Luna. Comprised of a group of ridiculously talented musicians, Via Luna produced a full sound, showing true composition and musicianship. It would be found difficult to find a single dull moment during this band’s set, giving their sheer talent as a whole.  Conflicts proceeded, unleashing their brand of high energy and engrossingly heavy metal. Also hailing from Kansas City, Conflicts practically brought the entire building down with such an intense performance. The only metal band on the entire bill, these guys made sure they would not be forgotten.

Host band and headliners, Cauldron Point closed the day with blistering success. Part Fall of Troy and part Anatomy of a Ghost, this trio finished the day in a memorable manner. Giving the fans a true burst of energy and entertainment, Cauldron Point made sure Foothills Fest would be one for the memories. Neither rain nor shine could stop such a group of passionate and dedicated musicians from delivering a festival worth the battle. Only time will tell what Mother Nature brings to the battle next year for Foothills Fest.

Review written by: Matthew Leimkuehler

*Photo credit to HNF Photography

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