Shindig Fest 2014

October 10th, 2014 by Lauren Puleo


Shindig Fest Shindig Fest 2014

Shindig Fest was, well, quite the shindig. Seriously, I’m talking circle pits and bass so loud it could knock over a toddler. Hosted in Carroll Park, Baltimore, this music festival drew out thousands of hard rock fans to see a solid line-up, including Jane’s Addiction, Rise Against, and Gogol Bordello.

Gogol Bordello actually had a surprisingly good set. I’ve always loved “Start Wearing Purple” for it’s quirkiness, but I’ve never considered myself a Gogol Bordello fan. So you can imagine that I was pleasantly surprised to see these guys (and gals) take charge of the crowd the way they did. They looked like they were having just as much fun as the audience was. While they still had that feel of a glorified bar band, they were able to engage a fairly large audience. So kudos to them. Plus when “Start Wearing Purple” came on, everyone went crazy. Which was surprising because I wouldn’t have expected anybody to even know it.

As soon as Gogol Bordello muted the last note of their set, Rise Against came out guns blazing with “Ready To Fall”, a song off their 2008 album Appeal to Reason. At first they had a lot of tone problems, and the guitars completely drowned out the vocals. By the time they played “I Don't Want To Be Here Anymore” off Black Market, everything was in check. This song live might just be better than it is on the record. The stadium-grade speakers definitely helped fill out the sound and emphasize the contrast between the bridge and the chorus.

Another notable track from Rise Against was “Prayer of the Refugee” (duh). Honestly, the crowd didn’t even need Tim McIlrath’s vocals. It could have been a karaoke version and nobody would have known the difference. That was probably the most energy I had seen out of the crowd all night… until they played “Savior”. Any self-respecting Rise Against fan would have expected this to be the final song, but I think the three-minute guitar solo came out of left field for everyone. While it drew out anticipation of the final verse just a tad too long, it made for a pretty epic vocal drop.

Jane’s Addiction had the final slot of the evening, and they approached their set in a very different manner than the two bands that preceded them. Rather than starting at a sprint, they eased into their set with a drawn-out bass riff that slowly morphed into a coherent “Summertime Rolls”. The second song of their set was “Super Hero”, and as expected, Mr. Dave Navarro shredded quite nicely on the guitar. “Jane Says” was very heavy on the steel drum, and they actually slowed it down even more than the studio version. The only real mistake the band made was playing both “Jane Says” and “Been Caught Stealing” before the end of the set. Most people stuck around at least for a Fishbone cameo appearance, but by the time 11pm rolled around, many people were already on the way to their cars. All in all, though, these guys had a solid performance.

If you’re a hard rock or punk fan, then you definitely need to check out this music festival. Shindig 2015? Sign me up.




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