Day one of Oaktopia went off a little smoother than expected. This is my first time attending any multi-stage venue of this type, so I wasn’t sure what the layout was going to be like parking-wise as well as admittance. I was able to find a parking spot only a couple of blocks from The Square. Most of the day was spent at the Harvest House which had the best schedule for the bands I was most interested in seeing. I unfortunately missed Glasir, which was the first band scheduled, while trying to locate the Harvest House and then having to go back to The Square to acquire a wristband. I did, however, catch the rest of the bands scheduled to play at the Harvest House. Most of the bands were local, and, to be honest—with the exception of Kaela Sinclair—were bands whose tracks I’ve never heard of (save for doing some quick research on Bandcamp and Soundcloud to make sure they were bands I wanted to stick around for). The following artists and bands left the greatest impression on me.
Leoncarlo, a solo violinist from Denton, was second to play on the schedule. Creating a lush atmospheric sound, Leoncarlo is a one man symphony. Using loop-backs and sometimes finger-picking the violin, Leoncarlo converted the Harvest House into a whole other ethereal location. He finished his set with “Colossus” off of his live EP Colossus (For Lily).
Fourth in the lineup was Kaela Sinclair. Easily one of my favorite local artist to catch live. Kaela and her band performed songs off of the album Sun & Mirror (including my favorite: “Ghosts You’ve Won”) and even included a cover song, “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears, in their set. All songs were performed beautifully and Kaela and her band finished their set with “Coral Castles” the last track off of her latest album. I’m definitely glad that this band was part of the Oaktopia lineup.
Bayonne (formerly Roger Sellers), from Austin, took the stage next. Wow, this guy had some energy and the audience was more than happy and willing to return that energy back. He was a powerhouse and a spectacle to watch as a one man show—I mean, just look at the picture. With live percussion, beautiful piano melodies, audio clips, and amazing vocals, it was hard to stand still during his performance without feeling the sudden urge to move along with the music. Honestly, I can’t describe his music. It goes from avant-garde to indie that would be at home on your playlist next to “Fourth of July” by Sufjan Stevens and “Caperucita” by the First Aid Kit.
The last band that I wanted to check out was Felt & Fur playing at the Abbey Underground. Felt & Fur started their set ahead of schedule, so I might have missed out on a couple of songs. The last songs that I did catch had me definitely bobbing my head as the infectious combination of synths and beautiful vocals blended together perfectly. “Doom Disco” and “Funeral Pop”? Yeah, I can see that. The tracks were mostly dark and beautiful at the same time bringing to mind “#1 Crush” by Garbage. The best way to end the night.