Saturday’s Rosewood Crawfish Festival aims to bring families and friends together using one of the most tried and true social gathering formulas in the book – have an event sponsored 5k run, book some local and national bands, and serve up over 7,000 pounds of Cajun crawfish. So typical, right? (Wrong. Internet sarcasm disclaimer.)
Though the food options will be pulling most of the weight at this festival (again, 7,000 pounds worth), the music lineup brings a southern flavor that refuses to be ignored. Here’s a brief look at some of the bands that are sure to be highlights of the afternoon:
Will Hoge – If there was ever anyone I had to nominate to be the next Tom Petty, Will Hoge would be my man. Hailing from Nashville, Tenn., Hoge’s voice has a tone quality similar to Petty’s, though not nearly as nasally, which is a good thing. His lyrics have an unmistakable down-home feel and paint extremely approachable scenes of everyday life over a backdrop of country-tinged guitar lines and driving drum beats. There’s no doubt that Hoge’s set will be well received in a city where the vast majority of the listening public has an ear for country music.
Elonzo – The way Elonzo describes their own music on the band’s Myspace is as near-perfect a way possible to sum up their thematic material: “All of us are sitting around on our front porch, ruminating about the past, present and future.” The Rock Hill, S.C., based quartet’s sound is steeped in indie rock, using the simplistic layering between vocals, keys, and guitar parts to create a tight musical product that has a much larger presence than that of your typical four-person rock outfit. When I listen to their recordings, singer Jeremy Davis’ vocals have a captivating quality similar to that of Thom Yorke; that’s not to say that the band sounds like Radiohead by any means, just that Davis’ emotive vocals get the job done right.
Magnetic Flowers – Columbia’s own Magnetic Flowers bring a lyrically heavy brand of indie rock to a festival lineup that will be rife with catchy hooks atypical of their music (see Eve 6). Self-described as “literary pop,” the Magnetic Flowers’ music draws from a diverse pool of influences. Listening to songs off of What We Talk About When We Talk About What We Talk About, their most recent album, one can hear definite R.E.M.-like vibes, a little bit of Sister Hazel’s pop formula, and piano and vocal harmony interplay that harkens to the Avett Brothers.
Eve 6 – Ok, let’s get all psychotherapy on this one. Answer with the first thing that comes to mind after reading this – cajun-themed crawfish festival……………………it’s Eve 6, right?!?! While their inclusion on this particular festival bill doesn’t make much sense to me, the band’s late 90s and early millenium pop/rock dominance continues to provide enough fuel for them to remain a national touring act. I think their appearance on campus at USC in 2009 and my friends’ joking obsession with them for the following weeks completely ruined Eve 6 for me – I would have much rather put my own heart into a blender before hearing “Inside Out” blared from down the hall for the 100th time freshman year. That being said, their mainstream hits will surely please the drunken and crustacean-stuffed majority of the late-afternoon festival crowd.
The festival will be open to the public from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and will be located in a five block span of Rosewood Drive stretching from Harden Street to Holly Street. Tickets are $8 in advance through rosewoodcrawfishfestival.com and will be $12 at the gate.
Full Festival Lineup
Eve 6 / 6:15-7:45 p.m.
Will Hoge / 5:00-5:50 p.m.
Doug Jones Band / 3:00-3:40 p.m.
Charming Hala / 2:00-2:40 p.m.
Papa String Band / 1:00-1:40 p.m.
Jahson and the Natty Vibes Band / 12:00-12:40 p.m.
First Citizens’ Stage
Sensational Epics / 5:15-7:15 p.m.
Brother Josephus and the Love Revival Revolution Orchestra / 4:00-5:00 p.m.
Magnetic Flowers / 3:00-3:40 p.m.
The Long Miles / 2:00-2:40 p.m.
Elonzo / 1:00-1:40 p.m.
Tom Hall and the Plowboys / 12:00-12:40 p.m.