5 Bands You Cannot Miss This Weekend at Pinelands Music Festival
Let’s be real here: it’s the end of August, move-in day is fast approaching and we’re all getting a little tired of the usual New Jersey summer nightlife. We’ve spent countless Tuesday nights straggling through Bar A and Asbury Park, leaving behind unreal amounts of sand in our cars. Our bank account anxiety is at an all-time high. We’re in desperate need to shake it up and make the most of our precious remaining summer. The Pinelands Music Festival, celebrating its first year with an awesome slew of bands this Saturday in Millville, New Jersey, looks like the perfect solution.
The festival, organized by music industry veteran Nick Delouise, will borrow the grounds of the New Jersey Motorsports Park on Saturday to bring attendees a day full of music, food trucks, and go-kart racing. With more than 25 bands to choose from, an eclectic lineup of some of the best new indie bands, local punk bands, and just about everything in between are poised to take the stage. Emily tells us about TRIM’s 5 favorites so you know where to start when you’re figuring out your schedule for the day.
#1: X AMBASSADORS
I first heard about these guys a few years ago when they started out touring with Lights. It wasn’t until their debut LP, VHS, was released that I truly fell in love. Jeep put their single “Renegades” in a commercial, and the rest was history. The track skyrocketed to grab the #1 spot on alternative radio in just a week. These guys have gotten a lot of comparisons to Imagine Dragons, but I wouldn’t say it’s a bad thing - both bands bring such an incredible energy to their music that it’s kind of hard not to draw a comparison. The guys in X Ambassadors made the best of the association, collaborating with Imagine Dragons on “Fear”, one of the tracks off the record. The interludes between songs on the record evoke a strong sense of nostalgia that tell an interlaced story, which creates a contrast that really helps some of the songs on VHS to stand on their own. It won’t be long before the X Ambassadors are high up on the bill on major festivals like Firefly and Governor’s Ball, so take the opportunity now to catch them now so you can brag to all of your friends that you knew about them first.
For those of you still clinging to the glory days of the bands of your middle school years like The Starting Line, I know it’s hard to fill the void. Kenny Vasoli, TSL’s frontman, formed Vacationer and you should give them a chance! (Don’t think of it as cheating on The Starting Line, but instead as getting into something new to help you while you pine for their next record). Vacationer is the ideal summer jam band, perfect for long drives and bonfire nights. They’re lighthearted, easy listening, and will inevitably leave you in good spirits.
#3: YOUNG STATUES
There’s always been something about Young Statues’ music that makes me feel like I’m wrapped up in a dream. Carmen Cirignano’s vocals dance in and out of echoing choruses and evoke memories of previous summers and sweeter days. I haven’t seen them live since their stint at the Acoustic Basement Tent on the Vans Warped Tour last summer, so watching them live again will be a real treat. Check out their records The Flatlands Are Your Friend and Young Statues, which are both streaming now.
#4: YOUR PERSONA
Your Persona is a post-hardcore outfit from South Jersey. Their genre may not fit in with that of the aforementioned acts, but despite their differences they have more than enough energy to hold their own. Their songs are hard-hitting and remind me of Thrice or Circa Survive in their earlier days. You can download songs off their EP, released earlier this spring, for free on Bandcamp- what’s better than that? Link: http://yourpersona.bandcamp.com/
Cruisr is one of those feel-good summertime bands that once you give them a listen, it’s impossible to take them off of the rotation. The band’s first EP was recorded in the summer of 2012 in vocalist Andy States’ bedroom in Philly and quickly garnered online praise. Since then, the guys have opened for The 1975 and wrapped up a tour with NJ natives, Young Rising Sons. Check out “All Over” or “Throw Shade” if you’re looking for something that’ll make you want to dance.
Hope to see you all out at the festival this weekend!