In the heart of Kalamazoo, Michigan, Arcadia Creek Festival Place is home to the annual music fest, with a killer 2018 lineup that’s chock full of Chicago native bands due to Audiotree’s Chicago roots. Audiotree Music Festival is an event that packs quite the punch in a short span of time. The smaller size of venue and the specially curated acts are some of the things that makes Audiotree fest so unique.
It goes without saying that the WLUW team is ecstatic to spend our weekend, and the last weeks of festival season, amongst an amazing lineup. With two stages to move back and forth between, here are several acts this year that will have me running across the festival grounds with fervor.
- Father John Misty
It’s been a good year for Josh Tillman, otherwise known as Father John Misty.
After performing as one of the headliners at Riot Fest in Douglass Park, Tillman will perform as the main act on Sunday at Audiotree. It’s not hard to see why since God’s Favorite Customer, Tillman’s latest album, made an impression on critics and listeners alike. “Hangout at the Gallows,” and “We’re Only People (And There’s Not Much Anyone Can Do About That)”, are two standout tracks that are essential to any fans playlist.
God’s Favorite Customer is yet another testament to Tillman’s witty songwriting; however the bittersweet and longing tones that prevail in every song adds a balance to Tillman’s previously moody work. While I can’t wait to jam out to God’s Favorite Customer, I’m also eager to reminisce in Tillman’s older stuff. “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings,” from the album Fear Fun, makes me weep every time. “Ballad of the Dying Man,” from 2017’s Pure Comedy brilliantly weaves piano, acoustic, and Tillman’s raw and emotional voice together.
I have a soft spot for Ne-Hi because of their Chicago background and their deep involvement in the local music scene. In August Ne-Hi performed a free concert at Millenium Park, with fellow Chicago act Whitney, that show blew my socks off. Ne-Hi’s energy on stage is electric. Jason Balla and Mikey Wells (both guitar/vocals) jumping around while smashing on the guitar will be sure to get your blood pumping.
Ne-Hi’s single, “The Times I’m Not There,” is in collaboration with the enchanting Jamila Woods, another Chicago artist. It’s arguably Ne-Hi’s most popular track to date, and exhibits the bands impressive and unique guitar rhythms, that make them so gosh darn good.
- Post Animal
I’m a sucker for a good psychedelic rock band and Post Animal is most definitely one of the best around. “When I Get Home,” from the group’s first album, The Garden Series, is an ethereal and cosmic experience that I can only hope is performed at Audiotree during their Sunday slot. As yet another band with Chicago roots that will be at Audiotree this year, Post Animal has something sweet about them. Maybe it’s a special bond that the five musicians share that seems to make their music, as well as their on-stage presence, worthy of everyone’s attention.
- Major Murphy
Major Murphy’s music has a distinctive note of 1970’s rock, yet they’ve owned that sound to make it modern and completely their own. The Major Murphy trio, Jacob Bullard, Jacki Warren, and Brian Voortman, have an undeniable music chemistry – from their beautiful lyrics, to their ability to play so smoothly together. Their album No.1, is the band’s first full released album chock full of darling melodies and impressive voice harmonizing. Many of the songs have a summertime nostalgia sound to them, especially track 3, “Mary.”
- Diet Cig
Alex Luciano’s voice is addictive. She’s relatable, boisterous, and sometimes angry (“Harvard,” from 2015 album, Over Easy). Reminding me slightly of Cherry Glazerr’s heated and explosive punk sound, the punk rock Diet Cig will definitely be bringing the fun to Audiotree the Saturday of the fest. Listen to this duo group when you’re feeling angsty, frustrated, or just wanna jump around to some good music. Noah Bowman’s drumming skills and Luciano’s vocals compliment one another perfectly.
For more information about Audiotree Music Festival 2018, visit https://www.audiotreemusicfestival.com.