Albany, NY – Early afternoon is a tough time to get moving and grooving, but that didn’t stop the masses from arriving on Pearl St. in Albany, NY. WEQX 102.7 presented the day-long street festival. Cobblestone allies led into the downtown urban scape where high-rise brick and mortar buildings provided a periphery to the event. There were two stages located at each end of the street. The EQX Main stage was reserved for the national acts and the second stage was reserved for the popular local acts. (photos by Tabitha Clancy)
On a breezy and sunny, but still warm autumn day, the music hit the walls of the buildings and fell to jovial ears. The time slots for the bands to play were balanced so that not one artist would be missed. I arrived just in time to grab a spot for Eastbound Jesus. In spite of the early time slot, they had amassed large crowd in front. Now becoming an Albany area staple, they have gained steam and a large following. Giving the shortened time, as most festivals require, their truncated set still allowed for the boys to weave in and out of a mix of new songs and familiar hits. Eastbound Jesus played crowd favorites, “Holy Smokes!” and “Gonna Go Down.”
Mirk is a seven-piece outfit mostly composed of hip-hop songs that teased every other genre of music. Each song hit on just something a little different, with horns, a keyboardist and electric instruments; Mirk leaves room for a variety of sound. Wild Adriatic played a bit of rock and roll and closed out with a crowd sing-a-long,” With A Little Help From my Friends.”
The EQX Main Stage included mostly pop artists that fit the bill of radio friendly electronic acts. Robert Delong takes his drum kit, gaming unit and laptops and fuses electro-beats with rock and roll. Most notable were his vocals. Local turned national artist, Phantogram enjoyed playing to their hometown fans with their electronic rock and roll beats. A rainstorm rolled in at around 6:30 pm when Conehead Buddha was set to play the small stage, but the rain began to saturate their equipment and they only made it through a few songs. Meanwhile, the rain delayed headliners, Matt & Kim, but that didn’t stop the busting-at-the-seems crowd from chanting, “Matt and Kim.” The duo catered to their crowd in big ways. The boy/girl team popped on stage to Jay-Z and Alicia Key’s, “Empire State of Mind,” wielding drumsticks like Kim was a ninja and elevating themselves above the crowd ramping up the fans. Much of their set included covers and sing-a-longs such as Biz Markie’s, “Just a Friend.” The duo incorporated their instrumental talents on drums and keys into fast tempo electronic beats with much gusto and energy. The team made their on stage workout seem effortless.
Overall, there was a variety of music and therefore something for everyone. One fan in the crowd stated how she enjoyed that it wasn’t overly populated with the college kids. The most enjoyable aspect was the kid friendly atmosphere in spite of the bar-lined street.