Restaurant Turned Into Raging Festival: Love-A-Palooza 2012

I have never seen Lovin’ Cup Bistro so alive and happening! Keeping in mind this was my first ever Love-a-palooza experience, but it was really packed. The fact that as a photographer it was hard to get to different areas of the stage to shoot meant that the bands were pleased to look out and see so many grooving, bobbing heads. That’s the great thing about the Lovin’ Cup though, you can go there and sit down and have a really nice meal, and another night you can go there for a beer and a live show that’s accommodated by a really well constructed stage for a café.

Rochester’s usual grey skies threatened to ran on the outdoor part of the festival earlier in the day, but Lovin’ Cup was prepared with large tents and the weather held out anyways. It started off with an array of different art vendors such as Mariah Rose Tattoos, CTW Metal, Snyder Handcrafted Syrups, Moorethanart, Malex Demmerly Prints & Glasswork, A Different View, Claire Flare and more, showcasing a range of products from refurbished antique jewelry, to art prints, to steel beer holders, to maple syrup. One of the artists, Mary Moore, has had her work selected for the final ballot of Best of Rochester, an annual competition where Rochestarians vote for their favorite restaurant, burger, band, etc…

During this time festival goers were also entertained by music acts UV Hippo, Extended Family, and Occupanther. Later, after beer tastings from 3HB (Three Heads Brewing), Roc Brewing and other local breweries, the crowd erupted into a raging dance seen when Subsoil hit the stage. This “hip-hop fusion” group, local to Rochester, hit us with there “fresh” emceeing and roots-grounded beats, throwing out a tribute to Scotty Shojan “Paluza” and bringing it home with a freestyle from (Emcee) Laz on the spot. While there I got thinking, what really sets this group apart from other hip-hop groups is there horn section, it really adds a whole other dynamic to have live saxophone backing up the Emcees. Stay tuned for Subsoil’s new 5-song EP Dirt Worship, to be released this November.

Jimkata, the Ithaca-based group that followed also killed it. Having just come from their release show for Die Digital, you could tell the hype was still there. Like the title of their new album, this is a group that really jumped onboard with the digital/electronica age. Jimkata gave us a show that satisfied our ears with both a rock show and electronic dance feel. Lead singer, Evan Friedell, really knows how to fill the room with his voice, and the melodies are just so friggen’ catchy even if you’d never heard them before you were dancing and singing along.

This set us up for the final throw down with local electronic group, Manhattan Project. It was at this point that I really had to fight my way through a thick, bobbing crowd to capture the band in its cosmic-like vibe of sounds that could come from outer space. The visuals projected on a screen behind them, were really impressive in the way they echoed the pace of the music and the lyrics. MP brought us up with surging electronic noises, and calmed us down with soft, echoing voice recordings, all in a rollercoaster of sound. RIPROC and other DJs were introduced to Adam Bierton’s creation: The Mustache Bottle Opener and participated in Silent Disco headphone experiment where everyone put on headphones and music was broadcasted through an FM-transmitter, so if you were not wearing headphones it looked like a bunch of crazy people dancing to silence.

That was Love-a-Palooza 2012: a bunch of lovely folks, gathered at the Lovin’ Cup, to share a raging night of laughin’, drinkin’, dancin’, and lovin’.

Photos by Sara Tiberio

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