CEMF: Day 1

With the first band hitting the stage in the early afternoon, the people at Cutting Edge Music Festival (CEMF) came prepared to party. Not right away, however, as setting up camp took top priority for many.

By the time Stereos performed their set mid-afternoon, the number of people surrounding the stage increased substantially, no doubt to get up close and personal with the band who performed their hit single of 2009, “Summer Girl.”

Those who aren’t so into Stereo’s pop-rock sound kept busy by shooting hoops, relaxing in the Budweiser “Bud Camp” or enjoying the musical hilarity of Cheese and the Mousetraps in the Underground Operations Lounge.

The audience and energy grew steadily as the evening approached and bands such as Dead and Divine, The Artist Life and The Bronx hit the stage.

Here are some of the most notable acts of the day, and how they are likely to be remembered.

The Artist Life: Most likely to start a riot
The Artist Life performed twice: a three-piece acoustic set in the early afternoon and with the full band on the main stage later in the day. Although neither set attracted a huge number of people, those watching were very positive about the band and their performance.

“They’re so great!” said a fan after the show. “Their harmonies and melodies are amazing, but the best part is their drummer. He can play a beat like no other!”

The band played songs off their album Let’s Start a Riot and their new acoustic album, Let’s Start a Campfire, which will be released later this August, as well as some cover songs.

To read Laura Sedgwick’s interview with The Artist Life, click here.

Stereos: Most likely to tour with the Harlem Globetrotters
By far the pop-iest band of the day, their set attracted mainly the younger, female population of CEMF. However, after Stereos’ performance, even the toughest looking guys in the park were echoing lyrics from their hit song “Summer Girl.”

Even Protest the Hero’s Rody Walker performed a cover of this song with his new band, Cheese and The Mousetraps.

When asked what she thought of Stereos’ performance, a fan said, “They are so awesome. And, seriously, so hot!”

Another passerby who just caught the end of the show replied, “I don’t really know who they are.”

Even if you don’t like their music, something about lead vocalist, Pat Kordyback’s, mis-matched style warrants a second glance. He has long, black, not-quite emo hair, wears jock inspired basketball jerseys, and performs sugary tunes that make 16-year-old girls swoon.

To read Laura Sedgwick’s interview with Stereos, click here.

Cheese and the Mousetraps: Most likely to be abducted by aliens
Or else most likely to be the aliens doing the abducting, as suggest by the three members of this band who were dressed as though they were all from outer space, with gold face paint and purple and silver capes. Their music and sense of humour is also out of this world.

Rody Walker, of Protest the Hero, fronts Cheese and the Mousetraps with a style wholly unique and very much unlike Protest the Hero’s.

Those lucky enough to witness this musical spectacular can also claim fame to seeing Cheese’s first real performance. (Their other “first” performance was a friend’s birthday party).

Those in attendance had nothing but good things to say about Cheese: “Rody is my fucking hero,” “Rody is the man,” and “[Cheese] is much better than Stereos.”

This was quite possibly the best performance of the day.

To read Laura Sedgwick’s interview with Cheese and the Mousetraps, click here.

Kingdoms: Most likely to have a shrine built for them
Kingdoms, who has been around for less then a year, have already gathered an enthusiastic fan base. This was made evident by the number of fans surrounding the stage during their CEMF performance. Lead vocalist, Hutton Wierzbicki, kept the energy high and fans engaged by getting off the stage and up against the barricade where he and members of the audience had a lyrical screaming match.

Other fans could be seen moshing and crowd surfing.

One fan had this to say about the performance: “They are amazing! Kingdoms’ is the next up-and-coming. Their new CD coming out will be epic. They are the nicest guys that you will every meet and they’re just great. Their live show is the best thing I’ve ever seen.”

In an interview with Wierzbicki and Paul Taylor, the band’s bass player, Taylor stated that being on stage in front of that many people is “exhilarating.”

“When you look out into the crowd and Hutton is singing but you can’t even hear him because the crowd is singing back so loud is the single best feeling in the world.”

Kingdoms, who recently signed with Underground Operations, will release their new EP, Daughters of Atlas, this September.

Protest the Hero: Most likely to help a little old lady across the street and have a vocabulary consisting of exclusively swear words

Much before the start of Protest the Hero’s performance, the final one of the night, fans were already mobbing the stage in anticipation. When PTH didn’t start exactly at their scheduled time, 9:45 p.m., the audience started chanting the band’s name.

A few minutes later when PTH walked on stage and played their first song the crowd went nuts. Shoes and glow sticks were being thrown in the air, the audience was being sprayed with water and the moshing and crowd surfing was as profuse as it had been all day.

Between songs PTH’s vocalist, Rody Walker, conversed with the audience in a manner that was oddly personable despite every other word being a profanity. He even returned a fan’s missing wallet.

Before the end of their set, the band members were funneling beer on stage to which the audience was highly receptive.

The night ended with an encore performance of PTH with vocals from Andrew W.K. Members from other bands also joined PTH and Andrew W.K. on stage to form a super-group that the crowd adored.

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