In honor of the late, legendary British DJ John Peel, Music for Listeners and the Limelight celebrated the breadth of his awesome work by dedicating two days of performance to his memory.
Austin’s The Lovely Sparrows opened the evening on Sunday, October 15 with a visceral folk-rock medley, the brainchild of singer/songwriter Shawn Jones. Although lead guitarist Lauryn Steinberg seemed a bit awkward with her role, she was more at ease with the mandolin and flute.
Bar/None label mates Oppenheimer and the Mosquitos took the rest of the evening and easily maintained the crowd’s attention, infusing their unique versions of indie-pop with tools that would only suit them. A duo from Belfast, Ireland, Oppenheimer delivered upbeat synth-pop, with singer/drummer Shaun Robinson cleanly driving their punchy, sharp ditties with a smooth voice.
Gracefully overcoming slight sound problems, the Mosquitos’ stage presence enhanced the sweet sound of their magnetic bossa-nova. With vocalist Juju Stulbach taking command of the stage, the group’s astral, emotive lyrics were well-seasoned by ever-present synthesizer and bongos. Her tambourine and swift hips easily upped the ante, and the backup vocalists were good for some light entertainment.
On Saturday, October 7, 10 bands took the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater stage for the 99.5 KISS Fall Fest. Without question, the Guns n’ Roses Rock Star Hissy-Fit Award at the festival went to Avenged Sevenfold, which stunned the audience by walking offstage during their first song, and abruptly abandoning the show.
The band, which flew in from Los Angeles just for the radio show, made it from their hotel to the venue too late for a sound check and took the stage 15 minutes after they were scheduled to play.
The absence of a sound check quickly manifested itself with feedback problems when they launched into their first song, “Beast and the Harlot.” Two minutes into the song, a member of the stage crew let the band know they had 20 minutes left in their set. At that point, lead singer M. Shadows and his cohorts threw their instruments down and walked offstage.
In response to Avenged Sevenfold’s meltdown, the crowd mustered a few chants of “tear their banner down,” before an announcement was made that the band wasn’t coming back. After 20 minutes of silence, Breaking Benjamin went on as scheduled.