This past weekend, Midpoint Music Festival took place inside of the Taft Theatre and Masonic Center in the heart of downtown Cincinnati. The venue change gave the festival a very different feeling compared to the outdoor location in Over the Rhine where Band of Horses headlined last year. The Taft Theatre / Masonic Center featured unique historical architecture that gave attendees a more refined experience and provided a centralized location for the many bands to showcase their music. Going to this festival gave me the feeling of a classy night out to the ballet or opera and exploring the different ball rooms was an adventure in its self.
In previous years Midpoint Music Festival has featured big names such as Phantogram, Purity Ring, Washed Out, StrFkr, Chromeo and Andrew Bird in various locations and settings throughout the city. The different locations gave the festival a colorful history and allows for a different experience each year. In my humble opinion Walk the Moon is the biggest and most successful band from Cincinnati right now. Walk the Moon, along with Broken Social Scene and the New Pornographers were great big-name headliners that will be remembered along-side of other MidPoint alumni. This Festival is known for supporting emerging and independent artists. This allows some local favorite bands to play along-side well established national acts. This year we were excited to see local favorites Automagik, Lemon Sky, Mad Anthony, and Daniel in Stereo.
Saturday was spent exploring the venue to see where all of the ballrooms and cathedral stages were located. The Masonic Center of Cincinnati truly is a beautiful building. It was of great joy to most of the attendees to get to explore the Masonic Center – a place where the public is rarely allowed to enter.
Broken Social Scene started their performance with a skeleton crew of a band and added members as they progressed through their set. Although key members like Emily Haines of Metric and Feist were not present, the band still managed to please the crowd by playing all of their hits which span from the early 2000s until the current album. The New Pornographers rocked the Masonic Cathedral with a very large and lush indie rock sound. The sounds of all of the band members blended together perfectly and was very beautiful to hear in the large dome shaped room.
On Sunday, Automagik fans came out to support their new album Goldmine. Automagik is a local band with mainstream appeal. Though I have seen them several times in the past they never disappoint and I anticipate the release of the new record. My favorite set of the weekend was hands down Dan Deacon on the YMCA stage. I love how he addressed the crowd with a very special sense of humor and his electronic dance music with vocoder vocals was one of the most memorable electronic acts I have seen all year. The best moment of MidPoint Music Festival 2017 was when Dan Deacon spread the crowd into a giant circle and directed his fans into a crazy dance contest.
Walk the Moon was the cherry on top of the festival. Cincinnati fans showed up to support their home town favorite band as they released new music three days ago. “One Foot” was released on September 22nd and is a catchy dance song that truly shows the evolution and growth of the band. It is really special to be a Cincinnati native and watch one of our own put the city on the map. Walk the Moon has played many epic music festivals and concerts and this one will not be their last. We look forward to the release of the new Walk the Moon album and to see where the band goes next.
As the many phases of MidPoint Music Festival changes, the one aspect that remains the same is the quality of the music. Cincinnati is a music town and we look forward to the future of MPMF.