Live Review: Portside Summer Festival @ Waterfront Park (Alexandria, VA) — 06/17-6/18/22

Eric Byrd Trio performs at Portside Summer Festival in Alexandria, Virginia. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

What do you get when you mix breezy, sunny summer afternoons, delicious food and beverages, an eclectic selection of musical groups, set it all on the spectacular Old Town Alexandria waterfront, and then make it free admission? You get the Portside Summer Festival, a wonderful annual event, produced by Visit Alexandria in partnership with the City of Alexandria’s Office of the Arts.

Continue Reading

Live Review: DelFest 2022 @ Allegany County Fairgrounds — 5/27-5/30/22


Bluegrass legend Del McCoury performs with his band during DelFest 2022 held over Memorial Day weekend at the Allegany County Fairgrounds in Cumberland, Maryland. (Photo by Casey Vock)

How much vibrancy can one artist bring to their music? And how big of a community can one individual cultivate around that music?

If DelFest 2022 was any indication, bluegrass legend Del McCoury — at the ripe age of 83 years old — has done as much if not more for his craft than any of the fine musicians who came before him and made this particular breed of roots music their life’s work.

Continue Reading

Preview: Wonderbus 2022 @ The Lawn at CAS (Columbus, Ohio), 8/26, 8/27 + 8/28/22


Duran Duran (Photo courtesy the band)

The WonderBus Music & Arts Festival returns to The Lawn at CAS in Columbus, Ohio, this summer with three days of music on Friday, Aug. 26, Saturday, Aug. 27, and Sunday, Aug. 28.

WonderBus 2022 headliners include Duran Duran (Friday), Lorde (Saturday), and The Lumineers (Sunday).

Continue Reading

Live Review: The Church @ Cruel World 2022 — 5/14/22

Steve Kilbey fronts The Church at Cruel World 2022 on May 14, 2022. (Photo by Nacho DelaGarza)

The inaugural Cruel World Festival was undoubtedly a smash. Fifty thousand people filed into Brookside at the Rose Bowl earlier this month to see the most impressive gathering of new wave and post-punk bands in decades thanks to a festival produced by Goldenvoice.

There are certain songs you wanted to hear and certain bands you wanted to see represented at such a thing of course. You would want to hear “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” by Bauhaus, “Whip It” by Devo, and for my money surely “Under the Milky Way” by The Church.

Continue Reading

Live Review: 5 Great Performances @ Cruel World 2022 — 5/14/22

DEVO steals the show at the inaugural Cruel World Festival on May 14, 2022. (Photo courtesy Cruel World)

Last weekend, California mega-festival organizer Goldenvoice finally fulfilled its pandemic-delayed vision of presenting a gala event consisting solely of alternative new wave and post-punk bands of the ’70s and ’80s coupled with younger bands who have adapted a similar sound in the 2010s and 2020s.

And so it was that an estimated 50,000 people (the capped capacity of the park) streamed into Brookside at the Rose Bowl for the first day of the newly minted, annual Cruel World Festival on Saturday, May 14.

Here is a recap of five of the best acts to play that day.

Continue Reading

Live Review: Charm City Bluegrass Festival @ Druid Hill Park — 4/29 + 4/30/22

Yonder Mountain String Band - Charm City Bluegrass Festival - Druid Hill Park Baltimore - 04.29.22 Casey Vock 16
Allie Kral of Yonder Mountain String Band plays the fiddle at the Charm City Bluegrass Festival in Baltimore on April 29, 2022. (Photo by Casey Vock)

For all of the challenges Baltimore might face as a city, a deficiency of live music is not one of them.

A thoroughfare for musicians making their way up and down the East Coast, and one rich with its own dynamic scene and culture, Baltimore has quietly maintained if not improved its reputation as one of the country’s leading music cities since being propped up by media in 2000s.

The Charm City Bluegrass Festival, held April 29 and 30 at Druid Hill Park, provided two days and nights of delightful live performances, sun-baked revelry and choice local food and beverage options for more than 1,000 attendees Friday and 3,000-plus on Saturday, only reaffirming Baltimore as an important and potentially underappreciated hub for influential and busy musicians.

Continue Reading

Snapshots: National Cannabis Festival @ RFK Stadium Festival Grounds — 4/23/22

Wiz Khalifa
Wiz Khalifa smokes a joint while performing at the National Cannabis Festival on April 23, 2022. (Photos by Shedrick Pelt)

The National Cannabis Festival returned to RFK Stadium Festival Grounds recently to celebrate the leaps and bounds the cannabis community has made in the name of cannabis advocacy. Vendors, food trucks, local merchants, and of course smokers gathered to fellowship around the love for their favorite pastime.

A crowd estimated at 20,000+, throughout the day of April 23, showed up early to take advantage of the beautiful weather in the DMV. Carts and coolers in tow, the amazing musical lineup had everyone excited as they claimed their spot for the evening. Pro Cannabis organizations Legacy DC & Gifted Curators provided an educational element with a panel of speakers featuring Dead Prez’s M-1 and adult film star Sara Jay.

Continue Reading

Preview: National Cannabis Festival @ RFK Stadium Festival Grounds, 4/22-4/24/22

WizKahlifa
Wiz Khalifa headlines the concert performances of The National Cannabis Festival on April 23, 2022. (Photo courtesy Atlantic Records)

The sixth annual National Cannabis Festival, the East Coast’s largest ticketed cannabis gathering, returns to Washington’s RFK Festival Grounds on Saturday, April 23, with performances from Wiz Khalifa, Lettuce, and Ghostface Killah, a wide range of exhibitors, and a brand-new culinary pavilion complete with cooking demonstrations led by top chefs, talks and eating contests, among many other attractions.

Continue Reading

Live Review: Baltimore Old Time Music Festival @ Creative Alliance — 3/19/22

Foghorn String Band - Baltimore Old Time Fest Creative Alliance - 03.19.22 Casey Vock 10
Foghorn String Band performs a late-night lounge set on March 19, 2022, at the third annual Baltimore Old Time Music Festival held at the Creative Alliance. (Photo by Casey Vock)

Fortunate is the American city brimming with visionary artists who each year stake claim on a weekend to celebrate one of the most underappreciated, yet ubiquitous styles of music being played across the continent.

The third annual Baltimore Old Time Music Festival, held this past weekend at the Creative Alliance, has in just a few years’ time turned into an important gathering of some of today’s most influential fiddlers, banjo pickers, mandolin pluckers and folk guitarists.

Thoughtfully organized and curated by Charm City’s father-son duo of Ken & Brad Kolodner, the Old Time fest featured a packed schedule on March 18 and 19 as artists and fans filled the community arts and performance space for two straight days of live music and an impressive lineup of workshops led by some of the best of their craft.

Continue Reading

Live Review: All Things Go Music Festival @ Merriweather Post Pavilion — 10/16/21

stvincent7
St. Vincent headlines the All Things Go Music Festival on Oct. 16, 2021. (Photo by Katherine Gaines/ ambienteye.com)

Parklife sent Katherine Gaines to photograph the All Things Go Music Festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion, and she returned with pix of SHAED, Girl in Red, Lauv, and St. Vincent, along with this blog entry about her experience at the festival.

It was a soggy grey day, not much for showing off fun festival attire. The crowd was mostly a sea of raincoats, ponchos and umbrellas. Some folks probably decided not to go, or left when it started raining but everyone who stuck it out wanted to make the most of their long awaited festival.

Continue Reading