Did you make it out to the 1.21 Gigawatts Festival this weekend? I was able to attend the fest on Friday and catch some exciting acts, confetti, sweaty rooms, projections and more! This was the second year that music mag Gigawatts has put on a festival, and this time it was four days long, taking place at three venues, including a secret house show. The glossy, fun feel of Radio Bushwick, which was the main hub of the fest contrasted with new music venue Hot 97.4 just up the street, which was a more of a raw setting in an unfinished loft with empty rooms and urinals in the bathroom. Totally badass.
This year’s line-up for all four nights was so stellar, that any day of the festival featured mind-blowing bands of variety of genres. Granted, it was nearly impossible to catch every band, but it was possible to get snippets of one band and then run up the street to check out a bit of the next one. But for those who enjoy staying in one place or leisurely making their way from one venue to another, wherever you went, there was something awesome happening on stage.
What an awesome way to spend a weekend, and you can relive through our Gigawatts playlist here, and the bands we caught below!
There were glossy schedules handed out to each attendee and free tapes (limited 2 per person) for the taking. There was also a cool raffle give-away of a nips of liquor in a buckets from Gigawatts sponsor, Rukkus.
One of the first bands of the day on Friday at Radio Bushwick was anthemic punk band Huge Pupils with their super full sound despite being a two-piece. The drum and bass duo were loud and jangly with a little hardcore influence and echoed vocals.
Big Neck Police, despite their youthful appearance have a sound that is rather sophisticated and aged. There is a lot of loud banging drums and some prog-rock style, bending guitar and melodic bass-lines. Both acts were a great way to ease into the day.
The Teen Age played with their badass bass lines, emotionally charged, brooding vocals, and stellar solos. Their electric energy pumped through the crowd and was both invigorating and full of the sounds of desperate youth, bringing us all back to times of nostalgia and excitement.
Also I got to catch Shark? rocking out with their amazingly catchy tunes that even dads would enjoy. Their sound is a little surf-y, a little 90’s indie rock and super fun. They played to the crowd their playful yet intellectually charged rock and roll with smiles on their faces and sweat all over their bodies.
Dead Stars played a set with fuzzy guitar riffs, bitchin’ bass lines and straightforward, quick-paced drums. With elements of grunge and shoegaze, this indie three-piece was pretty fun to bob your head to and do a little shoulder wiggle.
Meanwhile, at Hot 97…Rockin’ four-piece Beiju don’t seem to have much of an Internet presence at the moment, but their stage presence was breathtaking with female vocals, blasting drums, melodic keys and space-y pedal rock action. They played in near darkness to a crowd of excited fans who were all drenched with sweat within minutes of entering the space, but that didn’t stop them from rocking the fuck out the whole time!
Later Hot 97 were Brooklyn rockers Gunfight! They made this already sweaty room even sweatier with their post-punk guitar solos and and edgy drums. The vocals were a little bit twangy, spitting and rolling with on point harmonies and melodic bass lines. The crowd was dancing and jumping, despite the sauna-esque feelings in the space!
The last band this writer was able to catch at Hot 97 due to the dire need to pass out from all the day’s activities was Chumped. Their spinning pop-punk inspired music includes both male and female vocals and intricate drum clinks and clanks as the instrumentals blare together spastically.
The closeness of the two venues made it very easy to hop back over to Radio Bushwick to catch Infinity Shred. The synth-driven, scenic soundtrack rock was a perfect to sway slowly to. It brought forth imagery of stars colliding and black holes, very space-y, yet still rhythmic with building drums and bleating guitar. Soon the images on the camera became reflective of the music being performed.
Frankie Cosmos was the last live act at Radio Bushwick before DJs took over. The band began their set with a group hug and a high five, a pretty great example of the team spirit nature of the band. While Frankie Cosmos isn’t necessarily something to dance around to, the set itself was intimate and beautiful despite the humongous crowd in the audience. Eyes closed, strings squeaking as fingers slid down the guitar, the audience was entranced and by the secret bedroom tunes that escaped from the stage into their eardrums. It was a really beautiful way to end the live music at Radio Bushwick.