Stratton Setlist Snapshots — Austin City Limits Weekend 1 Sizzles with Paul McCartney, Metallica

The hot, humid weather wasn’t the only thing that sizzled in Austin, Texas last weekend.

Music from Paul McCartney, Metallica, Travis Scott, Greta Van Fleet, Janelle Monae and various other acts heated up the first weekend of the three-day legendary Austin City Limits Music Festival.

More than 75,000 festivalgoers turned up each day during the Oct. 5-7 festival to catch amazing artists on six different stages at Zilker Part.

Here are some memorable artists and scenes we captured during our visit. Starting today, lucky weekend two attendees will get to relive the festival all over again.

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Father John Misty Delivers Strong Kalamazoo Customer Service for Audiotree Day 2

Father John Misty headlines the Audiotree Music Festival Sunday night in Kalamazoo.

Father John Misty is Kalamazoo’s favorite customer.

The Los Angeles indie folk rocker dazzled a Kalamazoo crowd last night with an 80-minute headlining Audiotree Music Festival set at Arcadia Creek Festival Place.

Father John Misty (aka Josh Tillman) swaggered onto the Main Stage amid swirling clouds of smoke and deep red lights. He opened his swinging set with the catchy and melodic “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” from his 2012 breakthrough album, “Fear Fun,” and peppered it with six tracks from his latest album, “God’s Favorite Customer,” which dropped in June.

Founded in 2013, the Chicago-based, Michigan-born Audiotree Music Festival celebrates new and emerging artists and is curated by the popular web music series Audiotree Live.

Early into his set, Father John Misty sarcastically objected to the large red inflatable Virtue Cider beach balls bouncing toward the stage. The singer’s sardonic sense of humor is just as entertaining as his live show.

“That’s stressful for me just to watch people get hit in the head unawares over and over again. Is that a marketing thing? The balls – are they branded? Do you feel more prone to solicit their services after you’ve been hit in the head?” he asked.

“I’m just imagining that board meeting where they’re just like, ‘I don’t know, boss, sales are through the roof. It doesn’t make any f*cking sense, people hate them, they keep getting hit in the face with them, but we’ve having a very profitable quarter. I think we double down.’”

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Local Natives Bring Their ‘Sunlit Youth’ to Day 1 for Kalamazoo’s Audiotree Music Festival

Taylor Rice of Local Natives

Local Natives illuminated Kalamazoo with their shimmering, vibrant indie rock during a powerful 80-minute closing set at Saturday’s Audiotree Music Festival.

The Los Angeles indie rock quintet headlined day one of the two-day music festival at Arcadia Creek Festival Place and played tracks from their three critically-acclaimed albums, “Gorilla Manor,” “Hummingbird” and “Sunlit Youth.”

Founded in 2013, the Chicago-based, Michigan-born Audiotree Music Festival celebrates new and emerging artists and is curated by the popular web music series Audiotree Live.

Local Natives’ Taylor Rice (vocals and guitar) energetically jumped into the crowd and surfed with excited festivalgoers during the band’s captivating “Sun Hands” encore.

“This is the last song of the year for us, and the last song of the night for you guys, so give us everything you’ve got, all right,” Rice said.

Bandmate Kelcey Ayer (vocals, keyboards, percussion and guitar) praised Audiotree for a memorable festival and briefed attendees on the group’s current plans.

“This is super, super fun for us, this is our very last show for the entire year,” Ayer said. “We’re glad to fly here and have it with you guys, and we want to say thank you to Audiotree for bringing us out to this beautiful place. We are working on a new record, that’s all we’ve been doing for this whole year.”

Local Natives also debuted a catchy new song, “When Am I Gonna Lose You,” with a Fleetwood Mac-inspired bassline as a promising preview of new material to come.

Continue reading “Local Natives Bring Their ‘Sunlit Youth’ to Day 1 for Kalamazoo’s Audiotree Music Festival”

Audiotree Music Festival Brings Emerging Indie Rock to Kalamazoo Today, Sunday

Local Natives will headline the Audiotree Music Festival in Kalamazoo today.

Indie music lovers will rejoice today with the start of Kalamazoo’s Audiotree Music Festival.

The two-day music festival kicks off at noon in Arcadia Creek Festival Place and features nearly 30 artists on two stages.

Denver psychedelic pop group Flaural will open the festival on the WIDR Discovery Stage while Los Angeles indie rock quintet Local Natives will perform a headlining set on the Main Stage.

New Jersey indie pop quintet Real Estate and Los Angeles indie folk rocker Father John Misty (aka Josh Tillman) will headline on Sunday.

Founded in 2013 by Kalamazoo natives Michael Johnston and Adam Thurston, the Chicago-based, Michigan-born Audiotree Music Festival celebrates new and emerging artists and is curated by the popular web music series Audiotree Live.

In 2015, Audiotree purchased two Chicago venues, Schubas Tavern and Lincoln Hall, adding a live concert booking, promoting and streaming division to the company. Since 2011, Audiotree’s online following has grown to include more than 350,000 YouTube subscribers. Now, the Audiotree Music Festival is expanding the match the scale of the entire company.

“While this year’s festival is very guitar-driven, we’re really excited about the variety we’ve still been able to cover,” said Patrick Van Wagoner, a talent buyer for the Audiotree Music Festival and Lincoln Hall, in a festival press release. “Attendees will find elements of rock ’n roll, punk, folk, pop, funk and more, while seeing plenty of acts with Audiotree history.”

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Kalamazoo’s Moss Jaw Cultivates First Festival Experience at Audiotree on Saturday

Kayley Kerastas, Russ Wagner, Max Murray and Evan Asher of Moss Jaw

Editor’s Note: This is the third installment in a multi-part series this week previewing the Audiotree Music Festival and profiling artists from the lineup.

Last year, four Kalamazoo pals decided to cultivate their own musical experience.

Together, Kayley Kerastas, Russ Wagner, Evan Asher and Max Murray planted the artistic seeds for Moss Jaw, a dark, dreamy post-rock project, and watched it flourish throughout the DITKalamazoo scene.

A year later, that musical sapling grew into an opening slot at this weekend’s Audiotree Music Festival. The Kalamazoo quartet will take root with a 12:25 p.m. set Saturday on the WIDR-FM Discovery Stage in Arcadia Creek Festival Place.

Moss Jaw will join nearly 30 other artists, including Father John Misty, Local Natives, Khruangbin, Basement and Real Estate.

They’re also one of several West Michigan-based artists featured in the Audiotree Music Festival lineup along with Michigander, Lushh, Jake Simmons & The Little Ghosts and Major Murphy.

Founded in 2013, the Chicago-based, Michigan-born Audiotree Music Festival celebrates new and emerging artists and is curated by the popular web music series Audiotree Live.

This year, Audiotree has joined forces with WIDR (89.1 FM), Western Michigan University’s college radio station, to plant the festival’s new Discovery Stage and feature 12 additional bands throughout the weekend.

WIDR invited Moss Jaw to perform at Audiotree after they won second place in a local Battle of the Bands contest earlier this year.

“Wonderfully enough, they wanted us on behalf of Audiotree, and we are just so stoked,” said Kerastas, Moss Jaw vocalist and guitarist. “We’ve been eyeballing that (Audiotree Live) session for a while, and we’ve been trying to reach that someday, and thankfully enough, we get to play the festival.”

Continue reading “Kalamazoo’s Moss Jaw Cultivates First Festival Experience at Audiotree on Saturday”

Grand Rapids’ Major Murphy to Enlist New Fan Base at Audiotree Music Festival on Sunday

Major Murphy’s Jacki Warren, Jacob Bullard and Brian “Bud” Voortman

Editor’s Note: This is the second installment in a multi-part series this week previewing the Audiotree Music Festival and profiling artists from the lineup.

Major Murphy will enlist a battalion of new recruits at Kalamazoo’s Audiotree Music Festival this weekend.

The Grand Rapids nostalgic rock trio will conquer the crowd Sunday with a 12:50 p.m. set on the main stage at the two-day festival in Arcadia Creek Festival Place. Major Murphy will join nearly 30 other acts, including Father John Misty, Local Natives, Real Estate, Diet Cig and Blitzen Trapper.

They’re one of five West Michigan-based artists featured in the Audiotree Music Festival lineup along with Michigander, Lushh, Jake Simmons & The Little Ghosts and Moss Jaw.

Founded in 2013, the Chicago-based, Michigan-born Audiotree Music Festival celebrates new and emerging artists and is curated by the popular web music series Audiotree Live.

Major Murphy’s Jacob Bullard (vocals, guitar), Jacki Warren (vocals, bass) and Brian “Bud” Voortman (drums) will share their 1970s-inspired radio rock with Audiotree festivalgoers during a much-anticipated set.

They’ll be performing laid-back, catchy songs from their full-length debut album, “No. 1,” which dropped in March on Winspear. Those new to Major Murphy will hear jangly guitars, shimmering riffs, synth-sheened grooves and dreamy, commanding vocals.

“When we perform as a trio, there is a more immediate sound and energy that I think we all enjoy. It boils down and reveals the really important parts of the songs,” Bullard said. “When you’re in a festival setting, there’s generally a big stage with a big PA so you can push the crowd a little bit, and it’s super fun. Live music is powerful, and it’s important to let loose sometimes.”

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Montréal’s Common Holly Branches Out to Kalamazoo’s Audiotree Music Festival This Weekend

Common Holly, aka Brigitte Naggar, will perform at Kalamazoo’s Audiotree Music Festival on Sunday.

Editor’s Note: This is the first installment in a multi-part series this week previewing the Audiotree Music Festival and profiling artists from the lineup.

Common Holly will grow her West Michigan following with a first-time appearance at Kalamazoo’s Audiotree Music Festival this weekend.

The dark indie folk singer-songwriter will perform a noon Sunday set on the main stage at the two-day festival in Arcadia Creek Festival Place. She will join nearly 30 other acts, including Father John Misty, Local Natives, Real Estate, Khruangbin and Chicano Batman.

Founded in 2013, the Chicago-based, Michigan-born Audiotree Music Festival celebrates new and emerging artists and is curated by the popular web music series Audiotree Live.

Common Holly – otherwise known as Brigitte Naggar – will share her hauntingly intimate songs with Audiotree festivalgoers during a highly-anticipated 50-minute set.

She’ll be playing tracks from her 2017 critically-acclaimed debut album, “Playing House,” on Solitaire Recordings. Naggar also re-recorded six of her tracks for an “Audiotree Live” session last December.

“I’m bringing a band with me this time. And yes, we’re going to do new songs – three or four, I think,” said Naggar, who hails from Montréal. “I like them much better than the old songs. I hope fans will, too.”

Continue reading “Montréal’s Common Holly Branches Out to Kalamazoo’s Audiotree Music Festival This Weekend”