My 5 Favorite Random 80/35 Sets

Colourmusic (From their Facebook page)

The best part about any festival is the early to mid-afternoon show that you were sort of excited about, but then you saw and it totally blows you away. Because I am a professional (ha!), I have done my research, so no band at a festival I am attending completely surprises me at this point. However, there is always someone who you thought would be pretty good and totally blows you away. So, here are five of my favorite under the radar performances of 80/35’s past.

2008 – Colourmusic

Colourmusic was the one of the first bands that made me realize just how awesome music festivals really were. They are the reason I show up to shows as early as possible. Their art house meets garage band sound was mesmerizing. When I first was able to book shows, Colourmusic was the first non-local band I reached out to, and they were responsible for one of our most memorable shows. Colourmusic is amazing.

2009 – Maps and Atlases

Didn’t know what to expect, and then these mutli-instrumental folk came out and toured the globe with their unique and inspired set.

2010 – Dawes

Dawes has actually gone on to some solid success, but when I saw them, they were an early on one of the free stages. It just goes to show who may end up on one of these stages. And yes, for all you AVClub fans, their Sweet Laurel Canyon Sound totally ruled Des Moines.

2011 – Handsome Furs

Best known among my family and friends as either “The band that Dave dragged me to instead of seeing Grace Potter” or “Those two who were making out at Americana before their set”. On stage, their quick electronic pop and boundless energy is one of my highlights not just of last year, but of all my live music experiences.

2011 – Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band

Just pure fun in the sun from some awesome bluegrass musicians. This one snuck up on me, as I was just hanging out drinking a beer and relaxing when my sister called and demanded I come and see them. So, to be fair, I missed the first song or two. But after, it was an incredible performance.


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