Amazing! Phenomenal! Gorgeous! Mesmerizing! Spectacular AND Stupendous! SHAZZAM! Holy HELL, I am still reeling from The Bicentennial Park Summer Concert Series show on Friday! When I truly love a band, I love it HARD and the fact that I got to see TWO of my current favorite bands play a show together, outside on a perfect day, with the sun at my shoulders, incredible melodies just floating on the breeze right into my earholes – let me just put it bluntly – I was in MF’N HEAVEN! If it is possible to fall MADLY in love with a band, then I am a goner – put my ass in a rocket, fire that puppy up and point it at the sky because I am 100% over the moon for Frederick the Younger and Reality Something!
As far as outdoor summer concerts go, you could not have asked for more perfect weather – big old shiny sun, no humidity and a nice breeze just wafting wonderfully through the streets of beautiful downtown New Albany, Indiana. If you haven’t been to one of these shows, you really need to check it out. Such a cool and cute little spot – the stage is great and there is a perfect sized grassy area to lay down blankets, or to do facedown grass angels, whatever you’re in to. Also, it is kid friendly, which is so cool for parents who love music but don’t always get to go out to shows. Plus, they have ice-cold, reasonably-priced (5 buckaroos) beer on tap from the New Albanian! Dee-LISH!
My bandmates Lyle, Nick and I, along with Nick’s awesome girlfriend Stephanie and our friend Mark, took advantage of the really cool concrete ledge right in front of the stage, but I did not sit down for long! If you’ve never heard/seen Reality Something, seriously check them out right now! Frontma’am Elena Franklin is nothing short of a perfect throwback 90s grunge rock QUEEN! She is one of the most charismatic, adorable, badass women I have ever met! She is tiny in size, but HUGE in presence, and I love the juxtaposition between the gritty guitars and rocking drum beats and her cool, dreamy, airy vocals – it is hypnotizing. Lead guitarist Kingsley Brock is an absolute animal when it comes to cranking out really crazy catchy guitar hooks. The dude’s got killer riffs for DAYS! Their song Say Anything plays on repeat in my head ALL the time! Kingsley’s feisty ass guitar hook and Elena’s melodies on that song are PERFECTION!
I absolutely love when those two interact on stage. If it were up to me, they would be crowned Rock n’ Roll King and Queen at the dream prom in my mind 🙂 Ethan Place straight up slays it on drums and Bill Grasley, who is the newest member, has seamlessly jumped right in and holds it down on bass! They just released a new single Break It which Kingsley produced, recorded, engineered and mixed. It will make your brain bang around in your skull! This is a band to definitely check out now because they have the talent and the magic to blow up really big, really fast!
As if that wasn’t enough awesomeness to throw me over the edge, Frederick the Younger was up next! In the words of Kazakhstan’s sweetheart – WAWAWEEWA!!! Just for starters, I have to give a shoutout to Jenni and Aaron’s outfits! Jenni’s ruffly retro midriff baring top (AGAIN, gotta go full-on Borat with this one – WawaWEEEEEwa!) and Aaron’s vintage long-sleeve printed shirt were an absolute DREAM! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – those two together are beyond adorable and it is so amazing to watch them together on stage! They take cutest couple in a whole different category – Vintage Dream Pop Prince and Princess (has a nice ring to it, am I right?!) As soon as the band kicked in, Jenni Cochran, who, like Elena, is also such a petite and gorgeous woman, jumped up on the drum platform, making her the tallest person at the whole damn show, and for the next 90 minutes, FTY filled the city with their dreamy synth pop wonderland of amazing melodies and harmonies. My heart nearly exploded several times!
I’ve mentioned before that I have been obsessed with their song You Don’t Lie, but in recent weeks I have been listening to their 4 song EP (as well as Reality Something’s EP) more than anything else, and while I love EVERY song on it, my new current obsession is the song LP. The keyboard part does something to my brain man, and when it kicks into the chorus, it feels like my insides are sprinting and my feet almost leave the ground! Aaron and Jenni told me after the show that they rerecorded LP for the album and it is a bit different – I am SOOO excited to hear it and to hear the entire album for that matter!!!
During their set they covered The Zombie’s song She’s Not There and it was incredible. I gotta give HUGE props to David Givan – that dude is an absolute MONSTER on drums and when he did a little drum solo, it was an absolute BANGER and I almost lost my mind! His sound is HUGE and he is a total beast and so fun to watch! John Barrera and Matt Kohorst both bring so much to the songs and help lay a perfect foundation to support so many amazing sounds happening all at once.
A lot of bands get a lot of buzz, sometimes based on talent, sometimes based on hype, and oftentimes, they don’t quite live up to what the fuss is all about – Frederick The Younger and Reality Something, in my opinion, are both those rare, deeply special bands that don’t come around very often. They have incredible songs, unique sounds, on-stage chemistry that inspires the audience and makes the heart flutter! They all happen to be some of the most genuine, real, kind-hearted, caring, considerate people that I’ve ever met. To say this was a phenomenal show is almost an understatement. Do yourself a favor and check out their tunes right neow! The next time you have an opportunity to see them play live – grab some friends, grab a beer and come right up front because chances are, I’ll be right up there dancing, singing along and smiling until my face hurts!
Thanks for reading, I love you, Louisville!
This post was guest-written by our friend Joann Jene who plays guitar/sings in/fronts Joann + The Dakota. For more information on her and her most excellent band, go here.