It can take serious motivation to coax someone out into the mid-day heat of a Houston summer day. It’s no secret Free Press Summer Fest (FPSF) — June 4th & 5th Houston, TX — gets hot, but we’ve got your motivation to get the party started early in the form of 5 can’t miss acts set to rock Eleanor Tinsley Park before the sun sets. Trust us, it will be worth the sweat.
FPSF has boasted top notch line ups year after year and 2016 is no exception. Headliners like Modest Mouse, Gogol Bordello, Deadmau5 and Collegrove (Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz) are sure to set Houston off proper. But one of the most fulfilling music festival experiences is arriving early and discovering your new favorite band or hearing a live set from an overlooked artist that completely changes your perspective of them. Here are 5 reasons to brave the heat and hit up FPSF early. Don’t forget your deodorant!
Preservation Hall Jazz Band – Sunday 1:20 Saturn Stage
Amongst all the hip hop, indie, punk and EDM at FPSF it is so refreshing to see the historic Preservation Hall Jazz Band gracing the line up. As their name suggests, these amazing musicians have the responsibility of carrying on the time honored New Orleans big band jazz tradition.
When the New Orleans Jazz culture began to fade in the 1960’s Allan and Sandra Jaffe transformed the 726 art gallery on St. Peters street in the French Quarter into Preservation Hall with the sole purpose of preserving one of America’s only original art forms, jazz. They hosted nightly jazz concerts featuring New Orlean’s musical elite. At the time, New Orleans was racially segregated by Jim Crow laws. Preservation Hall was among the few venues that welcomed both white and black musicians. This tiny hall would become sacred, hallow, musical ground and is largely responsible for the continued popularity of New Orleans jazz.
Today the Hall and its band are run by Ben Jaffe, Allan and Sandra’s son, and the band’s tuba and bass player. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band can be found touring the country or right at home in the Hall, forever spreading the gospel of improvised jazz music.
Start your Sunday by paying homage to a piece of living American music history. Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s swingy, feel good, grooves are sure to put big smile on your face and get those hips shakin.
Plague Vendor – Saturday 12:10 Saturn Stage
Hailing from Whittier, CA, Plague Vendor emerged from a practice space bent on spreading their predilection for dark sounds and instinctual thrash style they call “Voodoo Punk.” The band got their start playing countless shows around Southern California, rocking anything from backyard BBQs to festivals to packed clubs. Night after night of shows eventually bred their debut album, Free to Eat released on Epitaph Records in 2014.
2015 brought their sophomore album to the world. BLOODSWEAT, produced by Stuart Sikes (Modest Mouse), is a sequel to Free to Eat comprised of tour tested tracks imagined and reimagined over and over before ever reaching the studio. BLOODSWEAT has a dance fueled rock aesthetic tinged with shadowy darkness, a rowdy recipe for getting your Saturday warmed up.
Plague Vendor have sacrificed their don’t-give-a-fuck punk attitude for sincerity and vulnerability. They’ve swapped shock value for simplicity and a sense of expressive nakedness that comes from creating the most sound and intensity with the least possible equipment. Their live show travels from aggressive West Coast thrash to ballads of melodic introspection. Even those with a distaste for punk can discover a tasty flavor in Plague Vendor’s unique sound.
The Heavy – Saturday 1:20 – Saturn Stage
In honor of the late Prince we highly suggest you check out The Heavy. The Bath, UK based quartet takes influence from His Royal Badness and combines it with a gritty, UK garage rock sound.
Formed in the mid 00’s by frontman Kelvin Swaby and guitarist Dan Taylor, The Heavy came to be when the two heard what happened when Swaby’s soulful vocals were combined with Taylor’s dirty guitar riffs. The band’s soulful, raspy sound derives from heartache and triumphs faced by Swaby and Taylor. The Heavy leaves it all on the stage with a powerful refined performance perfected by years of understanding the fragile beast that is the 4 piece.
You are sure to have heard The Heavy’s most popular track “How You Like Me Now.” This James Brown inspired funk/rock ballad has been featured on TV shows and movies such as Horrible Bosses 2. Fresh off festival appearances at SXSW and Coachella, The Heavy are sure to bring the heat at FPSF. (No pun intended…)
Lewis del Mar – Saturday 2:50 Mars Stage
Ready to discover your new favorite act and tell all your friends how you were jamming them before they blew up? Rockaway Beach, NY’s experimental folk pop duo, Lewis del Mar is rising through the ranks thanks to recent success from their viral single Loud(y). Riding the popularity of the hybrid, acoustic folk/electronic sound the duo is making waves. Recently releasing their debut EP on New Columbia and propelling to number 1 on the Hype Machine and number 3 on Spotify’s Viral 50 chart.
Lewis del Mar is comprised of singer/guitarist Danny Miller and drummer/producer Max Harwood. The two combine fresh acoustic sounds, smooth vocals, vinyl samples and latin inspired drums to craft gritty, profane, mixed media anthems. Miller describes the groups sound like, “Jack Johnson on his sixteenth album after he’s taken a bunch of LSD. Like if Jack Johnson called up Kanye and asked him to produce his next album. They go off to Hawaii and trip on mushrooms and come back with this crazy record.”
Despite Lewis del Mar’s fairly produced sound, the duo becomes a five piece for live shows. Seeking to breath life into every part of their music and embody the group’s fusion of natural and industrial sounds.
We can’t wait to see what Lewis del Mar has in store for FPSF. Hope to see you there, we’d hate to have to say I told you so.
Louis the Child – Sunday 3:00 Mercury Stage
With the simple goal of “creating music that makes people happy,” its hard not to like Louis the Child. The Chicago future bass duo is picking up where artists like Flume, Disclosure and Mr. Carmack left off. Curating poppy future bass remixes and smile inducing originals for the ears of a new generation who crave a mix of hard hitting drops with euphoric melodies and uplifting hooks.
2015 saw Louis the Child supporting acts such as Kaskade, Madeon and the Chainsmokers and 2016 is proving to be a year of growth for the pair. Receiving love from Mix Mag and SnapChat and embarking on their first headlining tour including appearances at Coachella, BUKU and Firefly Festivals. Their single “It’s Strange” has received tons of love, reaching over five million plays on Soundcloud and Spotify. Yet to release a full album or EP you can count on exciting new things to come from this young electronic duo.
With the increasing popularity of the future bass movement could Louis the Child be the next Flume or Disclosure? Join us on Sunday at the Mercury stage to find out.
FPSF is set to be an epic weekend. We hope to see you out their early soaking in all the fest has to offer. Get your tickets here and don’t forget to stay hydrated!