Hosted by the lovely KTG from WEXT-FM, the second annual Capital Area Indie Fest at The Egg’s Swyer Theatre last Saturday night was a rockin’ music bash. Sponsored by the Columbia Arts Team and produced by Sandy McKnight, the fest’s mission was a donation-box benefit for the arts as well as a showcase for new work by eight local performers, who had the rare opportunity to bring their music out of the clubs and onto a prestigious theater stage.
The evening’s festivities started off with sets featuring Sound Economy, followed by the Erin Harkes Band, then singer-songwriter Betsi Krisniski and the first-half closers the Sandy McKnight Fiasco.
Following the intermission, the Rob Skane 3 rocked the house with a handful of catchy originals, complete with a little audience sing-a-long participation on a few tunes. Singer-songwriter-guitarist and former Nippertown resident Miche Fambro eloquently performed a series of original tunes that ran the gamut from lyrical ballads to frenzied masterpieces.
The least known of fest’s performers were the Museum Guards, but following a tense set-up delay, the young power trio of punk-pop rockers rifled through a half dozen scorching tunes, leaving the small audience wanting more than just the 25-minute sampling that the band offered.
Through hard work, White Noise Radio have slowly become a regional college campus fave. With a no-holds-barred approach, they stormed the stage, plowing through an intense program of indie-rock/hard-rock filled with heavy metal accents. The tunes ran loose and wild, rockin’ the house. Unfortunately, before you could bat an eye, the quartet’s 30-minute set had come to a screeching halt, and the second annual Capital Area Indie Fest was over.
It was an evening full of fun music that was original and truly entertaining. The only problem with the whole affair was the small size of the crowd. And many of those in attendance only came to see and support their favorite performer, leaving soon after the set.
If this showcase took place in another city around the state, rather than in these musicians’ own backyard where many of them play out time and again, the music-loving public might have turned out in droves to appreciate some world-class performers, who just happen to be from the Capital District.
While all of the bands are deserving of wider recognition, unfortunately, beyond their own family, friends and established local fan base, these talented individuals seemed under-appreciated. But as one performer stated, “Hey, it’s fun just to get out and play for people!”
And if that was what it was all about, well then, the second annual Capital Area Indiefest was a huge success.
Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk