Though I’ve attended MPMF shows in the past, I had never attended all three nights of the festival before – in part because I couldn’t afford a wristband, and I never took the time to research the line ups.Â Thanks to Each Note Secure, however, I got the opportunity to cover the whole weekend! Here’s a wrap-up of Midpoint 2009.
Thursday: Despite the temperature in the Contemporary Arts Center reaching close to 5 million degrees, The Seedy Seeds were as awesome as ever.Â 300+ people packed the venue to check out one of Cincinnati’s favorite indie pop groups. Traditionally, the band premieres a new song at MPMF every year, and this year’s “We Are Missing” was a huge hit.
Friday:Â I headed to the Inner Peace Center for the Standard Recording Company showcase with one band on my agenda: Amo Joy.Â The Indianapolis band won me over with their catchy pop songs – a mix of early Of Montreal circa Aldhils Arboretum and the Unicorns, if they played at carnivals.Â The crowd really got going once the band pulled out a suitcase full of noisemakers, whistles, and clappers and encouraged audience members to play along.
Typical of many of the bands at Midpoint, Extra Golden was behind schedule and didn’t start playing till close to 12:30.Â Still, no oneÂ seemed to mind once the band hit the stage.Â The band’s catchy afro-pop combined with plenty of time to drink before the set kept everyone on the dance floor.
Saturday: Torrential downpours couldn’t stop hundreds of people from making their way to Grammer’s to see Chairlift Saturday night.Â Hands down, my favorite performance all weekend.Â Â The band’s dark, 80s-inspired shoegaze contrasted well with lead singer Caroline Polacheck’s haunting yelps and howls.Â Â The band ended a strong set with “Bruises”, followed by an encore.Â However, by the end of the last song, the rain was coming down in sheets, and half the audience was standing in water.Â The band decided since no one was going anywhere, they might as well play another encore, which included a surprisingly good cover of “Sexual Eruption.”
Public Transportation:Â One would be hard pressed to argue against the Cincinnati streetcar after attending Midpoint.Â I found myself in Clifton waiting for a bus heading downtown for close to 35 minutes (though I admit I didn’t check the schedule beforehand since most buses usually come every 15 minutes).Â In addition, people who opted not to walk in the rain were stranded at venues, and any hope of making it to a Southgate House show were dashed unless you felt like staying there all night, or driving across the river from downtown.Â Though the Scion shuttles were better than nothing,Â it wasÂ a tease for those who dream of a real public transit system.
Saturday: I headed to the CAC early so I could grab a good spot for The Do.Â Â A decent crowd had already gathered for You, You’re Awesome, and as usual, sweating, dancing, and grooving ensued.Â Needless to say, everyone seemed pretty pumped for the headliner by the end of the set.Â Unfortunately, by the time The Do hit the stage, the long wait between sets combined with the funky smells from said sweating and dancing had made the crowd restless.Â A couple songs like “The Bridge is Broken” and “Playground Hustle” were fairly interesting, but overall the music didn’t really go anywhere.
Thursday: Those who came to the CAC on Thursday to see Scotland Yard Gospel Choir were met with tragic news.Â During the Seeds’ set, MargaretÂ somberly informed the audience that the band would not be playing that night.Â According to reports, the Scotland Yard Gospel Choir’s van had overturned that afternoon after one of their tire’s blew out, totaling the van and destroying all of the band’s gear.Â All of the band’s members were taken to the hospitals with minor to serious injuries.Â In order to offsetÂ medical bills and equipment expenses, the band has since created a Paypal account to accept donations.
Saturday: After Cadillac Ranch saw a 71% drop in sales during their first band, the ‘Ranch decided to pull out of Midpoint in order to maintain their image as an Applebee’s with a mechanical bull.Â Despite reportedly posting better than average sales Thursday and Friday night, the bar figured kicking the rest of the bands to the curb and replacing them with a DJ was a better business strategy. Â Â The bands, including Cadeo, who had traveled 13 hours to play that night, moved to alternate venues downtown.Â Keep it classy, Cadillac Ranch.