PHOTOS: May-riffic Music Festival, Day 2
Our May-riffic weekend continued into Sunday, with variety being the theme of the day. Sunday’s lineup ran the gamut of rock and roll, providing a little something for everyone.
Day 2 started off with an acoustic set from singer-songwriter Hannah Violet, who started the day strong with her commanding presence and Nashville-inspired repertoire. Hannah’s big-time talent was a terrific start to the day, with her powerhouse country vocals lending themselves perfectly the American Spirits Roadhouse atmosphere.
Up next, Harleysville sister duo Danielle & Jennifer took the stage to perform a set of their harmonic pop originals. The multi-instrumentalists proved to be equal parts talented, engaging, and fun, sharing stories and trading lead duties to make for a dynamic performance.
Bringing things back to the Valley were Alex Mery & The Townsmen, who have been quite busy as of late as they prepare to embark on their upcoming Southern Exposure Tour. Still, tour preparations didn’t stop them from coming by and delivering another outstanding performance, featuring their patented brand of emotionally-charged folk punk.
Next up was our friend Pentley Holmes, who chilled us all out with a set of afternoon soul. Pentley’s smooth performance created a listening room atmosphere inside of the Roadhouse, perfect for an easy summer Sunday afternoon.
Following Pentley, the full-band portion of the evening kicked into high gear with North Jersey rock and rollers The Outcrops. The Sussex County foursome was a welcome addition to the bill, and their performance — a scintillating blend of rock, blues, jam, and more — left May-riffic astounded, serving as the perfect bridge from the afternoon’s acoustic acts to the higher-octane evening to come.
The Outcrops would be a tough act for anyone to follow. Fortunately, Roi and the Secret People picked up right where they left off with a typically-stellar, swaggering set. Frontman Mike Roi turned in another fine performance; his soaring voice and undeniable stage presence once again engaged every person in the room. The group’s tight rhythms and big, arena-ready sound supported Roi, helping to create a true rock concert atmosphere.
And then… things got wild.
No one ever knows what to expect from a set from VICTIM. One thing you can always count on, though, is a performance that rocks hard, pushes boundaries, and breaks the rules. The band took the stage — and, let’s face it, the rest of American Spirits Roadhouse — and went all-in with its high-octane original material. Frontman Cris Moser used the entire venue as a stage — bars, tables, and all — as he, in typical fashion, made it known from the get-go that he would be holding nothing back on Sunday night. The set even included surprise guest vocals — as in, the artists were surprised, too — from Outcrops guitarist Bryan Schroeder on a cover of Judas Priest’s “Breaking the Law,” and from Mike Roi on a rendition of Nazareth’s “Hair of the Dog.”
It should be fun to see how VICTIM will try to top this on June 9 at The Gin Mill and Grille in Northampton as part of the Hard Rock Rebellion with Alpha Zero Three and Signs of Madness. Surely, though, they’ve already begun to think of ways to push the envelope further.
Thus concluded our adventure. Before we depart, I want to act on behalf of LVU to thank American Spirits Roadhouse for their hospitality in hosting this event. Also, thank you to the artists who graced the stage over the course of the weekend, all of whom have been tremendous to us, and were a dream to work with as we led up to the festival. We look forward to the next one!