The Sunnyside Band
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The Sunnyside Band

College Park, Maryland, United States | INDIE

College Park, Maryland, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Alternative

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"REVIEW: Domefest 2011 in Beltsville, MD"

Small, homegrown music festivals are sprouting up everywhere in today’s virally inspired, do-it-yourself music scene. These intimate gatherings take the same approach as their larger counterparts – provide a place for like-minded, heady people to gather in the name of their love of live music.

These regional events have true character, offering a lineup of bands and DJs who, like the festival itself, are attempting to grow organically. The intimacy of the upstart music festival acts as an incubator, providing young musicians and ambitious promoters the chance to strengthen musical communities while cultivating an artistic culture that is both satisfying to the wallet and pleasing to the mind, body and soul.

One such festival that embodies this potential is Beltsville, MD’s Domefest.


Domefest - Photo Credit: Jordan August
[FIND more information about Domefest on the festival's website.]

The second annual event, designed to congregate the best up-and-coming as well as established musicians in the greater College Park, MD area, was bigger and better than ever this year with appearances by Papadosio, Damn Right! and Pigeons Playing Ping Pong.

Relying on a wealth of personal experiences, Domefest and Groovehouse Productions co-founders Jeremy Schon and Ben Curwin displayed a keen eye for detail in the 2011 edition, capturing the attention and imagination of their mid-Atlantic fan base with intricate stage design, a logically placed camping area and a lineup filled with the area’s most passionate and impressive young artists.

Here’s how the sold-out Domefest 2011 went down:

Potomac Bombs – The 2011 Domefest crowd, which showed up earlier and in greater numbers than in 2010, was greeted by the bluegrass-inspired, alternative-country group Potomac Bombs. Challenging stereotypical notions of what an all-acoustic roots band could bring, the boys from Potomac, MD started the day off with tremendous energy dropping sonic-bombs of blisteringly fast acoustic picking.


Damn Right! - Photo Credit: Jordan August
People’s Blues of Richmond – Taking early sound check troubles in comedic stride, the People’s Blues of Richmond delivered their guitar-driven heavy riffs to a grateful crowd. Having garnered support up and down the East Coast for their late 60s inspired psychedelic blues, PBR set the tone for an afternoon of music that defied expectations.
[FIND complete lineups, ticketing information and analysis of all your favorite festivals in our 2011 Festival Guide.]

The shirtless Tim Beavers (lead guitar and vocals) thrashed and stomped across the stage channeling a persona that was equal parts Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. The thunderous rhythm section made up of bassist Matt Volkes and drummer Raphael Katchinoff had the crowd grooving along to a righteously heavy take on the Led Zeppelin classic “When the Levee Breaks.”

The Sunnyside Band – The Americana styling and thoughtful songwriting of Domefest co-founder and keyboardist Ben Curwin’s rootsy outfit filled the field in the late afternoon. Joined on stage by members of the Potomac Bombs, The Sunnyside Band delivered some laid back jams including the reprisal of last year’s crowd-pleasing cover “Man of Constant Sorrow.”


Papadosio - Photo Credit: Jordan August
[FOLLOW Headstash on Facebook.]

Deaf Scene – The Deaf Scene appeared to have a polarizing effect on the crowd – some were fully into their spaced-out synthetic jams while others were content to retire to their tents and dip-into the coolers for some much needed carbonated refreshment. Regardless of which side of the Deaf Scene fence you stood on, their chemistry was undeniable as the group delivered melodic jams lush with texture.

Shook – Shook’s set marked the transition from the cooled-out vibes of a glorious sun-filled Saturday afternoon to the infectious dance rhythms that would carry festivalgoers late into the night. The four-piece electro-dance group from Baltimore evoked shades of Michael Jackson and did the crowd right as they delivered waves of keyboard synth, sensual vocals and flashy dance moves that would make the Prince of Pop proud.

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong – Pigeons Playing Ping Pong assumed their customary sunset set time, elevating the crowd with their undeniable energy and stage presence. Domefest co-founder and Pigeons lead guitarist Jeremy Schon set the tone with guitar leads that were both enticing and explorative.


Pigeons Playing Ping Pong's Jeremy Schon - Photo Credit: Jordan August
[FOLLOW Pigeons Playing Ping Pong on Facebook.]
Pigeons appeared right at home, playfully flirting with crowd and inviting them into the wild night ahead. Lead vocalist Greg Ormont shined on the cover of the Talking Head’s classic “Once in a Lifetime,” where a bit of crowd-pleasing theatrics and improvised vocal chanting prepared the Domes for a night of raucous headlining fun.

Damn Right! –Electronic breaks, vocal samples and pop synths defined the grooved-out dance party hosted by Damn Right!. Formed and perfected in the club scenes of Baltimore and Philadelphia, Damn Right is a band committed to creating the perfect party atmosphere, a trait they have sharpened while enjoying critical success touring the East Coast and beyond.

[FOLLOW Damn Right! on Facebook.]

The band connected with the crowd immediately as fans gravitated from their tents to the stage, joining in with the mass of dancing, sweating bodies.


Pigeons Playing Ping Pong's Greg Ormont - Photo Credit: Jordan August
Papadosio – Papadosio was an impressive headliner for Domefest 2011 . Through their performance, fans were treated to a glimpse into the future of livetronica music. Having sold out almost every date on their most recent tour, the boys from Papadosio have already established themselves as the next great live act.
Regulars on the summer festival circuit Papadosio understands how to connect with a crowd and deliver a concert experience that transcends a simple good time, and extends into something spiritual and significant. The band’s songwriting showcased improvisational interludes and refreshing vocal harmonies with an amplified message of transcendence, unity and universal understanding.

[FIND tour dates, news and downloads on Papadosio's website and Facebook.]

The band delivered an inspired set that featured the group’s signature song “Advocate of Change” and recurring teases of Radiohead’s “Everything in its Right Place.”

DJs BohFunk and Soohan – Festivalgoers were also treated to the talents of DJ BohFunk who broadcasted his unique cuts of soul and funk-inspired trance to the dance floor in between sets. DJ Soohan’s Baltimore club mix was right at home with Domefest crowd who danced late into the night to his psychedelic trance and dubstep mixes. - Headstash


"WMUC Studios latest project: The Sunnyside Band debut album"

Mixed at WMUC Studios by Studio Director TJ Dant. The Sunnyside Band's debut album Slipping Through the Cracks is available as a free download here. - WMUC Radio


"The Sunnyside Band at Vito's!"

Date: Friday, March 4th
Time: 10pm
Where: Vito's Pizzeria on Rt. 1

Come celebrate the release of their first album, "Slipping Through The Cracks", with The Sunnyside Band (formerly Fivestock) and MMBS. The show will take place at Vito's Pizzeria on Baltimore Ave in downtown college park Friday, March 4th, at 10pm.

Tickets are just $5 (ages 21 and up) at the door, $10 for underage.

Special guests include: Lot Lizard and Hot Tub Executives.

For more information, check out Facebook or visit The Sunnyside Band's website.


See you there!! - The Maryland Music Business Society


Discography

Slipping Through the Cracks (2011)

Photos

Bio

A four piece band from Washington, DC, The Sunnyside Band brings an original approach to songwriting and rock music. While keeping elements of classic rock alive, the band has a uniquely modern sound. Their new album Slipping Through the Cracks highlights both the songwriting abilities and musicianship that define the band.

The members of The Sunnyside Band hail from all over the northeast, originally meeting in the freshman dorms of the University of Maryland in the fall of 2007. Today The Sunnyside Band is a staple of the live music scene in Washington, DC and quickly expanding with momentum from their recently released debut album and playing alongside national acts like The Bridge and The Heavy Pets.

Slipping Through the Cracks, released in 2011, is an evoking debut for the song-oriented rockers. Thoughtful and subtly inspiring lyrics combine with a dynamic musical approach for a truly enjoyable listen.