UnionFest 2012 : Review/Interview

(Pictured Above: WPGU Staff with Ryan and Mark from Elsinore)


Though it was seemingly thrown together in a week, and the schedule wasn’t released until about 3 hours before the show on Friday, UnionFest was a huge success.  The Illini Union Board did a great job of establishing a great local and non-local lineup that seemed to cover the entire spectrum of genres.  Upstairs in the Ballroom, Grandkids, Hathaways, Santah, and Elsinore all represented for the local C-U music scene.  Downstairs in the I-rooms, the music took a decidedly different turn.  The U-C hip-hop congress was coupled with headliner Chicago-based Kids These Days.

(Pictured Above: Stanton McConnell, Guitarist/Vocalist for Santah)

On the Ballroom stage, Santah, Grandkids, and Hathaways killed their sets, offering great guitar-based rythyms and excellent on-stage personalities to match.  It truly is harder to get a better atmosphere than when local bands play to local crowds.  Everyone was so laid back, and seemed to legitimately enjoy everything that they were doing.  Elsinore hit the stage at 11, and played one of the best sets of the night.  The Champaign-based indie-pop band played a healthy mix of songs from their local hit, Yes Yes Yes, as well as several new tunes from an unnamed album that is in the works presently!

(Pictured Above: A light post on Wright St. decked out in Kids These Days posters)

On the I-room stage, Kids These Days’ performance was nothing short of spectacular.  Main M.C. Vic Mensa lifted the crowd (and the huge Chicago contingent) and created one of the most amazing show atmospheres that I have ever experienced.  Macie Stewart’s vocals were enough to make any man in the audience fall in love right then and there.  The band as a whole played a ridiculously energetic show, which featured cameos from Chicago’s own Chance The Rapper.  KTD featured many of their songs from their Hard Times EP and also many songs that will presumably be on their next mixtape: Traphouse Rock.  WPGU got a chance to interview them a couple of weeks ago.  You can check that out here!

(Pictured Above: Vic Mensa of Kids These Days)

All in all, UnionFest was a huge success for everyone involved, and I think it is safe to say that we all hope it returns next year!




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