Entertainment Magazine

Getting Ready for Catalpa, “NYC’s Music Festival”

Posted on the 27 July 2012 by Kdcoduto @katydee

So, in keeping up with going to every possible music event in New York City while I live here, I’m getting ready to attend Catalpa on Randall’s Island this weekend. While I went to Governor’s Ball earlier this summer (at the end of June… you can see my post all about it in June 2012′s archives), Catalpa is being heralded as “NYC’s music festival.” As in, this is the music festival you need to go to.

And, to an extent, I believe this is true. While Governor’s Ball had plenty of great moments, Catalpa is sounding even more promising. In addition to stellar music acts (which I’ll get to in a minute), Catalpa has a lot to offer: a fake church set up to have “sham” weddings; numerous art installations; a silent disco tent; food trucks galore; and a DJ booth that shoots flames over 30 feet into the air. This was the most expensive festival/concert I opted to attend this summer, but that alone makes me feel like I’ll be getting my money’s worth.

Catalpa is basically cramming all of the best parts of New York City into one island and one event. It’s taking the thriving music scene and combining it with the more eclectic art pieces and the city’s well-known and most respected food trucks to offer up an event that literally becomes the music festival of New York City.

And with that, there really are some great musical acts. Saturday includes Zola Jesus, TV on the Radio, Umphrey’s McGee (doing two sets) and headliners the Black Keys. I saw the Keys in Cleveland back in March, and I’m looking forward to seeing them again and much, much closer. Sunday, meanwhile, is even more solid, with a lineup that includes the Big Pink, Cold War Kids, A$AP Rocky, Matt and Kim, Araabmusik, Girl Talk and Snoop Dogg – who will be playing Doggystyle in full.

I would say that’s a pretty solid lineup, especially as it certainly offers something for everyone (or, in my case, basically hits on every genre I love). Acts I’m most excited for? Obviously the Black Keys, but also Zola Jesus on Saturday. I love her deep, silky voice, and Conatus was the soundtrack to my fall semester. I also don’t know that she’ll be in Cleveland anytime soon, and so she’s going to be the first artist I make sure I see.

Also excited to see TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain narrated much of the beginning of high school for me, starting with the summer before and going into my freshmen year. Since then, I’ve always had a special place for them, but I have yet to see them.

Sunday is more difficult to pick, but the Big Pink are in my top acts to see. I’ve been listening to their electro-pop for a while, and they’re another band that won’t likely be making their way to Cleveland anytime soon. Plus, they’re early in the afternoon on Sunday (they take the stage at 2:15), so I think they’ll be a great way to start Day 2.

However, out of everyone on Sunday, I’m most excited to see Girl Talk. Greg Gillis has eluded me the last two times he was in Cleveland, and I’m sick of missing the party. Girl Talk came into my life near the end of my junior year of high school, and All Day was one of my favorite albums throughout my freshmen year at Kent State. My date with Girl Talk is long overdue, and I think the energy from his set will be a nice set up for Snoop Dogg’s headlining set.

The moral of the story? I’m excited for Catalpa. I literally cannot wait – in less than 48 hours, I’ll be partying with the Black Keys!

Reviews on Monday.

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