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Review: Friday at The 2014 Bunbury Music Festival

Miranda Rife Miranda Rife Review: Friday at The 2014 Bunbury Music FestivalEmpire of The Sun performs at Bunbury 2014.
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I started my day at Bunbury by seeing Nashville band Wild Cub perform on the main stage. The group had a lot of energy and a lot of percussion. In addition to the band’s main drummer, both the keyboardist and the lead singer also had their own smaller drum sets. Their songs were cheerful and upbeat, making them perfect for the festival atmosphere. Between tracks, lead singer Keegan DeWitt stopped to talk about why he appreciated Ohio, and Columbus in particular. When their single “Thunder Clatter” was looking for airplay, Columbus played it first, helping them get their feet in other radio markets, he said. They put on a great performance and promised to return to Ohio soon.

Wild Cub performs at Bunbury 2014 — Photo by Miranda Rife.

Wild Cub performs at Bunbury 2014.

X Ambassadors played a short stripped down set in the VIP tent featuring a diverse selection of instruments, including a saxophone and a tiny toy piano. They played a cover of current Top 40 Hit, “Stay With Me,” which the crowd loved.

Next up was Cage The Elephant on the main stage. They were humble and energetic. After playing their hit from a few years back “Aberdeen,” front man Matt Shultz remarked, “I’m still surprised every time we play that song and people know the words.”

Cage the Elephant performs at Bunbury 2014 — Photo by Miranda Rife.

Cage the Elephant performs at Bunbury 2014.

LA’s Bad Suns, who I also reviewed this May when they stopped in Columbus, played next on the River Stage. They were once again an excellent show and had lots of new songs to share from their recently released album Language and Perspective.

Bad Suns perform at Bunbury 2014 — Photo by Miranda Rife.

Bad Suns perform at Bunbury 2014.

Fitz and The Tantrums put on an excellent show at the main stage. Not only was the crowd having tons of fun, the bands seemed to be truly enjoying themselves on stage. Their tunes were funky and fun, prompting dance moves all across the crowd.

When headliners Empire of The Sun took the stage, many in the crowd were caught off guard by their futuristic garb, fancy headdresses and numerous back-up dancers. The group certainly knows how to make an entrance. The duo came all the way from Australia to play their electronic tunes and put on a show that no one in the audience will soon forget. Their dancers made several outfit changes, from feathered shoulder pads to unicorn horns and tentacle like sleeves; they certainly did their part to keep the show interesting. Front man Luke Steele ended the show by smashing his guitar on the stage while tons of white confetti fell into the crowd.

Empire of the Sun performs at Bunbury 2014 — Photo by Miranda Rife.

Empire of the Sun performs at Bunbury 2014.

Bunbury 2014 is off to a great start. Don’t forget to check back for coverage of the next two days, including Fall Out Boy and The Flaming Lips as headliners.

All photos by Casey Rife and Miranda Rife.

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