|Vincent Davies gets cozy with the Pasadena crowd at the 8th Annual Make Music Pasadena.|
photos by picksysticks.
Curated by music lovers for music lovers, Make Music Pasadena showcases international and national bands and caters to the music fan who loves to discover new music while also taking in music's most buzz-worthy artists. Just as in previous years, MMP showcases artists from many musical genres - rock, folk, country, electronic, R&B - the list goes on.
From alleyways, coffee shops, parking lots and store plazas, stages in a six-block radius pepper the streets of downtown Pasadena.
The Old Pasadena Main Stage, located on the historic Colorado Blvd., hosted the music scene's best rising acts. London's Hidden Charms certainly charmed the crowd with their classic rock sound reminiscent of Van Morrison and AC/DC while also keeping it fresh and new with echoes of White Stripes and Arctic Monkeys. Sharing vocal duties are Vinny Davies (bass, guitar) and Ranald Macdonald (keys, guitar, bass) while Josh Lewis also plays guitar and bass and Oscar Robertson is the beast on drums.
Earlier in the week, they wowed at The Troubadour and The Lyric Theater with their hit singles "Dreaming of Another Girl" and "It's Time" recently released to major fanfare. Hidden Charms, barely out of their teens have already been praised by the likes of BBC, NME, Sirius XM radio and many in the UK Press. It won't be long until the press, this side of the Atlantic, will follow suit. 2015 is gearing up to be their breakout year especially with their upcoming busy tour schedule including major festivals. Look for Hidden Charms' debut EP in the coming months with a full-length album dropping early next year.
One of the most electric performances of the day came from LA's own Sir Sly. Admitted huge Drake fans, you can hear the hip-hop influence in their debut album You Haunt Me, released last September, spawning the hits "Gold" and "You Haunt Me" which got them noticed and enabled them to tour and share the stage with the likes of St. Lucia and 1975.
|Sir Sly rockin' it on the Main Stage at Make Music Pasadena.|
photos by picksysticks
Located in the center of all this madness was the Paseo Colorado stage, one of six main stages , located in this urban shopping village between a coffee shop and an antiques store. And with the historic Civic Auditorium serving as a backdrop across the street, this stage had some of the best acts of this fest including one of the few, if not only, indie-pop artists hailing from South Central L.A.
|Autumn in June mesmerizes the crowd at Make Music Pasadena.|
photos by picksysticks
|Autumn in June|
pic by picksysticks
A master of sonic landscaping, Autumn in June's yearning coos and free floating synths in songs like "Hours" was part of a long list of hypnotic singles that got the crowd dancing while "Hey Arnold," a disco inspired tune with R&B harmonies, got the weekend shoppers curious enough to stay for his entire set and converted them into instant fans.
|Crowds enjoying LA indie-pop band Forebear.|
photo by picksysticks
|Forebear at the Paseo Colorado Stage - one of six main stages throughout Pasadena.|
photographs by picksysticks
Last year's estimated 50,000 attendees braved the upper 80s degree heat while exploring the hundreds of area restaurants and boutiques surrounding the city. This year, the weather was much cooler and crowds came out early to catch Kera and the Lesbians at the Playhouse District Stage presented by SESAC.
This SoCal band (Los Angeles by way of San Diego) thrills with their eclectic, rock-folk that welcomes dancing while making you pay attention to lead singer Kera Armendariz's lyrics on heartbreak and love. Their stage presence is infectious as Kera, reminiscent of a person fighting the possession of the music spirits, jerking, hopping and swaying to every note and drum beat. Often times vulnerable and other times brash, Kera and the Lesbians inventive melodies was one not easy to forget - perfect for those long picturesque drives with the top down on the Pacific Coast Highway.
Next up was Dark Waves who had just completed his tour, performed at MMP on the SESAC stage. Usually accompanied by his backing band, this early afternoon, he performed solo.
|Dark Waves playing the Playhouse District Stage during Make Music Pasadena|
photo by picksysticks
Make Music Pasadena is just the beginning of the city’s musical series of free summer outdoor concerts that are free to the public which reflects the spirit of the community and the overall music scene. Starting this Sunday, June 14th, Levitt Pavilion Pasadena is presenting 50 free shows which will run through September 20th and will feature artists from around the globe encompassing all musical genres. Head over to LevittPavilionPasadena.org for more information and dates.