At A Time When Music Festivals Are Starting To Feel The Same, LA's Air + Style Is Doing It Different

By: Benjamin Tillis

In a time when music festivals can all feel the same, Air + Style in Los Angeles was a refreshing change of pace aimed at pleasing the sport and music loving state of California. With an incredibly diverse lineup and the unique opportunity to watch professional athletes flaunt their tricks, the two day festival did not disappoint. There may have been snow on the ground, and even the rare case of rain on the first night, but the acts and competitors kept the crowd hot!

Air + Style brought the heat... and the snow.

Air + Style brought the heat... and the snow.

Highlights of the first day were no doubt EDM superstars Cashmere Cat and Zedd. Norwegian DJ Cashmere Cat thrives on radio’s top voices, including Selena Gomez’s and Ariana Grande’s, both of whom could be heard at his set. The most surprising song had to be his take on Panic At The Disco’s “I Write Sins Not Tragedies”, which got the whole crowd excited. Never before had it been so cool to sing at the top of your lungs to the chorus of that song. Zedd finished off his show with currently popular “The Middle”, which concluded with an epic fireworks show with the backdrop of the beautiful downtown LA skyline.

Tinashe.

Tinashe.

It would be difficult to find another festival showcasing the great musicians who performed on the second day of Air + Style. The four-piece jazz/hip hop group BadBadNotGood played a phenomenal set that no doubt revolved around their impressive drummer, Alexander Sowinski. Directly following BBNG’s set, Tinashe took the stage. Although she played the smaller of the two stages at Exposition Park, located beside University of Southern California’s campus, her performance was that of a stadium tour. Incredibly rehearsed, she showed off her dancing skills with her backup dancers and hit every note beautifully. She closed her set with “Faded Love,” her new song that features Future and is quickly climbing the charts.

Spotted: Shaun White. 

Spotted: Shaun White. 

In the middle of all of this, it was a difficult decision as whether to watch the skateboard or snowboarding competitions. Popping into the skatepark, the winner of the Best Trick Competition the first day was Alex Sorgente. Heimana Reynolds took home the first place trophy for the skateboard Best Trick competition the second night. He was joined on the podium by Tom Schaaf and 14-year-old CJ Collins. These awards were presented by snowboard legend Shaun White, who at the 2018 Winter Olympics broke the record for the highest score in men’s snowboarding halfpipe. Needless to say, fans were very excited to see him in such an intimate setting.

The skating competitions kept us on edge.

The skating competitions kept us on edge.

To continue the high energy of the festival, Griz played an ever upbeat set on night two. The DJ recently announced that he’ll be pursuing a rap and spoken word project instead of EDM, and he proved this by beginning his set rapping over his own beats. After a couple songs of this, he transformed back into what his fans know and love, belting out groovy tunes through his saxophone. Closing out the night was French pop band, Phoenix, who absolutely owned the stage. The crowd was happy to close out the night with their hit song “1901.”

Pheonix singing to the crowd. 

Pheonix singing to the crowd. 

The mutual love for high adrenaline sports and live performance created an instant bond that brought the crowd at Air + Style together, and it was apparent at every show and event. To add to that, it seemed like the musicians were inspired by the athletes. Every set seemed to be the artists showcasing the best of their best; every trick was an athlete proving their insane capabilities. It was an impressive sight to see and something you do not want to miss out on if Air + Style comes to your city.

Learn more about Air + Style here.

-Benjamin

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

The Midnight Club Release Debut Single "Close Your Eyes" On Harbor Records

By: Norman Hittle

The Midnight Club has released their debut single with Harbour Records, “Close Your Eyes,” and have a slated headlining release show at the end of November. Check out their single below:

You may recall hearing about The Midnight Club in 2016 when they won the coveted opening slot for Denver’s “Big Gig,” hosted by alternative station KTCL 93.3. But also notable is this Denver-based band being comprised of high school students Owen Coleman, Harry Springer, Miles Bragg, and Sean McCarthy. These young guys have been working the Denver scene since 2015.

The band's single has a considerable similarity to Panic! at the Disco (circa 2008’s Pretty. Odd. album), with the 1970’s era rock’n’roll mixed with synthetic orchestrations and thick vocal arrangements. The track, mixed by Mark Needham (The Killers, Imagine Dragons, Walk The Moon), has solid production quality and highlights the band’s indie/rock vibe without being overly commercial.

Check The Midnight Club out for their next headlining gig this weekend, November 25th, at Larimer Lounge to celebrate the release of “Close Your Eyes” and to debut some new music! Event details here!

-Norman

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Native Station: The Alt-Rock Outfit Who Moved to Boulder for the Colorado Music Scene

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Originally formed in Marion, VA, alt-rock four-piece Native Station moved to Boulder for the Colorado music scene. Founding members Greg Benton (vocals/rhythm guitar) and Thomas Troutt (backup vocals/lead guitar) said they first became serious about music as a professional pursuit in 2014, when they started writing more original work together. Once in Boulder, the two met Brett Cunningham (bass) and Nick Solga (drums), and Native Station’s current lineup was formed.

Native Station.

Native Station.

Just this summer, Native Station released their debut EP, Bones ’N All. It has strong alt-rock vibes almost reminiscent of the scene in the 2000s (before bands like Fall Out Boy or Panic! At The Disco sold out to the Top 40 Pop Charts). Benton’s vocals are raw with feeling and the percussive drops throughout the record make for a catchy accompaniment to their choruses (see especially on “All My Friends” and “Runarounds”). I could easily see Native Station sharing the stage with a talented Colorado group like My Body Sings Electric. The EP is available for download, and you can also preview it on Native Station’s website.

Since the release of Bones ‘N All, it’s likely you’ve seen Native Station’s name around your town. The band has played shows in Boulder, Denver, Greeley, and Longmont over the past few months. Though there’s nothing currently on their books, you can keep up with their show schedule here.

Make sure to give Native Station a listen, and keep up with the band on their Facebook!

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on twitter and instagram.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Colorado Springs' Hydrogen Skyline Wades Through Vulnerability In Their Music

By: Annie Kane

Hydrogen Skyline are a Colorado indie rock band with one hell of a frontwoman.

Soft but strong vocals from Asher Skyline lace between keyboard beats by her husband Norman, all of which is backed by Mark (Norman’s twin brother) on guitar, Heidi on the bass, and reverberating drums from Kyle. This is Colorado Springs-based band Hydrogen Skyline.

Colorado Springs' Hydrogen Skyline.

Colorado Springs' Hydrogen Skyline.

Since their inception in 2011, HS has toured across the western United States, receiving numerous praise from the likes of UK-based XRP Radio, beat100.com and Indierockcafe.com. And in just 5 years, the group has released 2 full length albums, 2 EPs, and one deluxe album, all the while consistently selling out shows.

Frontwoman Asher Skyline in action.

Frontwoman Asher Skyline in action.

The five-piece indie/electric/rock outfit pull influences in sound from artists like Twenty One Pilots, Panic! at the Disco, and the Arctic Monkeys. But one refreshing thing that sets them apart is Asher, their fiery female frontwoman. Her vocals pepper enough distinction into Hydrogen Skyline’s catalogue to give them a unique sound, which ranges from Phantogram-like fast and dancey tracks, to stronger, rockin’ elements reminiscent of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Hydrogen Skyline’s songwriting is worth mentioning too. Their “brand of melodic and groove laden compositions” results from their ability to be self-reflexive, with mentions of passions, loves, losses and continual changes throughout their music. Asher is also highly involved in animal rights activism, and local outreach for those affected by depression. Her ability to open herself up to others filters through her music and singing, and makes room for genuine songs.

Check out Hydrogen Skyline for yourself by listening to their single “Inhale”:

Peep more HS originals on their Bandcamp, and keep up with Hydrogen Skyline’s busy show schedule here.

-Annie

Connect with me on twitter and instagram.

All photos per the author; embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited.