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REVIEW Echofest V by Joe La Grassa

Sonic Bliss - Echofest V Saturday, November 15th 2014



What I think every Echofest attendee wants is to be bombarded by sonic waves of distortion, buzz, fuzz, feedback, echo, reverb, delay, tremolo and the gamut of sounds that rows of pedals and knobs can deliver. That is exactly what they got! Upon entry, as a party favor, attendees were treated to a pair of diffraction glasses that were meant to enhance the experience. The pool tables were pushed aside and covered full of  band merch with many people eagerly grabbing up what they could from a cool band they just saw. There were 2 stages, the Main stage and the Second stage.


The Line-Up included Elephant Stone, King Buffalo, Coven Party, The Witches, Heaven's Gateway Drugs, Moss Folk, Plastic Crimewave Syndicate, Rogue Satellites, Matthew Smith, Dead Leaf Echo, Siamese, and the hosts Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor. Split between two stages, the room exploded in pulsating sound and vision. With the guitars swirling and the synths droning the air became electric with shimmering and shadowy live visuals being projected behind the stages through a variety of methods by Wayne Woodward.There was really no good time to "Go get a beer" or "Take a leak", as soon as one band ended, on the opposite stage another one was plugged in and ready to go. All one had to do is simply turn around and take five steps forward to see the bands and to be staring them in the face or at their shoes more likely. Many people were quite engaged and excited in the buzz of the night. Some actually sporting the diffraction glasses or at least putting them up to their phones or cameras much like a filter and taking some pretty cool photos just like I did.


In the past, PJ's Lagerhouse has been the home of Echofest. The Loving Touch proved to be a viable venue to encapsulate the proper environment that festival requires. With opposing stages, a spot for the merch tables and of course, a good bar, patrons could easily navigate to where they wanted to be. I caught the last song that Siamese played, as I walked in. Rogue Satellites shimmered through a hypnotizing set. When they ended, I turned around and a band I'm not familiar with, Dead Leaf Echo (NY) took to the Main Stage. I was immediately enraptured by their presence and sound. Traces of early Creation Records bands like House of Love and Ride, or even Kitchens of Distinction could be heard. What was this, a time warp back to '91 or 92? I was sucker punched in the ears by an amalgam of sounds that made up my teen aged, shoe gazing years. The phrase that I repeated in my head all night was, "They are what Interpol aspires to be."  King Buffalo (NY) also took to the stage with an impressive presence and sound. Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor and Elephant Stone closed out the night. Both bands delivered sets that entranced the audience. SOYSV treated everyone to a colorful, vibrant and hypnotic space and time. Elephant Stone harkened back to some classic psychedelic bands, complete with a Sitar. Taking their name from a Stone Roses song, they certainly nod to the late 80's, early 90's shoegaze and bliss era, but they have a strong sound that encapsulates many genres.


As an excited Echofester, I certainly felt that it was executed seamlessly and that attendees were beyond pleased. It is a noteworthy annual event that I look forward to attending. I hope that it generates a support system for these amazing bands to flourish. Shine on You Crazy Diamonds…


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