The Worst Music of Free Press Summer Fest 2014
Maybe it was the heat; maybe I'm just getting old. Or maybe Childish Gambino just isn't really all that good. The man clearly has a passion for performing, and more style than he knows what to do with. What he doesn't seem to have are great songs. All of the other hip-hop acts at FPSF brought great songs to the table -- not just hits, but songs. Gambino has huge beats, stage presence and a Michael Jackson impersonation in his back pocket, but that's not going to be enough to buy him a second look from me. I want a hook. NATHAN SMITH
CAGE THE ELEPHANT
Sunday, Neptune stage
I'm a big fan of Cage the Elephant, and going into this year's FPSF they were in my Top 5 shows to see. That is why, despite my pre-existing love of this band, I surprised myself after hearing only about 1/4 of their set before growing antsy and deciding to see what else was going on around the grounds. After about half the set, I journeyed on.
Their performance was underwhelming, which is painful to say because I am a fan. Even considering what appeared to be some micro tech problems -- singer Matt Shultz seemed visibly upset with his mikes at times -- the show failed to gain any concrete traction or the energy to really take off and become something memorable. SELENA DIERINGER
I'm sure a lot of people loved this, and good on them. Maybe I'm just too old or may I'm just not cool enough to get whatever it is these guys are trying to do, but I just thought that was...oh hell, I don't even know. I thought this was some foreign parody of American music made by people who had never actually heard American music, until I realized people were singing along and this is actually just what they do.
So I'll own up and say that I'm probably the problem, but seriously, I've never heard such "high energy" music come off so lifeless and dispassionate. Wait, is that what I was missing? CORY GARCIA
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