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Riverlights Music Festival

, , , and | Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Riverlights webSusan Zhu | The Observer

Riverlights Festival will be taking place May 5-7, showcasing South Bend as a scene for new music. The festival will include performances at various venues throughout the city.

Riverlights is an opportunity to support local venues and these local artists:


Night Hikes – Kelly McGarry

O’Rourke’s, May 5 at 9 p.m.

This indie duo consisting of Olivia Godby and Matthew Farrell got together in fall of 2015, according to their Facebook page. The adventure that is their namesake could very well refer to an evening stroll around St. Mary’s Lake, as both are members of the Notre Dame class of 2016.

Olivia on guitar and Matthew on keyboard create a dreamy sound. They’ve already brought their synth pop performances to nearby locations such as The Well in Mishawaka, and will be a part of Riverlights on Thursday, performing at O’Rourke’s

The duo has released two performance videos: “Secret Song” is an eerie original filmed in the chapel of an unidentified dorm. They submitted “Filmmaker” for an NPR tiny desk contest, which creatively tells a story set in a “lo-fi town bar scene.” Surreal vocals and mesmerizing rhythms make Night Hikes an interesting but easy listen.


The B.E.A.T. – Erin McAuliffe

McCormick’s, May 5 at midnight

I saw After Ours open for Ratboys at McCormick’s in April. Arthur Schroeder and Eli Kahn took the stage and had the crowd dancing in oscillations to their artfully mixed beats. Schroeder stayed behind his drum set at the the back of the stage, but Kahn repeatedly switched from his feet to his knees up front — playing guitar and messing with the loops on the lit up sound board at his feet.

The B.E.A.T. is After Ours plus rapper MC: “The B. EAST (vox), E. LROY (guitars/madness), A. RT-AMISS (drumset), T. OGETHER.” The South Bend act delivers danceable beats, poignant and smooth with a certain accessible locality. On their track “Breaking Bad,” MC spits “Caviar and Pop Tarts are a guilty pleasure / I’m a generic numeric, with a tilted letter / That’s an alpha-numeric male in the dingy sweater / So cold got you wearing coats like ND weather” while Schroeder drums and Kahn strums a constant twirly ambient beat with jazz influences.

Their 2014 EP “Undercover” features mixes of RadioheadxKendrick Lamar (“National Rigamortis”) and Gucci ManexCake (“Juicebox”). On their Bandcamp site, The B.E.A.T. touts “live loops and effects on the spot that typically require studio manipulation” — get to O’Rourkes the night of May 5 to listen (and dance) for yourself.


Chris DuPont- Adam Ramos

Island Park, May 6 at 4:15 p.m.

Cathartic like the warm embrace waiting for me upon my return home post-finals, (exams haven’t even begun and I’m fantasizing about hugging my father, things aren’t looking so good) Chris DuPont’s ambient blend of traditional folk and Americana is a can’t-miss at the Riverlights Festival next weekend.

DuPont, accompanied by his three-piece band, recently stopped by Notre Dame to perform at Lakeside Music Festival, showcasing the group’s most recent record, “Outlier.” The sunny setting of the Carroll Hall lawn provided the perfect venue for the Michigan native and company as they grooved to lush cello vignettes, brush percussion arrangements and sultry falsettos; onlookers were mesmerized by the tranquility of it all.

Making his return to the South Bend area once more, DuPont will bring with him a powerful ability to reflect his band’s collectively-poignant sound with equally-emotional lyrics. “Outlier” features DuPont’s tasteful musing on topics like his recent fatherhood, the toll of being a traveling musician on relationships and his concept of faith — most obvious on the chilling album closer, “Antiphon.”  The combined effect amounts to a heartfelt musical experience, an experience amplified live via DuPont’s impressive presence and the group’s inner-band synergy, so be sure to catch their festival set.


Brittany Lee Moffitt – John Darr

Century Center, May 6 at 7:30 p.m.

Brittany Lee Moffitt’s solo debut EP finds the singer/songwriter utilizing a combination of acoustic and synthetic instrumentation that provides an engaging backdrop to her soaring vocal melodies. Her vocal stylings are quite diverse, and it’s clear the Chicago artist has talent and ambition to spare. It will be incredibly interesting to see how she melds the acoustic and electronic in her Riverlights set; be sure to catch the show so you can say you can say you were an early fan once she makes it big. 


Flint Eastwood – Brian Boylen

Island Park, May 6 at 8:45 p.m.

Before checking out this lineup, I had not heard of the indie pop artist hailing from Detroit, but I’m certainly glad I found her. Her music offers catchy, well-performed hooks laid over some interesting electronic sounds. One song in particular that I can’t stop replaying, “Glitches,” is a pretty traditional-sounding pop song that also manages to feel fresh and original. The hook, “Glitches on my radar / Coming from the sonar” is firmly rooted in my head. Her latest EP “Small Victories” is available on Spotify and Bandcamp, and is worth checking out. Recorded in the second-oldest church in Detroit, the project is an enjoyable listen that at the same time manages to convey a very personal feel that many pop albums lack. 

Flint Eastwood will be playing May 6 at Island Park. If you were a fan of the BØRNS concert hosted by Legends, you should definitely check out Flint Eastwood for more quality pop music.



The Tumbleweed Jumpers – John Darr

Seitz Park, May 7 at 9 p.m.

The Tumbleweed Jumpers rock a clean, small-ensemble indie-folk sound that’s sure to have you swaying and smiling should you catch their set on Saturday. Their debut EP “The Tether to the Weather” boasts an enjoyable range of tunes that jump from a fusion of Paul Simon and hopping ska (“Jethro”), classic rock and banjo (title track) to harmony-rich hipster catharsis (“Valley”). Their music carries a promise of a large stage presence; as enjoyable as their recording is, the tunes carry dense and energetic arrangements that are sure to transfer well in a live setting. As a headlining act with a batch of solid tracks, they’re definitely not a group to miss.


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About Kelly McGarry

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About Adam Ramos

Adam is studying international economics in the class of 2018. He hails from beautiful New Jersey and says "draw" instead of "drawer."

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About John Darr

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About Brian Boylen

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About Erin McAuliffe

I'm Scene's editor and a senior Marketing & Journalism student. To quote the exquisite Sadie Dupuis, "I'm not bossy — I'm the boss."

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