The DeLuna Fest in Pensacola, Fla. wrapped up yesterday, and Sunday’s closing lineup featured acts like Mutemath and Cut Copy. While we’re still nursing sunburns and finding sand in our shoes from the beach-side festival, we compiled a recap of the whole thing. You can check out Sunday’s wrap-up and photo gallery below.
Asheville quintet Toubab Krewe, known for their uncommon fusion of the traditional music of West Africa with that of the southern U.S., create organic, adventurous pieces of music that unfold slowly on stage — and it was all the more unexpected when the band, largely an instrumental outfit, opened their set with a vocal-heavy, Appalachian folk-inspired tune.
The Krewe fit into this new skin well, proving they aren’t simply an instrumental band, but the rest of their set comprised slow-building, patient hybrids of Southern rock, Cajun music and most especially melodies and polyrhythms indebted to the music of countries like Mali, Guinea-Bissau and the Ivory Coast, among others.
The group spent the first half of their set playing traditional instruments of guitar, bass and drums, but for the last few songs switched over to native African instruments like the kora (a 21-string harp-like instrument) and soku (a instrument reminiscent of the banjo). The result was a fusion of two continents seldom seen in the world of popular music, and it made for a refreshing show that tapped into the primal, indigenous subconscious at the core of mankind.
While the crowd had dwindled from the first two days of the festival, a lot of bands still found themselves playing in front of some of the largest crowds the side stages received. Los Angeles-based GROUPLOVE started playing as the sun was setting to two dozen fans who were sitting on the asphalt waiting for the five-piece to start. Young guys and gals were wearing the band’s shirts and some even had “GROUP” written on the inside of their forearm, just like the band has tattooed onto themselves. These dancing super-fans provided so much energy for Hannah Hooper, Christian Zucconi, Sean Gadd, Andrew Wessen and Ryan Rabin.
The five musicians gave everything they had and by the time they were halfway done with the set the crowd around their stage had quadrupled in size. Everyone went crazy when they played their first hit “Itchin On a Photograph” midway through their set and then erupted into cheers during “Colours,” which closed the set.
Fans began chanting for an encore, but it wasn’t able to be met because the
festival crew started unloading the stage. GROUPLOVE, however, came around and singed autographs on everything from their own merch to random t-shirts and shoes. One guy even wanted a stress ball signed because he said the band calms him down while he’s working.
Australian-based Cut Copy was one of the many electronic heavy bands to play on the beach and kept the dance party alive. They played a variety of songs, including hits from In Ghost Colours. Frontman Dan Whitford’s compositions translated so well from album to a live performance that it didn’t sound as muffled and overbearing as previous electronic bands had during the first two days. Cut Copy were given a longer set time due to Linkin Park dropping out of the festival, and the Australians didn’t disappoint. Every song built on the previous until it exploded into electronic euphoria.
Filling in as Sunday’s headlining act after Linkin Park’s cancellation, Mutemath stepped up to the job impressively. Although their crowd was average in size compared to the headliners of previous nights, they performed with vigor and emotion. Self-described as a band that makes “music with no barriers,” the New Orleans-based quartet (which actually sprang from the ashes of a Christian rock band) boasts a weird but unique sound, with an amalgamation of influences that borrow as much from dub music and The Police as Radiohead and Brian Eno, driven by an airtight rhythm section and topped with singer Paul Meany’s smooth, expressive tenor.
Meany doubled up on keyboards, creating otherworldly fragments of sound along with the post-punk style of new guitarist Todd Gummerman. The band played a few cuts from their newest album Odd Soul, released earlier this year, which were well-received enough, but it was the material from their debut album like “Control,” “Typical” and “Chaos” which stirred the crowd into the biggest frenzy.
Mutemath didn’t do an encore but milked their set time for all it was worth, diving into an ensemble breakdown that saw the members rotating to play various percussion instruments for a bombastic set closer.