Shadow of the City Festival 2016: The 1975, Carly Rae Jepsen+ More Perform in New Jersey
Festival season has kicked into high gear, and over on the East Coast, the Shadow of the City Festival returned this year with a very memorable show this past weekend (June 18).
Jack Antonoff, best known for his work as Bleachers and with fun., didn't just reunite with his other band Steel Train on stage this year: the Jersey native is also the mastermind behind the festival itself, which took place beachside in Asbury Park in New Jersey over this past weekend.
The 1975 headlined the festival, and though they have only just two studio albums under their belt, the group has already gained a passionate fanbase in the States. Much of their set was made up of songs from their newest release, I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It, including “Love Me,” “UGH!" and “Somebody Else.” Frontman Matt Healy's mesmerizing curls, which would give Jim Morrison a run for his money, moved along with his dynamic energy on stage.
Taking the stage beforehand, Carly Rae Jepsen donned a vibrant romper with an enthusiastic performance to match. As the tunes were cranked up, the sun set behind Jepsen, who performed tracks like “Run Away With Me,” “Warm Blood” and “Boy Problems” off of her latest album E•MO•TION. And the emotion the crowd was feeling was pure excitement, especially during hits like “Call Me Maybe” and the set closer, “I Really Like You.”
Steel Train performed for the first time in four years and Antonoff's fellow Jerseyans sang their hearts out. When performing, Antonoff has an aura of a modern day Bruce Springsteen. Perhaps it’s the Jersey blood, but his energy and ambiance onstage is undeniable. Another old soul, BØRNS, and his falsetto swept fans off of their feet in the middle of the day. His music evokes sensuality and tenderness all at once and his live performance is no different, especially with his cover of Elton John’s "Bennie and the Jets."
Besides the music, there was delicious food, refreshing shaved ice and decadent iced coffee beverages, as well as a full bar. While munching, you could also enjoy the delights of the dunk tank, where Antonoff himself got in and got drenched for a good cause: all of the proceeds went to Orlando LGBTQ shelters.
FrnkIero AndThe Cellabration were definitely the heaviest act of the day. Frontman and guitarist Frank Iero, best known for his time with My Chemical Romance, has carved a name out for himself not only as a solo artist but with his numerous side projects. His latest project has a post-hardcore edge with an alternative mix ,and whether fans were ready or not, they rocked the festival with a strong set.
Bishop Briggs has more soul onstage than a reverend on Sunday morning. Her swag and confidence onstage is unmatched, but her voice is on a whole other level. Soulful, melodic and completely infectious, she was one of the best acts of the day. Bishop’s one to watch for, especially with addictive tunes “Wild Horses,” “The Way I Do” and “River.”
Shamir brought a vibrant, fun and carefree vibe to the day. His performance was all about embracing who you are, and doing it with some serious sass. Dreamy pop act Hana was the first performer of the festival, and her performance definitely reeled in the crowd. Her sweet persona on and offstage was apparent, especially when she chatted and hung out with fans after her set.
Shadow of the City Festival is Antonoff’s ode to his home state of New Jersey, and it’s a slice of some of the major festivals that adds depth to the ever-growing music scene in the Tri-state area.
Check out photos of all of the performers in our gallery above.