It can be easy to become lost in the wave of CMJ Music Marathon concerts that filled venues across New York City from October 15-19, challenging both audiences and performers alike to the ultimate endurance test. It is titled Marathon, after all. But more often than not, becoming “lost” is only part of the experience that makes the CMJ Music Marathon so lucrative to many, and on Saturday, October 19 at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, the performance hosted by the Flowerbooking team became a vignette of this chaos. And on this final evening of music, performers seemed to embrace the sense of being lost, and thrived.
From the first set delivered by Islands, who opened by candidly sharing their frustrations with running around New York all week, corporate sponsors, and the “crappy” crowd, there was a casual tone that eased nerves for all. For Islands, the band’s music shines in a level of restraint, building from folk-ballad intros to more assertive and rocking grooves.
The History of Apple Pie‘s set built upon this, adding a more grungy element, reverb and feedback-fueling their sound all the way to the end. By the time Orbits come on, the band drove home a high-octane wall of sound, easily falling in the genre of hard rock, well executed.
Prides, fresh imports from Glasgow, injected the venue with an electrifying and energizing ’80s synth-pop set and Kid Karate, the penultimate act of the night from Dublin, the vocalist stayed true to their name and accompanied every song with high-knee jumps, only becoming more intense as they continued their set.
Photos from the performers’ sets below (by Zaji Zabalerio):