Posted by: Nick | April 29, 2008

Review: FreeKY Fest w/ The Apples in Stereo, Mahjongg and The Coup – 4/26

FreeKY Fest was last Saturday and Lexington’s WRFL 88.1 celebrated 20 years in broadcasting in style bringing a long line-up of amazing artists including The Apples in Stereo, The Coup, and Mahjongg to Lexington. The festival took place atop of the Transit Center which was basically a split level, elevated parking lot situated amongst the towers downtown. The weather was beautiful and a large crowd showed up to enjoy the tunes, art and exhibits the FreeKY Fest had to offer (all 12 hours of it!).

Early in the afternoon there were activities for the young (and the young at heart) which included Louisville’s own Snow Monster!, Robert Bobbert and the Bubble Machine (the alter ego of Robert Schneider of The Apples in Stereo), middle school breakdancers and more…

The fest really got rolling when Mahjongg, out of Chicago, hit the stage around 5:30. Of all bands playing at the fest, I was most excited about this one. They have a sound all of their own, blending rock and dance music with layered electronic beats and a personal touch of out-of-the-ordinary. It is surprising how listenable the album is considering how much is going on. They recently signed with K Records (an amazing label) and have a new album out, Kontpab, released earlier this year. I highly recommend catching this band next time you have a chance (or at the very least, grabbing their album).

The Coup took the stage next and kept the energy going strong. I saw Boots Riley sing a lot of The Coup’s songs at his show with Galactic at Headliner’s last week and this show had just as much energy and emotion, despite the fact that the band was going on zero hours sleep in the last two days (flying in from Oakland that morning). That said, Boots had some trouble remembering some lyrics, but it was laughed off (and understandable). They regrouped and broke into “Ghetto Manifesto” to the tune of OutKast’s “So Fresh, So Clean” to finish off the show (you can see the video below). At the end of the video you can hear Boots thank Hair Police drummer Trevor Tremaine who had to fill in at the last second because of some issues with their regular drummer. Before the set Trevor was given a quick lesson on their beats as he practiced the rhythm on his stomach. Someone in the crowd yelled “full time job” at one point because he filled the void beautifully. The Coup will be at Bonaroo in June, then Boots heads to Europe with Galactic.

The night ended with The Apples in Stereo. These guys are based in Denver, but have KY ties. Lead vocalist/guitarist Robert Schneider has an unmistakable and infectious presence (like I said before, he is also Robert Bobbert). Their 90’s pop rock sound is impossible not to like and they update it with a little electro synth. It is the perfect driving music and was a great way to send the crowd home with more energy than they came with (even after a day of sun and fun). Check out their newest release, Electronic Projects for Musicians, a collection of b-sides and rarities out this month.

Here is hoping there will be another FreeKY Fest next year!!

The Coup – “Ghetto Manifesto” @ FreeKY Fest

More pics below the break…


The Coup

The Apples in Stereo


  1. This festival was one of the better ones I’ve been to in quite some time. Great atmosphere, great entertainment, great weather, and an unbeatable price! I hope you arrived early enough to catch Snow Monster and Pezhed and the Blipsquad. The children’s concert was one of the most memorable performances I’ve ever seen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: