Posted by: Cory | September 26, 2008

REVIEW: MidPoint Day 1 (Why?, Coltrane Motion)

Cincinnati’s MidPoint Music festival kicked off tonight across several venues downtown.  Although many people were concerned how this year’s event would go with Sean Rhiney and Bill Donabedian handing the reins over to alternative weekly City Beat, the first night proved that this year’s festival was going to be another great one. Hopping from venue to venue, the ease of the entire festival made catching various shows incredibly easy, however trying to get into the Aronoff Center for WHY? nearly proved too difficult of a challenge.

Before we get to that, we first caught noctaluca quickly before seeing Chicago’s Coltrane Motion who pulled quite a high percentage of the indie kids into the Inner Peace Holistic….not normally a music venue, but made for a realy nice space akin to a Skull Alley/gallery-type spot. With more kids than I would have expected and fewer than there should have been, the former Cincinnastians put on a great dancey set to a crowd not yet ready to start dancing. With beers at the outlandish price of $2/bottle, I’d have like to have caught these guys at the end of the night, because they could move a room.

Nevertheless, we dropped out early to find ourselves having to wait in a line to get into the Aronoff 5/3 Theatre for the WOXY stage which featured some of the evenings best acts that we were forced to miss thanks to the line, including the recently highly publicized Daniel Martin Moore, who DIYed himself onto Sub Pop with a cold tape submission, and what for me is the main show of the festival, Why? I caught Why? at the Southgate back in March, and at the time, Yoni mentioned he’d be coming back to town in September so I’ve been excited for this show since that time. After about 20 minutes of one-in/one-out, we finally got in the doors, chatted a bit with friends and took up residence in the front row with the other kids who knew all the words and weren’t embarrassed to sing along. If you don’t know…Why? released the best album of the year (it’s true), Alopecia and has finally begun to gain the respeck they deserved with each of the earlier albums, although admittedly never moreso than with Elephant Eyelash which was responsible for some of the best songs to date and a significant portion of their live set. Yoni & Josiah both were recently forced to schedule shows in Europe after coming down with the mumps. Fortunately, the guys were healthy and back on their game in their birthplace of Cincinnati. Clearly, being back home gave them a sense of nostalgia as they commented multiple times about the area and about the people there, and even wore a “Kentucky” shirt. The crowd was right back into it, “rep-ing” their neighborhoods & talking about things that made no sense to me. What did make sense to me was the way these guys play beautifully written and intelligent songs in a DIY way with everyone in the lineup playing at least two instruments. Remixing the order and changin 2-3 songs up, the setlist was largely the same they’d played back in March, which, as I had mentioned then, was a near perfect setlist with only a few rather marginal songs I would have liked to have heard, such as Simeon’s Dillema and maybe Next Atlanta. In the end, all of my personal favorites were played, such as Yo Yo ye Bye, These Few President, The Hoofs, The Hollows, etc, etc, etc. Again, these guys hit a perfect setlist and even played an encore to boot. The intimacy of the venue, the energy of the crowd (everyone around me knew the lyric to every song and we all sang them in unison), and perhaps just being back home resulted in great communication between the crowd and the band. Again, as he did in the previous show, Yoni took a text while he was on stage between songs, which for some reason I really appreciated…perhaps it just makes them seem a little more human, as though mumps didn’t.

After spending the first night at MidPoint, I cannot encourage strongly enough that everyone get up there, if not for music, then do it for a good time. With so many bars so close together, most of which are doing drink specials, the festival is one NOT to miss…but if you’re heading to the Aronoff Center, get there early…..

Songs of the Sad Assassin
Rubber Traits
The Hollows
Yo Yo Bye Bye
The Hoofs
These Few Presidents
Good Friday
The Vowels Pt. 2
Gemini (Birthday Song)
Fall Saddles
Sand Dollars
Sky for Shooting Horses Under

Crushed Bones
Fatalist Palmistry

For MORE photographs……



  1. Cool. I hope Why? comes to Louisville at some point, maybe with some other anitcon people.

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