by Gary Fletcher
Went to the I Am Festival at the New London CT Waterfront Park a few weeks ago with my wife and daughter. It was a great New England day to enjoy some cool indie rock music and we had a great time walking around, checking out the art & crafts and listening to some great live bands and DJ sets.
This was the 5th I Am Festival, but my first ever attending. I was pretty surprised at the turnout and was kinda ecstatic to see so many people "rocking out" in this quiet part of the state. I guess having a few colleges around town always helps.
This years festival was headlined by We Are Scientists. A great band that formed in Berkeley, CA in 2000, later making their home in Brooklyn, NY. The other "big name" act was the husband and wife team of Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel, otherwise known as Mates Of State. Originally from Kansas and now residing in Connecticut, Mates of States hit the stage around 8pm and played a great set. I had never seen them live and it was great to be able to experience them in this unique, outdoor setting. Unfortunately, we didn't get a chance to check out We Are Scientistsas we left just before their set started. It was a long day and my 7 year old, who likes to rock, was definitely ready for bed.
We did get a chance to see some of the other great bands earlier in the day. I really enjoyed The Hempsteadys, a really fun old school punk sound mixed with dub and reggae. You couldn't help but love the band O'death. They are a folk/bluegrass/punk/metal band from Brooklyn, NY with a great stage presence. Their opening song immediately brought the sounds of A Lonesome Crowded West by Modest Mouse to mind. Definitely give these lads a listen.
This was a FREE event and thanks to the town of New London and all of the great bands for putting this on. I look forward to seeing what is in store for next year.
Not sure who this band was but they were pretty good.
Gabe Darling (left) Greg Jamie (right) of O'Death