All Photography By Melissa Scheinberg
Saturday, November 17th marked Sydney’s visit from this year’s touring Harvest Festival, taking place in Parramatta Park, which I was fortunate enough to attend. The lineup was spot-on; boasting acts such as Beck, Sigur Rós, and Grizzly Bear amongst others.
Festival gates opened at 11am, and I made sure to arrive around then to catch one of my festival favorites, New Jersey’s River City Extension, bright and early. Despite the festival grounds being unsurprisingly empty, the band managed to congregate a small but engaged audience.
Riding on the coattails of the recent release of their sophomore full-length, Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Your Anger, the band relied heavily on slightly newer material, while still paying homage to their 2010 debut, The Unmistakeable Man. For a band who has yet to really break out in their home country, it was nice to see people singing along to the band’s unique brand of folk punk on the other side of the world.
Equipped with both electric guitars and banjos, the eight-piece has a sound that’s fully unique and totally their own, though fitting in with the Frank Turner / Against Me! / Gaslight Anthem niche. Songs like “Something Salty, Something Sweet” made prominent use of the horn section and provided the festival’s first sing-along with the catchy-yet-nonsensical “way-a, way-a, way-a, way”. “Letter To Lainie” was a piano and acoustic-adorn jam, while “Our New Intelligence” showcased the band’s only female member’s lovely vocals.
I don’t know what it is about them, but these guys are a festival band and have played almost every festival you can name. They’re the only band to have ever played both Vans Warped Tour and Newport Folk Festival, as their appeal fits both the rock and folk crowds, and similarly, come February, they’ll be the only band to have played both Harvest and Soundwave. I caught these guys at Bonnaroo in 2011, and again, they opened up the festival beautifully and should be on everyone’s must-see list!