Beginning their set with a long voicemail from the bassist’s mother warning of the reported consequences of drinking Four Loko (needless to say one in six were brown bagging them at this DIY venue), trio Web Dating plowed through their songs quickly. But they were soon playing another lengthy recording, this time to set up a cover of the very recording they were playing. It was a lot of standing around—which may have been for the better.
Ava Luna, however, were a complete pleasure. Perfectly balancing contemporary and retro sounds, lush arrangements and space, the band eschews guitars for the tight harmonies of Felicia Douglass, Becca Kauffman, and Anna Sian. Soulful, contrapuntal vocal melodies danced between this trio and lead singer Carlos Hernandez. Behind them, and in front of the venue’s residents’ kitchen, a lively, and at times industrial, rhythm section (Nathan Tompkins on synthesizer, Ethan Bassford on bass, and outgoing drummer Julian Fader) kept their set throbbing. Live, their ostensible single, “Clips”, epitomized their unique sound in an affable and catchy way. The only disappointment was their necessarily short set, leaving room for two more late night bands.
// Notes from the Road
"José González's sets during Newport Folk Festival weren't on his birthday (that is today) but each looked to be a special intimate performance.READ the article