This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend American Eagle’s New American Music Union Festival. The festival was a two day event, May 8-9, held at a parking lot in the middle of South Side Works
Highlights from the event included:
- Being asked to cover the event on GeekStar.com after all tickets were sold out!
- Attending two press conferences moderated by Anthony Kiedes from the Red Hot Chili Peppers
Kiedes was a very humble and seemed very grateful to be asked to curate the festival. He had the opportunity to assemble the festival’s line up of bands and alluded that he would be involved in 2009′s event. He also paid equal respect to all bands on the panel including Gnarls Barclay, The Black Keys, N.A.S.A, Tiny Masters of Today, Chester French, and Spoon.
Photo by Norman Huelsman
- The Raconteurs. I need say no more. They put on a phenomenal show with front man Jack White leading the group with extended jams and powerful vocals. All day Saturday, girls at the festival expressed how excited they were to see Jack White. It was quite entertaining because I’ve never seen that reaction for an indie band except for when Dashboard Confessional was added to MTV’s play list… The Raconteurs rocked many of their familiar hits including Steady as She Goes and Broken Boy Soldier. I wish I had recordings of these live songs – amazing.
Photo by C.C. Chapman
- The Black Keys totally delivered Friday night. I had heard this band previously but had never seen them live. They are from Akron and typically play smaller shows, however they owned the stage at NAMU. I definitely will be adding The Black Keys to my play list. I’m sure many of the Raconteur’s fans were equally impressed with this blues rock duo.
Photo by C.C. Chapman
- American Eagle sponsored the event held at Pittsburgh’s South Side Works. I am glad the clothing giant decided to host this amazing festival in Pittsburgh (their headquarters). The event garnered a lot of press not only of the festival but also of Pittsburgh. I overheard one photographer say, “Pittsburgh really isn’t as bad as I thought it would be, especially with a name like that.” I wanted to knock him upside the head due to his constant put downs of the burgh (and many of the bands!). Much of the press traveled to Pittsburgh and I overheard many say how presently surprised there were with the city. They thought it was an unexpected and great urban venue for the festival.
- American Eagle organized the festival and it ran smoothly. Every band played on time and they allowed concert goers the ability to come and go from the event as they wished. They also provided a free t-shirt and water bottle to each attendee. This was great because they provided water stations throughout the venue. Concert goers could fill their bottles with free water. I loved that they went a little green by providing re-usable containers and not forcing attendees to purchase $5 bottles of water like another venue in the area… The only downside was half-way through the event all press staff were forced to enter the event through the public entrance. My group and I were no longer to enter through the press entrance but forced to join a line that circled around several buildings and equal to one city block. I missed half of Gnarls Barclay’s performance as a result and can not truly comment on their set.
- Meeting amazing people. During the course of two days, I made numerous new friends with many bloggers and video casters from Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh has a thriving social media network. If you are interested in getting involved, attend Podcamp Pittsburgh in October. It’s FREE folks! C.C. Chapman of The Advance Guard was hired to promote the event using social media networks such as facebook, web, blogs, and flickr. It is amazing to see how his gang of new media experts quickly created a buzz about this event before and after it occurred.