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The Open Arts & Music Festival descended on downtown Glendale on Saturday night for a fourth year, offering a robust crowd a chance to sample music from a diverse roster of seven artists on the main stage, erected on Brand Boulevard in front of the Alex Theatre, as well as offerings from a block’s worth of vendor booths.
The mood was upbeat. Or, as Oscar Miguel Santos of Sister Mantos told Buzz Bands LA, “It is awesome that this is a free event, and it was great seeing both children and adults dancing during our set.”
The crowd got almost an hour’s worth of groovin’ from Nick Waterhouse, whose crooning vocals and improvisations sent attendees home in a cheerful mood. He worked up a sweat but didn’t have far to go to freshen up. “I just drive down Brand Boulevard and turn right on Los Feliz Boulevard and I’ll be home in minutes,” he said. He also told the audience that the festival felt like the block parties that used to be thrown in Long Beach, his hometown. As he was ending his set, he thanked the city of Glendale.
Waterhouse was preceded by an interpretive set from Kilo Kish and the soulful sounds of Jen Awad, whose set also had some memorable moments. She made sure to make her set kid-friendly by changing her song lyrics for “Basic Bitch” to “Basic B” (though the hand fans she used at the end wasn’t edited).
For their last song, Thee Sinseers’ Joseph Quinones jumped off the stage to sing to his significant other. Sister Mantos had the crowd dancing. Earth Arrow just couldn’t impress a young kid who stood in front of the stage during the full set with arms folded. The band tried their best to get approval. And Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca started with Afro-Cuban beats in the hot afternoon sun, though the dancers kept to the shade.
And although Earth Arrow was saying this about themselves in an ironic manner, this could sum up the Open Arts & Music Festival: “If you’re saying you stumbled across something awesome, you would be correct.”
Photos and recap by Notes From Vivace