Picture a day of great music with perfect weather in the greatest city in the world. Now picture that this event is 100% free! That is exactly what I had the great pleasure in experiencing last Saturday at The Village Voice 4 Knots Music Festival. The fourth annual festivities took place at the South Street Seaport in New York City and featured a full day music, sun, and most importantly, fun.
Attendees entered at Fulton Street and the festival stretched all the way to the end of Pier 16. There were two lines of food trucks as you made your way into the festival followed by a few sponsored tents and the press check in. I picked up my pass and headed straight to the Front/Row Stage where Dead Stars were gearing up to kick off 4Knots. The three piece indie rock group from Brooklyn, NY sounded like they should have been really successful in the 90’s alternative rock scene, which quickly won over the crowd.
I made my way past the Front/Row Stage and crossed South Street and made my way over to the Pier 16 Stage. There was a beer garden sponsored by Bud Light located in the front of the pier. It seemed like a great place to hang out and grab a drink, but it was way too far from the stage for someone to chill there the whole day. VIP and Press were able to watch the bands playing on the main stage in style from the Peking VIP Ship. The historic ship was transformed into the perfect hang out equipped with food and a stocked bar. Attendee lucky enough to core these wristbands were able to watch the show from the many decks on the ship. The first band I watched from this extraordinary view was Radkey. Pop-Break recently interviewed the punk band made up of the brothers Radkey and they were also one of the highlights of the day. If you weren’t able to make the festival, don’t worry. Radkey will be joining Rise Against on their upcoming tour.
After Radkey played their killer set, I caught Crazy Pills at the Front/Row Stage. Another 90’s influenced band from Brooklyn, NY, Crazy Pills are a garage pop trio that are heavily influenced by bands such as Blondie and The Clash. They were a very interesting band and definitely one to keep an eye out for. I headed back over to the Pier 96 Stage for Speedy Ortiz. Led by lead singer/guitarist Sadie Dupuis, Speedy Ortiz infused 90’s indie rock with crazy creative lyrics, which brought in one of the largest crowds of the day.
I caught half a set from Juan Wauters. The former singer of The Beets entertained the crowd at the Front/Row Stage with an assortment of folk rock, which is much different than the garage rock that he is known for from his time with The Beets. Unfortunately I didn’t catch the band, Nude Beach because I would end up going back to the Pier 16 Stage and planting myself in the same spot to catch the four remaining bands of the evening.
As I made my way back to the Peking, the Canadian band, Viet Cong, began their set. They are made up of vocalist/bassist Matt Flegel and drummer Mike Wallace, who were formally with the band Women, along with guitarists Scott Munro and Daniel Christiansen, their post-punk sound fit perfectly with the other bands preforming that day. One of the biggest surprises of the day came from Those Darlins. The band had built up a big following after touring with Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys when he was on his solo tour. Their style ranged from alternative to country to garage rock. They were the most unique band of the day thus far. One of the main reasons that the crowd at the South Street Seaport transformed from a small group to a sea of people was because of Mac Demarco. With his psychedelic infused pop sound, Demarco has become one of the biggest rising stars in music. His set was fantastic and it left fans wanting more, but it was the final act that people had been waiting for.
The last act of the night formed in 1984 and would go on to become one of the most influential alternative rock bands of the decade. Then after three albums together they broke up only to reunite twenty years later to record three more albums. That band is known as Dinosaur Jr., and they played their classic alternative indie sounds that have made them legends of the genre. They were the perfect way to end an incredible day at 4Knots.