Opinion: The Hurricane Music Festival, a Small Yet Dedicated Turnout
Teenagers with green hair, ripped t-shirts, and bits of metal poked through their faces shoving one another and stomping the ground to metal, punk, and grunge music. This is a scene familiar to those who frequent big festivals like Van’s Warped Tour. The Hurricane Music Festival (click here to read our previous article on this festival for more details), a free music festival featuring all teenage bands that took place earlier today in Palo Alto, had all of these components. However, there were only about fifty or sixty people present.
Some may have looked out at the twenty or so people moshing, the ten people skating, and the twenty-odd other people sitting about listening to four live bands an almost comedic failure in the ways of music festival turnouts. Although the quantity of people in attendance was rather small, one could not have asked for better quality in a concert-going audience.
When I arrived at the venue, a large, round concrete patio in the middle of Mitchell Park in Palo Alto, and saw the surprisingly few people in attendance, I braced myself for the audience to begin rolling their eyes during the first set and then slowly disperse as the festival went on.
However, to my surprise the group of punks head-bobbing in front of the first band, Build the Empire, retained its size through that set and the next. By the third act, Headcreep, the small group began to mosh. As this mosh-pit (well, it was actually more like a mosh-clump) formed, I heard an aging former-punk make a passionate, gutteral yell that seemed to indicate that this group’s dedication to music brought back memories of his glory days.
After the first three bands staying true to the tradition of the teenage punk and metal garage band sound, I expected the fourth and last to bring the festival home with the same style.
However, the final act, Remi & Chloe and The Extracts, added another layer of depth to the Hurricane Music Festival by playing an eclectic mix of styles from blues, to funk, to Sublime and Cake covers and playing them very well.
When I heard the first chords of Sublime‘s Santeria play, two thoughts crossed my mind. First, I thought that all of the dedicated punks and metal-heads would run for the hills. Second, I was worried that the teenage band would not be able to do justice to Sublime. However, I was soon proven wrong on both of these counts.
Not only did the punks and metal-heads stick around for the entirety of Remi & Chloe and The Extracts’ set, but they were getting into it. Also, the band was incredibly tight and the vocals very mature for such young vocal chords. Not only did they manage to do justice to Sublime (and every other cover they performed) but they managed to put their own spin on it by going into double-time, quadruple-time, and then half-time while playing Santeria.
So, despite the Hurricane Music Festival’s failure to bring in large numbers, it succeeded in attracting a small yet musically dedicated crowd, giving the event and especially the final act a vibrant energy and exclusive vibe, to the extent that when I left, I almost felt glad that there weren’t more people.