Feeling The Buzz

Zach Perez, Writer

This last weekend I attended the radio station, 96.5 The Buzz’s, yearly concert, Buzz Beach Ball. Throughout the summer I had been told by many friends that, “The lineup didn’t look to good.” leading me to believe it wasn’t worth the ticket price. Even though I’ve never had the chance to go, I wrote it off as a year with less popular bands and music I wouldn’t really enjoy. Skip forward to July and I discovered a friend of mine had gotten me tickets to go with her as a very late birthday gift. I decide not to turn down a free two day pass, and hoped that the although the music may not be very good I’d at least enjoy the experience.

I arrived on the first day of the concert well after it started because it was a Friday. The first band I saw was The Middle Kids, an alternative rock band, was the first of many surprises at the concert. The music of the band was smooth and had great beats, and I really liked them. The members were funny and friendly to the audience and even joked around during a mic issue that cause the show to stop briefly.

After their set was finish I watch Marian Hill’s performance. I enjoyed the songs they performed but was unimpressed by the performance, although that may be because I was stuffing my face with a meal from a food truck called the Waffler that was there. Their performance might have been less interesting because of the fact they didn’t use any special effects or light because it was still day time.

The rest of the night went by quickly, with me catching only bits and pieces of the LOLO, Spoon, and Hippo Campus sets. All of which I enjoyed but they never made me want to keep listening. After awhile my friend and I decided we would finally use our pit passes during the Foster The People performance. Before that night all I knew about the band was that they were famous for the song “Pumped Up Kicks”.

Their performance blew me away. The lights on stage changed to fit each song’s tone and energy level. The songs they played were the perfect mix of songs from their most recent album, older hits like “Pumped Up Kicks” and “Call It What You Want”, and an energetic rendition of “Blitzkrieg Bop”. The lead singer, Mark Foster, also spoke to the audience near the end of the show, giving a short monologue of how we were all brought to together by music and a common interest and how we can go out into the world and use simpler techniques to bring people together. It was a very sincere and uplifting message that really united the audience for the end of the show. I found it funny that the band I knew the least about from the first day ended up being my favorite performance of the concert.

After leaving early on day one due to a former lack of sleep throughout the week, we arrived on day two much later than we had on day one. I was mainly only interested in seeing the closing act, Weezer, so my friend and I sat in a homemade beach set up near the smaller stage to wait for their performance.

Weezer, although very different from Foster The People in terms of music style, was probably my second favorite performance. Their rock and roll style of music made the event much more energetic and I found myself head banging to a few songs. A short cover of “I Took A Pill In Ibiza” that lead into their popular song “Island In The Sun” and their performance of “Say It Ain’t So” were the highlights of the performance.

If I can tell you anything from my experiences at Buzz Beach Ball it’s that you should never overlook a concert. Sometimes you can discover an amazing band or artist among the “bad lineup’.