Written by Lauriston Brewster|
2018 In Bloom festival has wrapped. Unlike it’s former iteration, Free Press Summer Festival, In Bloom seemed like a much more contained (smaller?) festival. Normally Allen Parkway is congested with people trying to hustle to the main stages when the big acts start up. But this was surprisingly tame.
But I’m glad the locale of the festival is back at Eleanor Tinsley park, which arguably makes this festival one of the most Istagram-mable fests around.
Another good thing was the weather. Since the fest has moved to March as opposed to the usual June timeframe, no more sweaty masses and heat exhaustion of yesteryear. All day Saturday there was an overcast and on Sunday the sun peered out but there were occasional chilled breezes wafting through the fest grounds. But also: the weather. Allergy sufferers (like myself) really felt the brunt of the pollen assault, especially as more people showed up in the afternoon, kicking up plumes of dust into the air. But not much to be done about that.
As far as the acts, Beck put on one hell of a raucous Saturday night show for an enthusiastic crowd, playing a good blend of old and new. Sunday’s headliner, Queens of the Stone Age, put on an amazing show as well, ending it with the drum thrashing “Songs for the Dead,” which, to my surprise, didn’t rouse the crowd as much as I thought it would. At one point, frontman Josh Homme took a moment in between songs to address a sign someone was holding that read “Josh, kick me in the face,” a
very subtle nod to an incident where Josh assaulted a young photographer at one of his shows.
Twin Shadow, Grizzly Bear, Sylvan Esso, El Lago and Anchor North were some great low-key acts to see, while Shiba San, Ying Yang Twins and Gramatik offered more adrenaline pumping fare.
Overall, In Bloom was enjoyable and definitely an improvement from the seemingly cursed Free Press Summer Fest.