Each year the Fresno Urban Sound Experience packs 30-plus local bands into a few close blocks of downtown, then lets fans meander from venue to venue to venue like its some kind of audio buffet. You may hear a blues band, followed by some hard-core punk or a couple hip-hop MCs. You might hear folk music, or EDM or some shoegaze.
The sixth installment of the annual music festival (often referred to as F.U.S.E.) took place Friday and Saturday, despite competition from a sold-out college football game and a freak wind storm. Attendance felt low, but those who came out were enthusiastic about connecting with the local music scene. It was a nice opportunity for uber fans to sort of geek out. For many, it was also their first time inside the Warnors Theatre, which was worth the ticket price.
My thoughts: Friday had a particularly solid line-up, with Visalia band Richfield being the sleeper hit.
— Johnny Esquivel (@johnnyappeal) September 21, 2013
While I didn’t catch anyone’s full set on Saturday, I saw parts of a dozen or so bands and made it to most of the venues. Highlights included:
- Le Wolves and Greener by Color on the Warnors Theater stage. Actually being on the stage with the band, with the theater as background almost, was magical.
- The “fishbowl” stage. The first time the festival put bands under the Warnors Theatre marquee, it was because they needed space for an extra stage. It was a throw-away idea almost, but it has worked out really well. It’s beautiful under there, and the acoustics make everyone sound great.
- Isosceles Trio at Tokyo Garden, specifically its theremin/harp covers of “Black Sabbath” and “Paranoid.” It’s the kind of quirkiness that defines the festival and was a great end to the night.
I put together a quick compilation video, which you can see below, but I’m wondering what you thought?
Who were standout acts?
What venues worked best?
Where would you like to see band play next year?
If you didn’t make it out, why the heck not?