Norman Music Festival 6: Day 2

Most Relentless Barrage of Rock Music:
White Mystery

If
you were in need of a swift kick to the genitalia Friday night, Chicago
brother-sister duo White Mystery handed them out in scores. Armed with
some imposing instrumental chops (and equally imposing red hair), Miss
Alex White and Francis Scott Key White (America!) plowed through a
forceful set of garage rock at the Opolis. To these eyes and ears, it
was the day’s most relentlessly impactful performance. And judging from
the looks on the faces of others in attendance (you know, like they had
just been kicked), I probably wasn’t the only one. —Zach Hale

Best Fake Backing Band:
Colin Nance

When you are just one dude, a big, outdoor stage can start to look awfully empty. Electronic music wizard Colin Nance — usually aided by an elaborate laser-light show — must have realized this early on, asking his friends to join him onstage for to fill the space and add some visual appeal, but seeing that there was really nothing to do musically speaking, Nance decided to arm his band of musician buds (and one actual drummer) with cardboard guitars, keytars and tambourines. Black Canyon’s Jake Morisse smoked a cigarette and played cardboard trumpet at the same time. You can’t make this stuff up. —Joshua Boydston

Cosmostanza
Photo: Joshua Boydston

Best Alarm Clock:
Cosmostanza

For those who stayed late for Day One, 7 p.m. might have felt like it came earlier than it normally does, but if anyone was in a haze going into Day Two, they snapped right out of it with Oklahoma City duo Cosmostanza at Dreamer Concepts. The youngsters blasted the crowd with a heavy bevy of pop-punk tunes (the good kind, not the Good Charlotte kind) stitched together with the clever, effortless stage banter of a band that had been at it for far longer than a year and some change. —JB

Most Ominous Act Prior to the Impending Rainstorm:
Eureeka

The dimly lit Stash stage hosted a number of experimental and electronic acts Friday night, but none seemed more befitting to the murky, overcast environment outside the venue than Eureeka. The Norman-based duo of Jordan Vargas and Devin Wahl offered the young group of tech-heads in attendance a sinister collection of synth-driven pop songs with swashes of noise and distortion interspersed throughout. While the severe weather arrived a little later than expected, rolling thunder and beaming flashes of light still managed to amass inside the modest warehouse just east of Porter. —ZH

Most Disruptive Force of Nature:
The Rainstorm

Everyone and their mom knew deep down it was coming, but given the recent litter of Storm-of-the-Century predictions that never materialized in recent months, part of the average festivalgoer thought, “Maybe this thing will hold off and we can rock out uninterrupted … please?” But those dreams weren’t just dashed; they were shattered with reckless abandon as the torrential downpour ambushed the City of Norman, causing a number of outdoor shows to be postponed and altering the starting times for almost every show thereafter. Thankfully, the rain would cease an hour or so later, but Mother Nature made an appearance just long enough to make her presence felt. —ZH

ADDverse Effects
Photo: Joshua Boydston

Best Case for Understudy Gig with Late Night with Jimmy Fallon:
ADDverse Effects

The Roots are incomparable, but if you are looking for a stand-in, you could do a lot worse than Norman groovemakers ADDverse Effects. The crowd-pleasing set saw a steady swell of people the further into the show the five-piece got. By the end, it looked like the headliner crowd had come a day early. —JB

Best Mosh-Pit-Turned-Clapping-Pit:
Shitty/Awesome

If you had some rain-induced aggression pent up inside, you probably should have stumbled over to Opolis, where NMF vets Shitty/Awesome powered through a lively set of abrasive punk ditties. At one point, a select group of spirited individuals in attendance decided to ram their bodies into one another in what select circles refer to as “moshing,” but as the testosterone subsided and infectious hooks sunk in, said moshers transitioned — rather impeccably — to a communal rock-song-clap-along. It was about the cutest little thing you’d ever seen at a punk show. —ZH

Quilted Cherry Podium
Photo: Joshua Boydston

Best Science Experiment:
Quilted Cherry Podium

There’s always something new to stumble upon at Norman Music Festival, but nothing was quite as unfamiliar as Quilted Cherry Podium, a wholly unique music machine manned by artist/woodworker Hunter Roth. Combining a Leslie rotating speaker, an Omnichord and Drum Buddy, the simplest explanation is it’s an instrument that is played by manipulating light. The spooky, entrancing tunes sounded as much the creation of Thomas Edison as Tom Waits. —JB

Hey! Read This:
ADDverse Effects interview      
Colin Nance interview       
Cosmostanza’s Champs album review      
White Mystery interview     

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