Sadly, Lawnya Vawnya is officially over but I still have loads of great memories and songs lingering in my head. This year’s festival was a tremendous success, due in no small part to the amazing organizing team of Mathias Kom, Ariel Sharrat, Dave Lander and all of the incredible volunteers and phenomenal musicians that came from near and far to play.
Every event I attended this year felt less like a show and more like a momentous experience — from rockin’ out to the Inbreds in blissful 90s nostalgia to sitting on the floor of Afterwords bookstore tapping and singing along to Stanley Brink & Freschard. One pleasant surprise I was not expecting was delivered on Saturday night at The Rocket Room by a band of seven very young and extremely talented teenagers known as City on the Coast.
The band formed in 2011 and consists of Peter Lannon, Sarah Harris, Jack Etchegary, Kathleen McLevey (who also just completed a brilliant solo album for RPM 2012), Emily Finch, Neria Aylward and Mari Lannon. It would be rather difficult to list each member’s role in the band since they constantly switch instruments and vocal parts. Sarah Harris and Peter Lannon take care of the bulk of singing duties, but the whole band joins in at various points. Stylistically, the band cites influences ranging from Arcade Fire and Hey Rosetta to The Tallest Man on Earth and Metronomy. They also say they “mix together genres to please to population” and from what I heard and saw on Saturday night that hits the nail on the head. The audience ranged from small children to 60 plus, and everybody was into it, clapping and singing along. I even spied The Inbreds in the back nodding along in approval.
City on the Coast are an incredibly talented group of fresh-faced up-and-comers, and a welcome addition to the local music scene. If what I witnessed at Lawnya Vawnya was any indication, there are big things in store for this group as they grow and develop. They definitely have the raw talent and potential for wide appeal — locally and beyond. In the meantime, they have to attend to things like studying for final exams and getting ready for high school.