It was no surprise that Matt & Kim would be a highlight (if you haven’t seen them, they put on a fun, highly energized show, always full of crowd-pleasing interaction and mile-wide-smiles), but they weren’t the only memorable act of the day. I was personally very impressed by The Gay Blades (all promotional associations aside, I was already a fan of their music and had high hopes for their performance), as they took a mostly indifferent crowd and turned them into fans hungry for more, bringing some onstage during their set to play percussion. The fact that their friend April Smith (who’d already played earlier on the main stage) joined them a few times certainly added to their set. Ra Ra Riot and Royal Bangs brought really enjoyable, tight sets to the main stage, but the real standout was clearly Ida Maria, whose caustic (drunk) set inspired a lot of shrieking and chearing from the crowd, most of whom lined up for autographs at the merch tent afterwards.
The local bands who played earlier in the day all did a great job, bringing the energy up despite a slow build to the crowd. It would have been great to see some more bands from Maine play, or maybe an additional small/acoustic stage to get even more great local artists involved, but all in all KahBang got off to a great start this year, and everyone involved deserves congratulations (and your attendance next year!)
Check out the KahBang Music Fest ’09 photo gallery.