The beginning of festival season is upon us, and what better way to celebrate than with The National Homecoming? The inaugural installment of this unique weekend-long festival brought music lovers from all over the country to Downtown Cincinnati. Whether you made it to Smale Riverfront Park or not, here's a little recap of the weekend.
Bands like Father John Misty, Future Islands, Alvvays, and more prefaced the festival's namesake band, The National, on both Saturday and Sunday. The National closed the whole festival on Sunday with a show unlike any other: a performance of their album Boxer cover to cover, along with more of their most popular work from over the years.
As is the case with many summer festivals, the setting was just as much a part of the performance as the performers themselves. Crowds gathered on the bank of the lazy Ohio River, taking selfies overlooking the water and the far-off Kentucky shore. Installations both permanent and temporary provided a distraction and a place to catch a breath while running between the two stages on either side of the majestic Roebling Bridge.
On Friday night, MusicNOW's Homecoming Opening Night was an intriguing and sexy sit-down experience at the Cincinnati Masonic Center, a beautiful castle-like venue in the heart of Downtown. Built in 1916, the Freemason building offers a fantastic acoustic cacophony within its stone walls. Berlin's Mouse on Mars, with twenty-four years under their belts, kicked off the weekend-long event with an ambient and chaotic yet structured two hour long set filled with guest appearances. MusicNOW was formed by members of Cincinnati natives The National in 2006 and includes visual art installations in addition to unique performances.
Check out our photos above, and tell us which performances moved you. We hope to see you at future Homecomings, and at the many other festivals taking place in the region over the summer!
Written with contribution from Jack Zampatti.
Photos used with permission from Will Oliver. Find more of his work on his blog, We All Want Someone To Shout For!