Words Edited by Anna Mengani
Cincinnati region emos, punks, metalheads, and indie lovers united on September 9th for the Is For Lovers Festival at Riverbend Music Center. The lineup included many local acts paired with more prominent names in those genres, making me love the local bands performing at Ohio Is For Lovers. This worked in favor of opening and expanding fans' tastes similar to how Bunberry Music Festival used to do. Additionally, unlike many festivals recently, it ran very smoothly. Bottom line: it was the perfect place to find great local sound while fulfilling your early 2000s emo dreams.
Most of my time was spent at The Taylor Stage, located to the left of Riverbend Stage (renamed John Beatz Stage for the Festival). I have always had a heart for the smaller acts at festivals and was blown away by the unique set each band brought to the festival. My personal top four favorites are depicted below:
Each time these 5 take the stage, I am always left to wonder how they leave such an impression. Even passersby who were on their way to the main stage stopped in their tracks to see these guys jam it out, bringing in the largest audience to this stage until Emery took the stage at 8 pm.
Another Ohio native, this self-described “emo diet metal” band has spent the last six years growing and performing and most recently released a new single Control. At the Is For Lovers Fest, Knavery had a streamlined sound and was developing a good stage presence.
This is a name that has been floating around the local Cincy music scene for a while and so I made a point to finally get to see them live. Having to miss Hawthrone Heights to get the whole set, which should have been timed better in my opinion, Sign Language shouldn’t have been overlooked. The lead singer connected with the small crowd, giving context in between songs in the sweetest tone. They even had a cow mascot in front of the stage for support. Each piece was unique and played passionately.
Other acts depicted include Proper., Reliant K, Emery, State Champs, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Underoath, and Jimmy Eat World.