The great thing about a music festival is that you get to see bands you like, and also see new bands and try them on for size. But let’s face it, over 100 bands in 2 days can be overwhelming, not to mention time consuming. You want to make the most out of your FreeTulsa experience by catching the big ticket acts, and also introducing yourself to some new local music you may not have heard otherwise. I’ve combed the band lineup for some suggestions to get you started. First, I’ve picked 4 ‘Newbies,’ these are bands that are either newly formed, or new on the Independent Cause radar.
Brother Rabbit – (Claremore, OK) Listening to Brother Rabbit is like listening to early religious folk music on a transistor radio. The languid banjo and guitar chords blend so well with the harmonicas and the sweet female vocals. This music is great to enjoy with a hot day and a lemonade. 6:00, Friday July 30th — Hunt Club
Milos Fare – (Tulsa, OK) This female fronted rock band will deliver on your hankerin’ for well executed solo-heavy rock-n-roll. With vocal chops similar to Pat Benatar or The Heart Sisters, Sarah Dickenson provides the perfect balance for this alternative group. Don’t worry guys, flowery she isn’t. You won’t have to feel like a sissy just because you went to see a “girl band,” the guys in her band are just as qualified and their guitars will melt your faces off. You will be seeing more of Milos Fare, trust me. 9:30, Saturday July 31st — Marquee Stage
The Del Toros – (Tulsa, OK) This indie pop foursome follows the traditional line up, four boys on two guitars, bass and drums, but they bring a sophisticated and fun songwriting dynamic. The rhythm and lead guitars play off each other in a dreamy way. The lyrics are unexpected and thoughtful. I am really looking forward to their set. 7:30 Friday, July 30th — Crystal Pistol Stage
OK Sweetheart – (Tulsa, OK/San Francisco, CA) Erin Austin, soon to be a permanent resident of Tulsa, is the front-woman for the group OK Sweetheart (a lot of awesome women making a showing at FreeTulsa, Huh?). Erin’s voice has that old-world Billie Holiday quality, which is one of the reasons she’s so popular on the coasts. Her vintage sound paired with 60′s girl-pop motifs makes her irresistible. 9:00 Friday July 30th — Bob’s Stage
Next, here are some bands you won’t want to miss. These bands rarely play in Tulsa, and have really unique and impressive performances.
Aqueduct – (Seattle, WA via Tulsa, OK)For me personally there is a lot of nostalgia in seeing Aqueduct play. They are the first band that got me into local music. Of course I was a bit too late, they had just decided to move from Tulsa to Seattle to get their music careers off the ground. Since then they’ve played national tours and been featured on car commercials. But, their live show is still one of the most fun shows I’ve ever been to. Dave Terry has the unique ability to connect with his audience through his self depricating humor, and his amazingly catchy pop songs. A must see. 12:00 Friday, July 30th – Hardwork Stage
Recorder – (Tulsa,OK) Recorder’s Robotronica music tops itself every time. This band takes painstaking measures to make the most amazing costumes every show. They’ve gone from boxy robot costumes to skin-tight spandex droid costumes. The robot love story is somehow more human than a, well, human love story. Incredible. 11:15 Friday, July 30th — Hardwork Stage
Audra Mae – (Los Angeles, CA) Audra’s music sounds like an old vaudeville act, complete with muted accordions and a smooth chanteuse that will seduce you with every note. This is a combination of sounds you don’t hear often. Combining narrative song structures, with fables and anecdotes that always end with a lesson. Audra’s music is very unique and refreshing. 8:00 Saturday July 31st — Hardwork Stage
The Pretty Black Chains – (Oklahoma City, OK) I can’t speak from experience, but the Pretty Black Chains have a huge following in OKC. Their Strokes-esque brand of beat music is fast paced, fun and danceable. Chunky guitars and hollow tom beats compliment the quick paced and quippy lyrics of singer Kellen McGugan. Check them out for sure. 12:00 Saturday, July 31st — Crystal Pistol Stage
Enjoy your festival, Tulsa!