by Samuel Hernandez
Juan Wauters took the stage five minutes after setting up. His crew placed an American flag over a homemade Queens flag, a swinging Edison bulb from the microphone, and a light up display of a champion boxer. His stage presence and show was the highlight of an extremely solid Captured Tracks showcase at Northside Festival. Not only is his powerful one man crooning a big testament to the little guy musicians but he also proudly comes from a hometown mentality you never hear about in New York City because Brooklyn takes up all the attention.
At the Warsaw House you could catch the bands performing from the main stage, you could take a step into the dining area and buy some tasty kielbasa, or finally you could take a step even further away and groove to the tunes while drinking some imported beer from tap. Wauters, playing third, captured the crowd. With an acoustic guitar he manages to personify the early sound of Pink Floyd with the folk tradition of Bob Dylan. His debut vinyl is labeled North American Poetry. His lyrics are psychedelic throw backs and his voice is hypnotic.
At this point with the glowing lights on stage illuminating Wauters thin frame a small group of people in the crowd shouted “play your hipster music,” as if an insult. Because though people had to pay for their tickets, and must have had some general knowledge of Captured Tracks’ lineup, there was still a need to call someone out for being a hipster in Brooklyn. Irony is that thing that hipsters thrive on right?
The other stellar performance came from Axxa/Abraxas and I immediately apologize for using the words “Southern authentic” to describe them for their attire or sound and making a comparison to an independent rock Lynryd Skynryd. The band rocked, and their positive grooves had a love circle form in the center where the crowd took turns dancing and cheering each other on. Their music is southern authentic because they’re incorporating a country aesthetic into their overall sound. They sound like the progeny of a southern state.
Captured Tracks deftly pulls together a stellar lineup of independent bands. Their innovation is built by allowing their bands to be creative in their own way, and giving them time to feel out their own sound. A year after their five year anniversary show, the lineup is stronger than ever and the love and support find their ways into the crowd.