The Upset Victory and X Ambassadors Start It Off by Lauren Becker
Pictures by Kari Becker
Today was the first day of Bunbury 2014 and the first band my sister and I went to see was Cincinnati locals The Upset Victory. They were on the Amphitheater stage, which basically looks like a place where people could put on plays or shows. It was a nice area to see them, especially because if you leave the stone steps, you can walk right to the front of the stage. I'm happy to see more local bands and support them; The Upset Victory are definitely a group of guys I'd love to see perform again.
The above photo gives you an idea of what the area looked like from the band's perspective. I really like this stage; I hadn't seen a band here for any of the other Bunbury festivals, so it was nice to come here and see that it gives an open, more relaxing area.
This gives you a bigger look at the stage and all the band members (please ignore the lovely photographers in front!).
Most of the bands during the afternoon have 45 minute sets, so I ended up seeing The Upset Victory for about 30 minutes of their show. During it, they played their song "Actions", which they noted was usually a "crowd favorite." For having a show so early in the day, there wasn't a huge crowd, but I still feel like there were enough people sitting around the area and even in front of the stage. As a local band, The Upset Victory had played Bunbury the year before, so it's nice to know that they bring certain acts back.
This flag was hanging at the Main Stage, where I went to see the entire 45-minute set of X Ambassadors. For those that have been to Bunbury in the past, you will know exactly what I'm talking about...but anyone that has not, hopefully this will still make sense. The two previous years of Bunbury, the Main Stage was facing one way and this year, they turned it around so it looks out at the rest of the festival. I like it better this year because I feel like there is more room for people to stand and move around. It doesn't feel as hectic or crowded. Granted, this isn't an end of the night band (where pretty much everyone shows up), but X Ambassadors still gave a good impression of the stage change.
Just like The Upset Victory, X Ambassadors was a really fun band to see live. They tried to get the crowd engaged with claps here and there. The lead singer even threw out a bottle of water after commenting on the heat, and then got off the stage a bit later and threw some water over the crowd. You have to appreciate a band that recognizes the heat! Again, there wasn't a ton of talking, but it was just enough to get a feel for the band. Near the end of the set, the lead singer even went around and introduced everyone in the band (including his brother, the keyboard player in the pic below).
I liked that they had some slightly slower songs during their set too, though the energy of the show never really seemed to waver. Two of my current favorite songs by the band are "Unconsolable" and "Jungle", which they played (in that order) at the very end. "Jungle" is definitely a great choice for ending the set because it gets the crowd pumped back up.
Overall, the two bands that I stated wanting to see yesterday were amazing live and I'd definitely recommend checking out their music. Bunbury 2014 is off to a great start - I'll be around more tomorrow, so I hope to get some fun details about the various food and vendors around this year.