After an interview with The Ember Days, I staked out a spot at The New York stage in anticipation for indie rock group Between The Trees. I honestly didn't expect them to be as energetic as they were. They seemed to genuinely enjoy the RevGen crowd. I was surprised to learn a few days later that Between The Trees is disbanding at the end of the year :(
As Showbread emerged on the Philadelphia stage, it was very apparent that they hadn't had much sleep recently. Even though Showbread's performance was more subdued than usual, they still performed their songs passionately (but then how can you sing "I hate music because of you" and not be passionate?) and Josh even threw in a few jokes like, "What has eight wheels and is green? Grass; I lied about the eight wheels." After "A Man With A Hammer," I headed over to the Come&Live! Stage.
A number of people earlier in the day had encouraged me to check out a worship band called Ascend The Hill. I was late to their set and only heard their last two songs, but that was all it took to make me a fan. The band recently released a new worship album, check out my review.
I've been a fan of Emery since their debut album, so I was really stoked about seeing their live performance for the first time. It was one of the few performances that I stayed for the full set. Josh Head is like the Xanadu of Emery, if you're familiar with Family Force 5. He gets the crowd going by jumping around the stage, moonwalking, and jumping off the stage to interact with the crowd. But he also contributes to the vocal duties (screaming) and he plays keys. Emery opened with one of my favorites, "Studying Politics" then they moved into an oldie but a goodie, "The Ponytail Parades," off of their debut. Half way through their set, they announced that their upcoming album would be released in January and it would be the "heaviest album [they] ever recorded" (I hate it when bands say that. It's rarely true.). Emery closed with the infamous "Walls" (I have to wonder if they're getting sick of that song).
Mae is not really my thing, but their set was enjoyable, minus their opening song which was really mellow, and frankly, a bizarre opener. There seemed to be a number of dedicated Mae fans in the crowd, faithfully singing along with the band. I may not be into Mae, but it's a bummer they're breaking up because from what I saw, they're a really talented bunch.
I missed The Ember Days' set on the Philadelphia Stage the day before, so I made it a point to get myself over to the Come&Live! stage to see their second set. They announced that they were going to start by playing through their new EP, Finger Painting (a phenomenal album btw, get it for free at comeandlive.com, along with Ascend The Hill's new album). After the first song, I had to leave for a last minute interview with Showbread. I wish I could have seen The Ember Days' full set, but I was not about to pass up an interview with one of my favorite bands.
The O.C. Supertones set was an unexpected surprise for me. I'm not a fan of ska, but the Supertones stage presence is unmatchable. I don't think I can put it into words, it's something you have to see for yourself. I had to move away from the dancers in the crowd a few times because I started choking from the dust rising from the ground. A slight, but steady wind blew the dust on stage and I caught the vocalist, who is known as "Mojo," coughing a few times. RevGen was one of the few festivals that the Supertones were reuniting for, so it was a treat to see one of the most beloved Christian bands of all time.
Anberlin was the headliner at the Philadelphia stage on Sunday, and the only headliner that I saw at RevGen. The Florida-based alt. rock group opened like lightning with "Godspeed." Following was "The Resistance" and "Whisper & Clamour," during which the crowd surfing began. Anberlin continued with fan favorites like, "Paperthin Hymn" and "Unwinding Cable Car." At this point I was exhausted, as much as I wanted to see the rest of their set, I couldn't force my eyes open for much longer.
RevGen continues to top its line-up every year. And as far as Christian music festivals, it has one of the most diverse line-ups. I'm upset as I'm writing this though, because this year is probably the last year that I'll be at RevGen for awhile (I'm moving to Nashville next summer). But for those of you that will be in the Frenchtown area next September, don't miss out on one of the greatest Christian music festivals!