Going to Bonnaroo in 2015 was one of the best experiences of my life. And once you've been to Bonnaroo, I don't know that any other musical festival can shock you. So when people asked me if I witnessed anything crazy during my first ComFest experience, all I could say was, “The censorship of BirdGetters' N.W.A. cover.”
Well, OK, I didn't witness it, but one of the band members told me about it when I arrived at the festival on Sunday. That knowledge made for a somewhat tainted experience at an event that has adopted “resist” as part of its slogan. Still, I enjoyed the protest-inspired “BlackPride4 Mini Art Showcase + Fundraiser,” which benefited the group arrested for demonstrating at the Pride parade. All of the performers played guitar and sang really vulnerable songs. It was refreshing to see black singer-songwriters highlighted in the space. I'm definitely looking forward to watching Tatum live again.
Afterward, I walked around the park and sampled steak on a stick, bought a book on Yoga from a Hare Krishna tent and seriously considered purchasing “stay woke” earrings from What the Rock?!.
I spent some time at the Off Ramp stage, taking in rapper Sarob's performance. I enjoyed a couple of his songs, and his hype man gave me a rose, which I didn't know where to stash, so I threw it away. Sorry, Sarob. Good show, though.
My favorite performance of the night was Mistar Anderson. Eric Rollin's rapid-fire wordplay, combined with the band's jazzy, funky accompaniment, brought the crowd to life. I even purchased the group's new, self-titled album, sold via adorable drop-cards peddled by even more adorable little girls in front of the stage. Check out “Alley Talk,” my favorite track so far and a great introduction to the band.
On my way to see the last act,Alive Band to Watch Cherry Chrome on the Gazebo stage, I heard the Deeptones playing a Prince song, which was another highlight. Later, sitting on the grass, I let Xenia Bleveans-Holm's soothing vocals lull me into a daze. The rest of the evening was peaceful except for a frantic search for a portable toilet, which had run out of toilet paper.
While ComFest wasn't the most exciting experience, I had a pleasant time. I think the best part is being able to share it with friends, whom I was fortunate to meet there or run into spontaneously. I'd go back next year if only to get the classic ComFest mug. I suppose I'm not really a true Columbus resident until I have one collecting dust in a kitchen cabinet somewhere.