Even on the most nomadic of late-night outings, it would be impossible to duplicate the level and diversity of talent found at last Thursday's Indy Music Awards Festival.
Now in its fourth year, the downtown event featured 18 IMA-winning acts performing on two outdoor stages, another inside of Cowboys, and a fourth — which Chuck Snow dubbed the "Indy Music Awards Vertigo Challenge" — perched on the roof of Blondie's. It was there that the two-time Singer-Songwriter winner performed acoustic versions of poignant originals (including the Waldo Canyon-inspired "Whichever Way the Wind Blows") across a one-story chasm to festival-goers watching from the rooftop bar at Gasoline Alley.
Other personal highlights included:
• The Mostly Don'ts cranking out cheerfully snarky punk-rock, replete with go-go dancers and a well-endowed Tyrannosaurus Sexbot.
• Mad Trees free-styling over the infectious beats of turntablist DJ Gravity.
• GOYA performing hard-rock covers of Cee-Lo's "Fuck You" and Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child of Mine."
• Che Bong, accompanied by drummer Nicholas Hureau and Bullhead*ded cohort Zetfree FoundDed, performing an intense version of his Maulskull-produced single, "Overdose."
• And Malakai blasting through their last show of the year, as they shift their focus to recording.
The most moving performance, for me, was a set by Stoney Bertz — surely the only artist to ever play Cowboys backed by an iPod — performing her poetic rhymes for a late-evening gathering of local hip-hop lovers.
Here's a full list of the artists who were kind enough to perform at this year's festival: Stoney Bertz, Che Bong, Andy Clifton, Chauncy Crandall, Edith Makes a Paper Chain, Tony Exum Jr., GOYA, Grass It Up, Joe Johnson, Justus League, Jake Loggins, DJ Brandon Lee, Mad Trees, Malakai, Mostly Don'ts, Grant Sabin, Chuck Snow, and We Are Not a Glum Lot.