Smile Politely

Happily Exiled on Main Street

When I got to Exile on Main Street for the Pygmalion Music Festival showcase this past Saturday, there was pizza, pop and a few local music celebrities scattered across the store (wearing the same shirt in some cases) while Lucky Mulholland prepared to perform.

Lucky Mulholland’s early afternoon set felt wonderfully appropriate after a wild night with Hood Internet. It was very casual and laid-back with the audience sitting on the floor. Though the time slot also came with a smaller audience, the crowd grew as the day went further into mid-afternoon.

After Lucky Mulholland, Santa played their second set of the festival. Some songs, like the one lead vocalist Stan McConnell said was about the “three best Star Wars movies” were repeats of the night before, while others were new. Likewise, the crowd had some familiar faces and a few new visitors. Perhaps because of their campus following or the later time slot, the audience had at least doubled by the end of their set.

While there was a break between performances, I crossed the street to see “the German” (later identified as Peter Piek) play a set in the side room of Jennifer North, but I didn’t stay long. Not because he wasn’t worthwhile, but rather I wanted to eat a waffle at Maryann’s before catching Snowsera’s set next door. The music echoed a bit in the room, but Piek strummed the guitar in time with his metallic voice and created what I would describe as likeable pop songs.

Snowsera played in front of a combination of Santa stragglers and their own loyal followers, making it the largest audience of the afternoon. They also put on the most rambunctious show of the day, bringing smiles to the happy faces in the crowd.

Overall, the sound quality wasn’t great but it wasn’t too bad either. Having a local showcase in a local independent record store was a perfect addition for the festival. The albums lining the walls behind the musicians made the environment rather picturesque. Moreover, the show allowed me to be immersed in the great things Champaign has to offer. With all my favorite downtown stores and restaurants readily available to me between sets and local bands playing every hour, it made for an enjoyable afternoon.

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