By Alex Jones
It’s coming towards the end of day 2 and people are patiently waiting to see AWOLNATION at the Monster Energy Stage. The stage is decorated with cacti, shrubs and bamboo, and the hot sun is beating down. As the band slowly walks out, they begin to play the opening to “Run” while the lead singer Aaron Bruno paces towards the mic. As time passes, the music and vocals build, and the bass drops.
It was a momentous way to start out one of the last bands on night 2 of Bunbury 2019.
Another crazy moment came when Bruno told the crowd he wanted to break a world record for people crowd surfing at a concert. While no on was really sure what exactly that record is/was, I have never seen that many people crowd surf at once. From the front of the performance to the back, there must have been 20-25 people crowd surfing.
My personal favorite song from the performance was “Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)”. The song makes you jump, and you can feel the pace change. Drummer Isaac Carpenter gave a drum performance you could feel under your feet, and guitarist Zach Irons made sure you could feel it in your chest. Bruno gave some of his best vocals of the whole set during this song.
But as hard rock as this song was, AWOLNATION quickly changed pace to slow and steady. They performed their hit song “Handyman”, and all went soft. Just as the wind swayed the flag in the air hanging over the festival, as did the crowd, swaying back and forth singing the lyrics.
AWOLNATION’s set was a rollercoaster of songs by constantly changing pace. It made their performance unique and stand out to me. It was almost as if they were telling a story through their choices of which songs to play.
Other notable songs from the performance include “Not Your Fault,” “Passion” and of course their hit song “Sail.”
AWOLNATION has 2 upcoming performances in Delaware and Georgia. I’ve had the chance to see them twice now and each time I walked away impressed with the talent of the group and a different experience based on song choices. I’d highly recommend you be on the look out.
By Megan Randall
The slow outset of Awolnation’s set at Bunbury Music Festival Day 2, “Run,” eerily mirrored the dusky evening. The troubling tones from the low-pitched song perfectly set off a powerful intro to the band’s set. And then, as if to bring it all back up again, Aaron Bruno and band immediately launch into “Hollow Moon.”
Expecting the unexpected is the perfect way to see Awolnation. The band is different, for sure, and their quirky songs and wide range of tempos and sounds make the them the perfect compliment to a weekend at Bunbury. Bunny hopping on the stage? Yes. That was there. A guitar solo of “Thunderstruck”? Yes, that too. So were lots of faux plants and a pink short pant suit (worn by Bruno). You may not know what you’re going to get into when watching Awolnation, but you will enjoy the ride.
The band touched on their entire discography during their Bunbury set. Early Awolnation fans enjoyed “Kill Your Heroes,” “Not Your Fault,” and the dance-worthy “Burn It Down.” They ended the evening with their beautiful, “Sail,” just as dusk was fading into late evening. The song echoed over the Serpentine Wall and had everyone in earshot singing along.
Photographs by Shawn Wiseman