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Greensboro Fest hists Guilford, UNCG

In 2003, John Rash and Zachary Mull, partners at local music store Gate City Noise, decided to start a free festival to show people new to Greensboro that this city has a great local music scene. They decided to call it “The Greensboro Fest”. The festival is a four night event. Each night, the fest moves to a different location in

Greensboro. This year, the four venues chosen were the Green Bean, Guilford College, UNCG, and Greene Street. Shows were held from August 25 to August 28.

The different locations were chosen in part to try to bring two sides of Greensboro together.

“We’re trying to bridge a gap between the downtown area and the west side of Greensboro,” says Rash.

The show at Guilford, sponsored by WQFS, featured three very different bands. Rash and Mull personally choose an eclectic range of artists – they feel variety is appropriate for the festival, and they always plan to have a good mixture for each event.

Chet Stedman, which features sophomore Mike Wallace on bass, opened the show. Stedman played a high energy, emotionally driven set, perfect for jump-starting the show. Lead singer Ryan Stack’s aggressive, no-holds-barred vocals complemented the corkscrew instrumentals. Stedman received a popular response from the audience because of their tight musicianship, emotion, and stage presence.

“They really had the total package,” said Rob Pantell, a UNCG student that came out to support local music like many other audience members. Stedman’s current lineup has been around for about a year, but the band’s history begins in 2000. This year’s fest was Steadman’s first and they seemed very enthusiastic about playing.

“The fest is awesome, I think it’s a great way to introduce college students to new music and meet people,” says Chet Steadman lead singer Ryan Stack.

After Chet Stedman’s set, Citified took the stage.

Citified is a band with beautifully written music and great melodies and harmonies. The band members are older than other Greensboro Fest bands. This is not surprising, given their experienced sounding music. More laid back than Chet Stedman, Citified generates the relaxing vibes of mainstream bands like Coldplay or Radiohead.

“They were the exact style I was looking for, they had a great balance,” says Justin Frazier, an audience member from Stokesdale, North Carolina with a wide range of musical tastes.

Citified lead singer and guitarist Chris Jackson has a unique, soothing voice, and each member of the band are just as individually talented. The band earned lots of positive feedback from the audience with their interesting melodies and overall talent.

Like Chet Steadman, this was the first time that Citified has played the Fest. “It’s great because you don’t get many free shows,” says Citified guitarist Andy Ross.

The last act of the night was Greensboro Fest co-founder Zachary Mull’s band Dawn Chorus. Dawn Chorus, who plays a blend of melodic pop and funky grooves, played a catchy, fun-to-watch set. Mull’s vocals were reminiscent of Neil Diamond in his prime, and the stellar connection between the bass player and drummer added some interesting grooves which had the crowd dancing.

The Greensboro Fest, with its wide showcase of local bands is certainly a must for newcomers to the area, or anyone that wants to see a variety of local music. Mull and Rash plan to keep doing this event as long as there is a music scene in Greensboro.

“I have every intention of still hosting Greensboro Fest as long as people want to come to it,” says Mull.

If you are interested in finding out about more information on next year’s event, go to www.gatecitynoise.com or e-mail gso_fest@slavemagazine.com.

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