Picture it: A Huntsville-owned brewery overrun with people of all ages dancing and talking and greeting one another. The local brews are flowing, the early autumn rain has subsided, and the third live band of the night is kicking up their set, and the night is still young. Sounds like heaven, right? It was.
If you had asked my dad how he felt about the turnout on the night of the third Invisible Fest, all he would reply was “I’m really happy.” And he meant it. Listeners of the Invisible City, my dad’s long-running public radio show, strangers, and friends had gathered together to enjoy 10+ entirely local artists performing at Fractal Brewing in Huntsville, AL. And I think anyone would agree, a good time was had by all.
For us, the evening began about 3:30. We arrived at Fractal, before the rush of the evening. My dad ran around, a bundle of nerves, greeting and introducing and the like. WLRH volunteers buzzed all around with boxes of t-shirts and donation buckets for the station’s tent. My brother and I camped out in a corner booth by the front window, awaiting the action. My brother wandered around with his boxy old Polaroid, capturing the art and a few portraits of Dad and I. I sought out the brewery’s root beer on tap, which was kindly gifted to us “on the house” and was quite possibly the best root beer I’ve ever tasted.
Nerves heightened as a few waves of rough rain washed through the city, potentially threatening the outdoor part of the festival. Luckily, the weather passed quickly, as most summer showers do, and the sun was back right on time at 5 o’clock. Yellow show posters were hung on every visible wall and window, and new and old friends soon began to trickle in.
Kicking off the evening was none other than Huntsville’s Hew Tyler. Hew brought some good old fashioned acoustic Americana sound, perfect for the early September evening. He pioneered the outdoor stage that night, shepherding everyone in for a night of great music and great people. To keep up with Hew, you can follow his Facebook or Instagram, and you can find his music on Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube.
First on the indoor stage was DILL, bringing the house down with some mellow groove. This is the second time I’ve seen DILL live, and Emily impresses me every time. She always wows everyone with her lyrics and nonchalantly mentions that she made the funky, lo-fi beats herself. Everyone in the crowd was head-bopping along. Emily has a brand-new song out called “Trying” and you have to check it out for more of that amazing ‘indie alt bedroom lofi magic” (as Emily puts it) 🙂 Keep up with Emily and DILL on Instagram and Facebook, and listen to “Trying” on Bandcamp, Apple Music, and Spotify.
Transitioning back to the outdoor space, local rap artist Sham took over. Sham brought a great wave of energy to the venue, helping to kick everything into high gear.
The best thing about the Fest was the incredible artist diversity, and if you didn’t care for the current set, you could just wait about 20-30 minutes and something completely different would be starting up! It was great to have a taste of so many different styles and genres in one night.
Transitioning back indoors, Boozy Slufoot took the stage. Fusing blues, psychedelic rock, and metal, Boozy is absolutely face-melting. Everyone was enamored, and rightfully so. They absolutely tore it up, and throughout the rest of the night you could tell everyone had just fallen in love with their sound. I’m lucky enough to say Boozy Slufoot will be playing at Dad and I’s joint birthday party on December 3rd at Fractal Brewing (and you’re all invited of course!) You can check out more about the band on their Facebook and Instagram.
Outside at 7 pm, a personal favorite of mine started up: Nash Hamilton and the CreekHouse Orchestra all the way from Nashville, TN. Nash and the gang are what I like to call “outlaw country,” and I’ve never heard anything but overwhelming praise from everyone who hears them jam. Everyone in the band is incredibly talented, and you just can’t resist when they bring out the washboard. My lovely friend Chlo and I got to join them for a song and show off our shaker skills, and we just had the best time! Nash’s brand-new single just came out yesterday; make sure to listen to “Speed Limit 25” on Apple Music and Spotify and share with all your friends! You can also follow Nash and his many projects on Instagram.
At 7:30, Chlo (the same lovely friend I mentioned before) captured everyone’s hearts with just a stool and a ukulele (and her incredible voice). Chlo has a dreamy, melancholy voice that just sucks you in, and she’s an incredible songwriter to boot. Everyone was mesmerized, even all the old metalheads in the building 🙂 Chlo has a a 4-song EP out on all streaming services under the name Cloverfields. You can listen to my favorite, “January Blues,” on Apple Music and Spotify.
Outside, we continued with the talents of Dizzy D, an incredible, fairly well-known rapper from the area. Dizzy D is one of my dad’s good friends and one of his favorite artists to promote. Dizzy D was the perfect energy to wrap up the outdoor scene for the night. You can follow Dizzy D on Instagram to find out where you can see him next, and of course listen to his music on Spotify and Apple Music.
Indoors, the night was complete with pleasant acoustic sounds from Alan Little, and then Sylvia Dean, Marylyn Coffee, and John Onder from Startlingly Fresh Records. All of these are incredible song writers and have such a simple, sweet sound to close out the night.
I was so enthralled by all the incredible local talent that was showcased in one place that night. Fractal Brewing was an incredible venue and host for the event, Josh Dodd and DJ Siza Hanz were wizards running sound all night, and every single act showed up and showed out. It was a wonderful night of music and community, and I’m so proud of my Dad and his gang at WLRH for all their hard work that went into this. I hope everyone who was there loved it, and maybe if we try really hard and let him know how bad we want more awesome local music, we can convince dad to host this more than just once every few years 🙂
In the meantime, tune into the Invisible City on 89.3 WLRH at 7pm on Fridays and 10pm on Saturdays, and make sure to check out all of these artists on their social media and various streaming platforms. If you’re interested in learning a little more about some of the featured artists, you can read a little Q&A I wrote right here. Thank you all for reading, and remember to support local music!
Until next time, Sophia ❤