With the first day of M3F under my belt, I was more excited going into the second day. I had already discovered so many new to me musicians and bands that it created a bigger anticipation for the second day. The sun was out this time that added warmth and to that feeling that it was going to be a good day. As for the festival, it did live up to that growing anticipation and the bar set by the day prior.
First of the music would be another solid opening act with Mildlife. I’m not the biggest prog rock fan, but what Mildlife played were longer songs that were good to just bob your head to. It was like an electronica and prog rock mix that was perfect for easing into the day to come without any urgency. It kind of reflects that vibe I mentioned on Day One, that it is a relaxed and moving to the music kind of crowd. Mildlife was a good warm up band to go into the rest of M3F.
Things livened up as I walked over to the Lundi stage for the first time of day two and caught The Higgs. This is a band I had been seeing pop up on Phoenix shows the past few months from California, so I had a curiosity to see exactly what they were. This band was a mix of that southern rock sound that kind of blurred a little bit country. They got that look with breeze of the day perfectly adding that rocking out flying long hair. The Higgs were a lot of personality and can see why there are people that keep wanting them to come back to play here so frequently.
Then it was to the big stage again for Cautious Clay. Clay performs with a band, but he does add a few instruments to his repertoire over the course of a set. Just in this one there was the flute and saxophone on top of handling lead vocals. Their sound is this wonderful jazz and blues influenced music that just channels my love of growing up listening to the genres. Cautious Clay hit the perfect spot for me in terms of music I enjoy while just sitting back in the grass to just take it all in.
After that we were to my favorite new to me discovery this day with Blu DeTiger. They hit the perfect pop sound for me with just a wonderful and full of personality performance. I was starting to feel hungry, but their performance hooked me. I delayed attempting to find the shortest line in the food area until after they were done. I always find it is infectious when a band is looking so happy while they perform. Blu and her band looked just that, happy, laughing and having fun. Speaking of having fun, Blu performed a cover of Gorillaz “Feel Good Inc” that rolled into Outkast’s “Ms. Jackson” and then M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” that was cool near the end of the set. This set from Blu DeTiger totally made a fan out of me.
The fun times kept rolling as Parcels hit the Pompelli stage next. With a funk and dance sound, it wasn’t just the crowd moving, but the band all over the stage too. Right on that same theme as mentioned before, bands having fun just elevates a performance for me. Giving me music that makes me want to move my body an additional bonus. Parcels just made for an enjoyable time as I tried to figure out when I’d make time to try to eat.
From there I would catch Elderbrook that probably was my biggest surprise of the day. I know I stated I’m not the biggest fan of DJ performances, but when people do creative stuff with that kind of thing they can win over my tastes. Elderbrook did just that, as at first glance he had samples to play and keys. However, in addition to creative uses of mixing those sounds he also sang. Not only was it that he was singing that made it stand out to me, but his voice was wonderful over the songs he composed. I left that set impressed by Elderbrook.
Next was the most recommended to me to check out going into M3F, Leon Bridges. He did not disappoint either. Leon brings a modern soul music with backing vocals and the full package. His singing and composure up there just stand out. It was a set that once I was done taking photos, I sat back and just took in the rest of the set. Leon Bridges was the best act of the second night without a doubt.
From here it was more DJ sets that don’t do a lot for me, regardless of if it includes familiar tracks mixed in like Daft Punk. Though one standout moment was during Wheton, who was one of the last of what I checked out during Day Two of M3F. The songs he played had a consistent rhythm that this crowd bounced to mostly in sync. It created this surreal feeling under my feet, as the park and the Deck Park Tunnel cement that holds it, was moving. No crazy swaying to worry about, but one of the weirder feelings I’ve experienced while standing on solid ground. I caught a little bit of Kaytranada, which to his credit seemed more of his own unique music and sample mixes. Then finished by watching Arizona’s own jam band, Spafford and their never-ending songs to cap off a wonderful two days of music out at M3F. I hope to keep getting the opportunity to go out to the M3F festival in the coming years with amazing lineups like this year.