Jack White Takes Over Bunbury & Cincinnati

Cover Photo: Jack White Facebook

The Queen City Fest:

In the two years I’ve been writing for Festival Squad I have traveled to many different cities, but have never been able to cover an event in the city I grew up in. This weekend that all finally changed with Bunbury Music Festival! Between seeing some of the bands I loved growing up, reconnecting with childhood friends and family, and enjoying some local food and beer; Bunbury is a weekend I won’t soon forget. Below are the recap videos for all three days!

Daily Recaps:

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

The Food/Drink

What’s better on a hot summer day than some cold drinks and some delicious food down by the river? This year Bunbury featured a number of local breweries including Rhinegeist, Madtree, Miller Light, Braxton Brewing and many more. On top of the many beer bars scattered throughout the festival grounds, two Jack Daniels bars were also available for people that were looking for something a little stronger. One of the best things about Bunbury were the traveling beer vendors that walked through the crowd selling cold beer and water during the music sets. Who wouldn’t want a cold beer delivered right to you so you won’t have to leave your favorite act? They were the real MVPs of the weekend! There were also a plethora of food options that were a perfect compliment to all the different drinks. Everything from pizza to chili dogs, burgers, loaded fries, fried cheesecake, bbq, and fried chicken were available. The best and most popular food option would have had to been the Island Noodles food stand!

The Music:

( The Wrecks – Photo: Chris Casella Photographer )

The most important aspect of any festival across the country is the music and Bunbury’s lineup did not disappoint! Each day brought new acts that raised the bar and kept people running from stage to stage. The biggest disappointment of the weekend definitely the fact that Blink-182 had to cancel. Despite their cancellation the bands on day one brought the heat and made up for the loss of Blink-182. The Wrecks kicked the weekend off with a killer performance on the Sawyer Point Stage where they woke the crowd up and got people moving. The Front Bottoms were also one of my favorite performances of day one and even poked fun at the Blink-182 cancellation lightening up the crowd. After The Front Bottoms finished we experienced our only weather delay when a summer storm rolled through the area forcing festival goers to take shelter from the rain for about an hour. Once the storm passed the weather cleared up and was beautiful or the rest of the weekend. Fitz & The Tantrums, Bishop Briggs, and Young The Giant all closed out day one with a bang.

( Incubus – Photo: Bunbury Facebook )

Day two brought a new selection of talented musicians that left everything on stage. We started our day with Zoo Trippin, a local Ohio band, that put on a show that left everyone wanting more. Their funny interactions with the crowd as well as killer sound definitely made me a huge fan! Next up was Magic Giants who rocked the CVG Stage in front of the Ohio River and had an epic dance party on stage with a lucky audience member! Third Eye Blind, GRiZ, Arizona, and Foster The People were also some of the acts that performed Saturday. My favorite act would have had to of been the headliner of the day, Incubus!

(Coheed Cambria – Photo: Chris Casella Photographer

Once all of the Day 3 tickets sold out, 2018 officially became the first year that Bunbury completely sold out all weekend! Sunday was stacked with talent featuring sets from Two Feet, Sir Sly, Black Pistol Fire, and a few of my favorites, Manchester Orchestra, Coheed and Cambria, and Dropkick Murphys. Post Malone drew a huge crowd getting everyone hyped up and bringing down the sun. The final act of the day was the reason I was excited for this weekend! Jack White has been one of my favorite musicians for years. His work with The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather, and now all of his solo work has been absolutely brilliant and revolutionized the music industry. His set to close out the weekend was everything I expected and more! 

Jack White:

The Man, The Myth, The Legend. Jack White became one of my favorite musicians as soon as I discovered The White Stripes growing up. Having the opportunity to see him in the city I grew up in was a dream come true and to top things off, earlier in the day before taking the stage at Bunbury, Jack White received the key to Cincinnati! White received the key from Mayor Cranley in front of the legendary King Records building in downtown Cincinnati. In attendance were the icons Otis Williams, Philip Paul and Bootsy Collins.

“Jack White has been an unfailing supporter of King Records,” Cranley said. “Jack has actually covered Little Willie John’s song, ‘I’m Shakin’,’ which on the original recording our own Philip Paul played the drums.”

(Jack White with Mayor Cranley and legends Otis Williams, Philip Paul and Bootsy Collins)

( King Records Historical Marker ) ( Photo: Jack White Facebook )

During his performance, Jack White urged the audience to look up some information on King Records because it was the legacy of our city so I did just that! King Records was founded in 1943 in Cincinnati, Ohio by Syd Nathan. Queen Records and Federal Records, responsible for launching the careers of legends including James Brown, were also apart of King Records. King Records originally started out as a country music label then went to rockabilly and also R&B music in 1951. King Records country musicians often covered R&B songs and its R&B artists often covered country songs. This was a huge change in the evolution of music and crossed over racial barriers at the time. This independent record label was very unique because they did everything from recording, mastering, printing, pressing and shipping was done in house. When Syd Nathan passed away in 1968 King Records was acquired by Saturday Records which was renamed Saturday & King Records. The rights to King Records was sold to a handful of other labels over the years until Collectibles Records took over the rights in 2001. The original King Record building still stands today and in 2008 was marked as a historical sight by the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame!

Thank you Bunbury, see you next year!

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