On June 10th, the annual Northside Festival ( which spans one week every June ) held a concert at McCarren Park. It served as a benefit show for the Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn (OSA). This nonprofit is dedicated to the empowerment and the building blocks to a stronger Brooklyn by improving community parks and playgrounds while getting the neighborhood involved with the efforts.
Upon taking in the sunny day and the atmosphere before the concert, there were several people there dressed chill and comfortable, sitting on beach chairs that they brought or laying out on towels, as well as enjoying the compliments of several locally owned food trucks that were selling sandwiches, burgers, and even Italian ices.
As the concert began, the first in the line- up was a fairly new artist and Los Angeles indie –pop singer Saro who sang a few songs such as “Two Suns” (most notably off of his EP In Loving Memory ) and his recent song “Sky Doesn’t Blue. Saro’s whole demeanor and vibe was ethereal and eclectic which was totally intriguing as these songs, in particular, came as a ballad floating in minor and major keys and achy vocals in the tone that only elevated his falsetto to riveting heights.
Next in the line-up was BJ The Chicago Kid. Off the bat, he radiated the stage showcasing his instrumental capability by banging on his snare drum. His presence was enigmatic singing songs such as “Church”, which is about his path to righteousness and living wholesomely, and “Turning Me Up” which indicates his praise for women. He also didn’t hesitate in covering Michael Jackson’s “Rock With You” and other throwbacks from artists R. Kelly to School Boy Q.
Last but not least, the headliner himself Miguel, burst onto the stage. He sang one of his classic songs “Sure Thing”, that everyone was dancing to and embracing the ambiance of the R&B infused beat. It was evident that Miguel was enjoying the moment as he started swaying and getting jiggy to the bass of the music. Everyone was so into the moment that even his electric guitarist started going crazy playing his heart out on the strings. Miguel also sang other classic songs of his such as “Simple Things” and “Do You”. There were other parts in his performance where it was more interactive by having the audience sing “ I want to ride that wave”. He ultimately ended his performance with a closing remark “… to receive love… you send love .”
In addition, the line- up of artists that were showcased uniquely played out in their own way. There was a lot of synchronicity in the flow and timbre of their musical style as well the diversity of people that came out to support.
The annual Northside Festival held in Brooklyn, New York is the perfect indication of hope and pride that despite the madness of the world, the future of arts, culture, music, and innovation still shines brightly.