@ZackTeibloom I was really hoping they’d be good. My name is John Michael follows @festivalcrasher on Twitter and asks us to see them every time they notice we’re at the same festival. Usually they get shafted with an early slot on Saturday and we’re still writing or crashing and haven’t gotten to see them yet. Thankfully, they had a mid-afternoon set and I was out of excuses. Time to give them a chance.
As much as I was enjoying the first 35 minutes of Devendra Banhart, I had to get there in time to see My Name is John Michael. Little did I know, I could have stayed for the entire hour. As I got nice and close for My Name is John Michael, I noticed they were still setting up. Actually, they were breaking down the band before. It ended up being a 25-minute delay and the crowd was growing restless as they checked and re-checked the mics. At this point, they had about 15-20 minutes left in their set time and I was worried my chance to see them would be ruined. Not the case. They not only made it worth the wait, they were the surprise set of the festival!
I knew they were from New Orleans, but I didn’t know what to expect. It’s indie rock with NOLA horns, confident stage presence and a flair for the dramatic. I love all of those things and these guys just bring it. Lead singer and guitar player John Michael Rouchell is a charming front man, who thanked us profusely for sticking with them and his band mates filled their roles with style. They apologized for the delay on the stage that was out of their hands and made up for it instantly. Hard rocking guitars, a horn player who played keyboard with one hand and poured on the brass with the other and another drummer rocking a horn. The addition of horns to an already electric rock band only helps. Credit their NOLA roots for that one.
Luckily, they outplayed the 15 minutes they had scheduled and gave us a full set and closed it in style. First it was beating the hell out of a metal garbage pail and later it was JM coming to the edge of the stage to sing right in our faces on the small BMI stage. Brilliant set. Worth the wait (both today and for the last year or two.)
On Saturday, @mynameisjm tweeted at me “Your point system looks like p4k. Hahaha. Hoping we score well tomorrow. We gotta meet up, yeah?” I wish I’d seen that earlier and could have set-up an interview. I threw an FC sticker on stage with my phone number, saying to call me, but they didn’t see it. Consider this an open invitation for an interview.
And you’ll be happy to know you scored well, boys. 9.2/10