The first real day of Whartscape, Friday, started late, in tradition Baltimore/Wham City fashion due to a hold up with the waivers that everyone was required to sign. So at probably like, 4 in the afternoon, Whartscape Friday began at the parking lot behind the L-shaped Current Space. The setup was two rather harshly set up stages covered with blue tarps, which ultimately would lead to its downfall two days later.
The vibes at that point were sort of agitated, yet relieved at the wait. Teenagesouls opened up with their grungy-percussion driven set that started to get people slightly interested, but it wasn’t until Baltimore favorite Weekends lo-fi experiments started to “get the crowd into it.”
I was quite saddened that I missed So Percussion, as I have decided to evade the heat (if you didn’t hear, Baltimore had like, record highs all weekend), but I finally returned back for rap group Height. They had received quite the amount of hype in the past few months with their signing on local Friends Records (who had a stand at the festival), however, they seemed off-beat, and sort of tradition “boring rapper”-esque. However, the festival was quickly redeemed with a set from the Brooklyn duo Javelin. Their radio based, hip-hop electronica mess was quite the crowd pleaser.
Eric Copeland of Black Dice played a short set filled with his own brand of DIY noise, which, from the large distance I sat away from his stage (the last time I saw Black Dice, they were far too loud), was quite enjoyable and ambient, although I did see the crowd start a little ruckus closer to the stage.
The true highlight of the night was the Get Em Mamis, whose brand of electronic hip-hop was quite unique to the festival. They’re set actually got the crowd moving, and with some participation invited, was quite enjoyable for perceivably everyone there.
That night was somewhat of a disappointment for me, seeing as a culmination of personal problems, and my volunteering on probably the worst floor of the H&H Building down the street from the Current Space led to a sort of ruined mood. I did quite enjoy hearing Blue Leader’s distortion led rants overtop of a karaoke of “Poker Face.” His never ceases to amuse with his angry musings on life. Also, “Every person is a first person shooter.”
I did however, get to see Lesser Gonzalez Alvarez, Yip Yip and Adventure play. All of them were quite enjoyable, however I was expecting the sort of Lesser Gonzalez you heard on his album Why is the Bear Billowing? . Adventure’s synth pop vibes started a little bit of a turnaround in the mood for me that night, and probably saved the H&H experience for me for Friday night. I didn’t really stay too long the next night.