The Future's So Bright

Jam Fest brings Austin U21 and U18 bands together

The Future's So Bright

After The Kids Are Alright Fest debut last year and the wildly successful South by Southwest Underage Day Party, premier U21 event organizer James Mays created yet another showcase for young talent: Jam Fest. This year’s Jam Fest was held at the Belmont and benefited the Eanes Education Foundation.

South of Center kicked the afternoon off with upbeat roots rock. I was particularly impressed by this group’s songwriting, well developed for their age. Next was Loose Wheels. When I heard a five-part harmony soar out from underneath the canopy of the Belmont’s outdoor stage, I thought I was listening to a recording. When I looked down and saw that harmony was live and being sung by a group of middle school and early high school-aged men, I was blown away. Most adults never quite master the art of harmony, but Loose Wheels unleashed harmonies that Brian Wilson would be proud of. With a cover of "Carry On My Wayward Son" and an a capella doo-wop piece, Loose Wheels solidified their spot as an up-and-coming heavyweight in the U18 scene. The Fireants were impressive as always, Aftermath unleashed another incredibly tight performance, and both Thornbjorn and Comintern dazzled the audience with staggeringly intricate instrumental sets. Georgia Napolitano, who was honored by the City of Austin on Thursday, closed the night, displaying her mastery of stage presence and pop-star style. It's going to take the right place and right time to turn Napolitano into the next Miley Cyrus.

A long Saturday at the Belmont. I left feeling fatigued but pleased - every act further solidified Austin’s bright musical future.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Jam Fest
2013 Jam Fest Winners: Circus
2013 Jam Fest Winners: Circus
Identity Crisis takes first place and a new name

William Harries Graham, Jan. 28, 2013

Dear Mr. Plant …
Dear Mr. Plant …
An open letter to Robert Plant and other U18 happenings

William Harries Graham, Jan. 16, 2013

More by Aaron Miller
Milezo on the Rise
Milezo on the Rise
Why Austin's U21 bands are unique

Nov. 2, 2010

Ride the Wonder Winds
Ride the Wonder Winds
Marmalakes strike the right chord

Aug. 2, 2010

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Jam Fest, James Mays, U21, U18

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle