First Annual HRVST Festival is a Success


Chris Prenatt

French synth pop group Phoenix headlined the first annual HRVST Festival Saturday night at Buffalo RiverWorks.

If you went to the HRVST Festival yesterday at Buffalo RiverWorks, it’s safe to say this festival has a future in the Queen City.

The inaugural festival created by 103.3 The Edge and After Dark Entertainment had a stellar lineup composed of acts such as PVRIS, The Glorious Suns, Lo Moon, Brian Fallon, and Phoenix.

Due to production issues, the festival moved from the Cumulus radio station’s grounds to RiverWorks, making the space for the festival a little bit smaller. Instead of being outside, the stage was built on top of one of the two ice rinks located at the venue.

Doors were supposed to open at 1 p.m., but due to technical issues, they didn’t open till around 1:30. These issues also caused many of the bands’ starting times to be delayed for 20 minutes to a half hour.

The first act on stage was Lo Moon, a lo-fi indie trio from Los Angeles composed of guitarist Sam Stewart, bassist Crisanta Baker, and guitarist and lead vocalist Matt Lowell. While their time on stage was short lived, they made the most of it by playing songs like “Loveless,” “We Are Love,” and their radio hit “This is It,” a song that’s currently playing on alternative rock stations nationwide. Lowell knew little about Buffalo, but he did share with the crowd that he knew who Pat Lafontaine is.

The acts that followed the lo-fi trio were also amazing and included indie darlings PVRIS (it’s Paris but with a ‘V,’) Canadian rockers The Glorious Sons, Rochester natives Joywave (who opened the new Sabres season with a free show outside the Key Bank Center,) Atlanta, Ga., rockers Manchester Orchestra, the Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon doing a solo performance with his backup band, and a headlining performance by the legendary French synth pop group Phoenix.

Phoenix, who headlined the festival, drew a big crowd and caused nearly everyone there to sing along to classics such as “Lasso,” “If I Ever Feel Better,”  “Consolation Prizes,” and songs from their first album in four years Ti Amo such as “Tuttifrutti,” “Lovelife,” and “Fior di Latte.” The group (composed of vocalist Thomas Mars, bassist and keyboardist Deck d’Arcy, guitarist and keyboardist Laurent Brancowitz, guitarist Christian Mazzalai, touring drummer Thomas Hedlund and touring keyboardist Robin Coudert) opened up their first ever Buffalo show with the first single off of Ti Amo “J-Boy” and just continued rolling out the punches, playing fan favorites like “Lisztomania,” “Rome,” “Armistice,” “Trying to Be Cool,” and closing their electrifying show with “1901.” Things even got more hectic when Mars walked into the crowd with his mic in hand before climbing up on top of the audience. He then crowd surfed back to the stage and then dove back in for a second time, even taking a sip of someone’s beer as he stood on the crowd.

The HRVST Festival was a major success, connecting the City of Good Neighbors together with our love of craft beer, food, and good music. Every single act that played last night brought their all to us, and it was a full-fledged eight hours of indie and alternative rock. Let’s see how 103.3 The Edge and After Dark Entertainment top this for next year.