There is no doubt that it is officially fall in Columbus, with the leaves changing and winter coats becoming normal concert apparel in the midwest. At Backstage Columbus we’ve been missing summer nights that were filled with festivals and outdoor sets. If you’re like us it might seem a little bittersweet as a concert goer to have to carry your coat around all night or wait at the doors with chills. Now more than ever we miss the warm summer nights and these were some of our favorites. 

Bird and Byron, Pray for Sleep, and Cousin Simple with SJC Drums and Vans at Woodlands Tavern

Kicking off the summer Cousin Simple and Pray for Sleep partnered with SJC drums and Vans to perform a fan appreciation night at Woodlands tavern in the suburbs outside of Columbus. Upon entering Woodlands fans did not know what they had coming. With new music flooding our ears from break out band Bird and Bryon a new sound comparable to the Barns Courtney, and the contrast between the heavy sound of Pray for Sleep and the soft alternative sound echoing from Cousin Simple, fans were surprised by the eclectic mix of these bands. 

Coin, Young the Giant, and Fitz and the Tantrums at Express Live : CD102.5 Summer fest

When entering any CD102.5 event you can always expect the best as a music lover, and with the sold out Summer Fest fans were ecstatic about the bands performing on the hot summer night summer in Columbus. For alternative fans around the city the pairing of the bedroom pop band COIN, and the cult classics Young the Giant and Fitz and the Tantrums was a once in a lifetime chance. Express Live was full to the brim with everyone and their mothers eagerly awaiting the start of the shows. As the sun set and the night began fans echoed through the city singing songs like Talk To Much and Cough Syrup. 

What! Fest at 400 W Rich

Next came the indescribable What! fest.  Located in Franklinton, 400 W Rich street takes the cake for one of the coolest spots for a festival all summer. Filled with EDM lovers and art installations, What! Fest was a festival lovers dream taking Columbus’s EDM scene to the next level. Bass filled our chests, vendors and food trucks lined the streets, and the silent discos called What! Fest home for what might have been one of the hottest nights of the summer.

Still Woozy and Dreamer Boy Blue at Newport Music Hall

Dreamer Boy, Zach Taylor, an alternative pop artist made his splash on the Columbus music scene August 2 performing with Still Woozy at the Newport Music Hall. Bringing personality and vulnerability to the crowd,  Taylor bared his unique style, southern twang, and love stories with the crowd. Taylor and his producer and guitarist Bobby Knepper started the show off prompting the crowd to give a big “yeehaw” and continued throughout the night throwing in the phrase every chance they got. And, when you can get a packed crowd in the city of Columbus to scream “yeehaw” at the top of their lungs you know you are doing something right. It is uncommon to see small artists put this type of heart and style into a performance, but Dreamer Boy proved us wrong by exposing how romance and nostalgia connect human beings. This show left fans speechless.

Wonderbus Music Festival at The Lawn at Chemical Abstracts

Then Wonderbus rolled around. Wonderbus is unlike any festival that has reached Columbus, with its inaugural year Wonderbus became Lollapalooza in our very own backyard. Racking in big artists like The Revivalists, Walk the Moon, and Ben Harper along with Ashe, Castle Comer, and Columbus’s own Cousin Simple, the festival pulled crowds from every corner of the city. The two days were packed with every and any style of music and performance you could imagine and truly transformed the festival culture in Columbus. 

Cousin Simple at A&R Music Bar

You may not think a music video release party would make the list for best shows in the city this summer but Cousin Simple proved us wrong. Upon entering A&R music bar fans were put into a new atmosphere. Filled to maximum capacity with screaming fans along with props that made you feel like you were on a Hollywood Set, the Star Destroyers music video release party put Cousin Simple on the map as the next big band to come out of Columbus.