Live Review: Manchester Orchestra @ Bunbury Festival, Cincinnati OH (6/7)


“I thought they were an actual orchestra.”

This is the beauty of a music festival. Roaming from stage to stage discovering new music in between your most anticipated events. While I had heard of Manchester Orchestra, I didn’t know much more about the Atlanta band than the people I saw them with.

We arrived to the show and quickly found out we would not be experiencing the calming sounds of strings and woodwinds. Instead, we were introduced to Andy Hull’s soaring vocals over devastating guitar chords, crashing down on the crowd. The band is labelled as “indie”, but that sounds a little too cutesie to describe this band to me. At least during their live performance, Manchester Orchestra sounds huge, like a mammoth of sound.

While there are some heavy rock sensibilities, you do get the idea that there is a soft side. Hull would often let his personality show through, chuckling as he would make requests like for everyone to close their eyes during a song. Or, later in the show, he joked again asking everyone “to remain calm and quiet” while he and Robert McDowell performed a dual guitar solo. Manachester Orchestra may have a mammoth sound, but they are probably a more gentle giant.

The songs themselves were pretty enjoyable. It was a different experience for me as plenty of people were headbanging around us. I haven’t been to many shows that inspired that but I had a great time. Manchester Orchestra is talented in their genre, but I never felt isolated by my musical taste. The bridged that gap pretty well and the show was better for it.

As of now, I don’t know the names of any of the songs that I saw the band perform Sunday. I haven’t listened to a single studio recording of Manchester Orchestra. But what I can tell you is that I’m now a fan of the band live, and I’ll be checking out a few of their albums… right about now.

LFI Video coming soon


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