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Bunbury Music Festival ended Sunday in Cincinnati, Ohio with a bang! Sets from Moon Taxi, Jon Bellion, Thirty Seconds to Mars, the 1975, & Muse took place on the final day. It was a hot one in Cincy, high in humidity, and getting into the high 80s. Bunbury takes place in Sawyer Point Park, a beautiful place right on the Ohio river. There was plenty of delicious food, wonderful people, and many opportunities to discover new music.
The most surprising set of the day by far came from Moon Taxi. The indie-prog rock group played mid day when it was scorching hot, but it was enjoyable regardless. The band played for about an hour, incorporating their own music, as well as a few covers. One notable cover they did was over ‘Another Brick in the Wall Pt. 2’ by Pink Floyd. The crowd sang out the lyrics “Hey! Teacher, leave them kids alone!” All together multiple times. Moon Taxi was captivating to watch, their energy on stage was unbelievable. Their new single ‘Two High’ was their closer, people’s hands were waving in the air freely throughout the track. You can check out Moon Taxi’s music here.
Thirty Seconds to Mars took the stage around 7:45 on the Nissan stage, opening with hit 2013 track ‘Up in the Air.’ Their set was very live, Jared Leto knew how to keep the crowd on their feet. Leto’s outfit stood out; wearing a red flannel print kilt over his jeans, along with a jacket with a bee attached to it (Bunbury’s mascot is a bee), and had a orange baseball cap on.
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Large balloons & confetti glazed the crowd throughout the set, which was entertaining. Leto at one point snuck through the barricade with little notice from the crowd, only to appear on a pedestal in the middle of the crowd, holding an acoustic guitar. He proceeded to sing ‘The Kill,’ a classic Thirty Seconds song from 2005. The band has just started getting back on stage to perform, but have not released new music in over 3 years. Let’s hope that changes soon.
The 1975 followed 30STM at the Sawyer Point Stage, which was located across the park. After rushing over there and finding a spot, ominous music played before Matt Healy & company came out and dove right in with groovy hit single ‘Love Me.’ The one thing that seemingly always captures people’s attention about the 1975’s shows is their light show. The alternating neon light patterns blew me away, and seeing Mr. Healy’s silhouette dancing in the middle of the lights was fitting. I got to hear ‘Sex’ live, which was something I’ve been dying to hear for quite some time. The Manchester native band also paid tribute to the victims in the attack from a few weeks ago. Healy threw out roses to the crowd, then the band proceeded to play ‘Loving Someone.’ It was a beautiful tribute.
And finally, Muse. Ohhhhh, Muse. The English rock band ended Bunbury weekend with an absolute bang. They played from 9:45-11:15pm, opening with eerie new single ‘Dig Down,’ which was accompanied by dazzling visuals and Matt Bellamy wearing strobe light shades. They then proceeded to transition straight into ‘Psycho,’ which set the whole crowd off (including me). Muse’s visuals were trippy, staticky, and psychedelic. In between songs at some points, Bellamy would start a riff from classic songs, like ‘Voodoo Child’ by Jimi Hendrix and ‘Township Rebellion’ by Rage Against the Machine. Confetti drenched the crowd along with giant balloons (making another appearance) while the band played ‘Mercy.’ Then, they ended the day with classic song ‘Knights of Cydonia.’
Bunbury was without a doubt an experience I’ll never forget. The music, the people, the environment, and even the food, were all wonderful. I hope to return to Cincy for this wonderful festival in the near future!
Junior at Ball State University studying photojournalism.
Lover of music, travel, and photography.