With families abound and the free spirit of autumn in the air, the stage was set for the second day of the DIY Street Fair.
The sun began to set and throngs of youngsters yet again swarmed East Troy Street from the port-o-potties to the edge of the main stage. People packed the viewing area between The Emory and the Woodward Avenue Brewers, which was wall-to-wall from 7 p.m. onward. Lines for the two beer tents were 20 people deep the whole night, and the little souvenir white cups were tightly clasped, despite a nip in the September air.
My night of music began around 7:30 p.m., viewing the Canada-based Hey Rosetta! The band had received numerous plays by CBC Ontario radio stations prior to Saturday, and a small fan base had begun to dance in front of the stage soon after the band began its set.
Dennis Swartz and his wife of 26 years, Leeann, of Harold, Ontario, had seen Hey Rosetta! “about six times or so. I’ve gotten to know them a bit, too.” Swartz also commented on the young group’s mature sound, and praised its high-energy shows, which he admitted drove him to be a driving force in getting the crowd pumped up through his energetic dancing for the final two acts of the night.
Shortly before 9 p.m., Ferndale natives Child Bite stormed the stage with its unique blend of art-rock/noise/hardcore rock ‘n’ roll. While much of the audience was initially taken aback by the intensity of the group’s performance and sound, they were won over by their efforts, musical chemistry and strobe light show. Members of Detroit’s Woodman, which played earlier in the day, were spotted in the front of the crowd dancing away to Child Bite’s tour de force, ear-splitting sound.
By the time 10 p.m. rolled around, a seemingly capacity crowd began mingling, anticipating the arrival of Bloomfield Hills natives and “Detroit Superstars” Electric Six. The band members, each going by a tongue-in-cheek nickname, soon appeared on stage and jammed an opening, making a grand entrance for their infamous front man, Dick Valentine.
Valentine’s performance at the DIY Street Fair was much like his others: slightly sloppy, charismatic, humorous and genuine. At one point, he invited local musician and Ferndale resident Dave Malosh on stage to play guitar for two numbers, and later pulled Outrageous Cherry founder Matthew Smith on stage to sing backup for one song.
Electric Six did not perform an anticipated encore number after it left the stage early, around 10:55 p.m., after performing a 50-minute set.
As with Friday night, many patrons and vendors stayed until the festival closed at midnight, then dispersed into various late-night establishments, but not before taking in and taking a swing at Theatre Bizarre’s massive art and flame-adorned test of strength.
The DIY Street Fair is back Sunday, opening at noon with the Detroit School of Rock students performing first on the main stage. I highly recommend going Sunday, especially if you have not gone all ready. Buzz bands The High Strung, Prussia, Bars Of Gold, Beggars, Old Empire and Illy Mack hit the stage on a day that is sure to be marked by sunshine and a sense of self-empowerment.
Until then, Do It Yourself!
Connor Valone is a senior at Royal Oak High School and a Detroit music enthusiast.