Looking for a rundown on the tuneage featured at Freakfest? Here’s the definitive guide for planning your must-see acts.
7:30-8: The Royal
Perhaps the poppiest act at Freakfest, Milwaukee-based The Royal will make any teenage girl swoon.
8:15-8:55: Fort Wilson Riot
Fort Wilson Riot, from the beautiful city of Minneapolis, is a duo of multi-instrumentalists. Recommended for fans of Andrew Bird.
9:10-10: Sexy Ester
Madison-based Sexy Ester has a sound that fits perfectly with her name: Synthpop meets post-punk as Sexy Ester belts over top in a confident baritone. Sexy.
Described by a New York Times blog as playing “luscious, luminous, lilting lullabies,” Lucius is a good call for anyone looking for a mid-Freakfest make-out session.
11-12: Neon Indian (DJ Set)
Neon Indian, along with bands such as Washed Out and Toro Y Moi, found themselves the founders of a genre dubbed “chillwave” in the late 2000s. This genre, whose name was invented by Carles of the infamous Hipster Runoff blog, is characterized by lush layers of sound with disco-like 4/4 beats and hushed vocals. Of the three groups generally characterized as the founders of chillwave, Neon Indian is, by far, the most party-friendly. Their two studio albums are loaded with shimmering, upbeat jams loaded with synthesizers. If good vibes needed a musical definition, this band would be it. Neon Indian will be playing a DJ set before Matt & Kim’s set, mixing a collection of their own tunes as well as other jams to keep the crowd warm, entertained and filled with mojo. If you’re looking to check out the band’s stuff, start with “Deadbeat Summer,” “Terminally Chill” and “Polish Girl.” –Erik Sateren
12:30-1:30: Matt & Kim
Matt & Kim are an indie pop duo out of Brooklyn, known for their giddy, upbeat instrumentation and hits such as “Daylight,” “Good Ol’ Fashion Nightmare” and “Cameras.”
Read ArtsEtc. Staff Writer Mekea Larson’s preview of their show here.
7:30-8:30: DJ *hitmayng
Straight outta Madison, DJ *hitmayng is one of the most insane and entertaining performers in the Madison area, mixing trap beats, as well as smoother jams, with a dose of sly humor onstage.
8:30-9:30: Lord of the Fly, Smiley Gatmouth and CRASHprez
All local Madison rappers and University of Wisconsin students, Lord of the Fly, Smiley Gatmouth and CRASHprez have a unique take on hip-hop. For those who can hardly stand up after too many bong rips, check Lord of the Fly. For those who love dense wordplay and lyrically-driven hip-hop, check Smiley Gatmouth. For those who just want to get turnt up and see one of Madison’s best live acts, check CRASHprez.
9:35-10:20: F. Stokes
Born in Chicago and transplanted to Madison, F. Stokes brings a heart and soul to hip-hop. If you need positivity in your day, see F. Stokes.
Watsky, who ignited his fame through the viral video “Pale Kid Raps Fast,” will perform at Freakfest just before he moves on to his European leg of his Hug a Hater Tour. Raised in San Francisco, Watsky began his journey into hip-hop through spoken word. At 15, he was invited to perform on HBO’s “Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry.” Since then he has released three studio albums. His most recent, Cardboard Castles, debuted at number 10 on iTunes Albums Charts. His music features strong lyrical content over pure party bangers, and his performances are typically doused with astounding energy. Accompanied by a full band, Watsky jumps around on a crowded stage. His Freakfest performance is sure to bring tricks and treats. Combine Watsky’s style with the already intoxicating atmosphere of Freakfest and attendees might run into some slow starts to their Sunday morning. –Lee Ziegler
11:45: Chiddy Bang
Chiddy Bang is the stage name of Chidera Anamege, a rapper from Philadelphia who began making music when he met Xaphoon Jones at Drexel University. The rapper is known for his pop-rap approach to the genre of hip-hop. He combines the genre with alternative samples from the likes of Sufjan Stevens, MGMT and Passion Pit. In 2011, Chiddy gained mainstream media attention when he broke the word record for Longest Freestyle and Longest Continuous Rap, rapping for nine hours, 18 minutes and 22 seconds. After gaining considerable buzz through his mixtapes, Chiddy released his first studio album, Breakfast, in 2012. In its first week, it hit No. 8 on the Billboard 200. For those who want to get a bit rowdier than the Matt & Kim crowd, head over to the Gilman Stage. For those unfamiliar with Chiddy Bang, check out singles “Opposite of Adults,” “Mind Your Manners” and “Ray Charles” for starters. –Erik Sateren
WSUM STAGE (Frances and State)
7:30-8:30: Gabe Burdulis
Gabe Burdulis may be 17, but he plays with the raw energy of a 70-year-old Mick Jagger — that is to say, with more energy than a bull on cocaine in the middle of coitus.
8:45-9:45: Boy Blue
With a voice like Ben Gibbard’s (of Death Cab for Cutie) and instrumentation like Passion Pit’s, Milwaukee-based Boy Blue’s sound is synth-pop heaven.
10-11: The Sharrows
Influenced by the likes of Bob Dylan and Neil Young, Madison’s The Sharrows blissful roots-rock sounds like My Morning Jacket. That’s a very good thing.
11:15-12:15: Vic and Gab
Milwaukee-based Vic and Gab are a sister duo with an infectious brand of indie pop. If you like music featured on the soundtrack of the American version of “Skins,” which featured one of the duo’s songs, you’ll love this show.
12:30-1:30: The Living Statues
If you’ve got several cups of bourbon in your belly and happen to be at Freakfest, stop by The Living Statues’ set, which will be full of stripped-down, hair-on-your-chest rock ‘n’ roll.
ORPHEUM STAGE (VIP)
10-11: Dirty Disco Kidz
Locally-grown Dirty Disco Kidz is a group of producers, DJs and visual artists that mix turntablism and live production to create visually-stimulating, rib cage-rattling bangers.
11-12: Nom De Strip
From Los Angeles, Nom De Strip has been greeted with support from deadmau5, and he creates remixes on the mau5trap label. If you’re looking for awesome, dense EDM beats, look no further than Nom De Strip.
You might not know how to pronounce his name (it’s pronounced “Blau”), but you’ll know his music is infectious and dance-inducing the second it pours through your ears. Continue your party with this well-known Las Vegas-based DJ.
An updated version of the schedule posted on the Freakfest Facebook page differs from the version we received earlier this week. This story has been updated to reflect the change.
Who are you most excited to see? Let us know with a comment.