Words by: Gracie Gianoukos
Photos by: Emily Kayayan
The Sound On Sound Festival in Bridgeport, Connecticut took place over the dates of Saturday, September 30 & Sunday, October 1, 2023 with performances from The Red Hot Chili Peppers, John Mayer, Hozier, etc.
The first day of the festival, Saturday, took a little turn due to the unexpected heavy rainfall. And unfortunately a few sets were canceled, one of which included Kieran Rhodes. But, the team at Sound On Sound were very resilient and determined to make day two go as swiftly and amazingly as possible, which they very much did do so.
Calder Allen, all the way from Austin, Texas performed the second day of Sound on Sound 2023. This was also his very first show in the state of Connecticut, he stated.
He performed his new single “Ripple Through” that came out a few days prior as his second song in his set. It is absolutely a strong song that opened up very well and had a great chorus. Make sure to check it out! Calder Allen is a perfect country folk artist if you’re looking for more sounds like Ben Chapman, Parker Twomey, etc.
Gin Blossoms, the legendary American alternative rock band from 1987. “Your favorite band from Tempe, Arizona”, said Robin Wilson, the lead singer upon introducing himself and the band.
The band opened their set with “Follow You Down”, one of their most popular songs from 1996. This is featured on the soundtrack of the film “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”, the 2003 romantic comedy featuring Matthew McConaughey & Kate Hudson.
The band played an amazing set, but did show up a few minutes late to their set & had to cut two songs from their set, so the rest “is all hits”, said Robin. “I pronounce this the best set that we’ve done at this time of the day in years”, said Robin before finishing out the rest of the performance.
Margot Price, the American country singer-songwriter all the way from Nashville had an eye and ear catching performance.
She performed her new single “Black Wolf Blues” from her latest EP Strays II (Act II: Mind Travel). If you’re looking for sounds similar to Nikki Lane, Amanda Shires, etc. then you surely should check out Margot Price.
Mt. Joy, the American five member indie rock band had a stellar performance with psychedelic visuals accompanying their songs in the background. Each of which were clearly intentionally made for each of the songs they performed.
Mt. Joy has a very ‘70’s jam rock sound that would suite the ears of young listeners all the way to original Phish die hard listeners. They also did an absolutely insane cover of “Crazy”, which had the crowd hyped up. I would definitely recommend checking them out if you like sounds like The Lumineers, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, etc.
Hozier, Irish musician and singer & songwriter, started his set strong with his song “De Selby (Part 2)” from his newest album Unreal Earth which was released this past August. It was a very strong start and the energy from the crowd was unreal.
Hozier, also known as Andrew, kept the energy up the entire set seamlessly from song to song. During “Cherry Wine” the crowd was very in tune and entranced as he played it solo with just his guitar. “This was my first song ever”, said Hozier, before he began to play the famous strings that we all know and love.
He had a large band on stage with him, including stings, vocals, guitar, etc. and made sure to introduce each member. They all took a bow together at the end of the show. You could absolutely see how close knit the team is and it was a great experience to witness & feel apart of.
John Mayer, local to Bridgeport, Connecticut, closed out the Sound on Sound 2023 Festival with a stellar solo performance with just himself and his guitar.
He shared a story he has never shared in an interview. John stated that his father was the principal of a local high school in Bridgeport for thirty years and he would confiscate the students’ walkmans because they weren’t allowed to have them. Though they could come back and get them at the end of the year if they remembered. “Now that I say that outloud, it sounds kind of terrible”, said John.
He credits his musical education to the students who wouldn’t come pick up their walkmans, his dad would bring home for him and his brother. “I got to listen to bands from AC/DC to Run DMC. So thank you to my dad & the class of 1987-1990 for that”, said John. “He had a whole drawer of throwing stars and nunchucks, so thanks for the fighting skills as well dad.”
“I have made a set list change because ever since the beginning I’ve been vibing with you and I know what you like”, said John. He then performed “Why Georgia” and the crowd absolutely loved it.
John Mayer always kills his shows and knows how to make a crowd happy, but to see him solo with just his guitar was such a surreal & different experience to his normal, big band production performance myself and countless others are used to.
John Mayer ended the night wonderfully and set a great leaving time for the Sound on Sound Festival for 2023. Having the last performer be a local to Bridgeport was very touching and sweet for the locals of Bridgeport themselves.
Overall, the festival was amazing & had an incredible lineup of performers. And incredible food, I forgot to mention!
Emily and I made our way out of the festival trekking through the muddy terrain of the myriad festival goers, but it was all so very worth it. Till next year!