Sensory Overload: Breakaway Music Festival edition

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From the September 19, 2013 edition

Locals were well represented when the Breakaway Music Festival took over Crew Stadium for the day on Saturday, Sept. 14. Here’s a quick rundown of the more noteworthy moments provided by Columbus-based artists.

Rapper Freaky Franz dropped assorted verses far tamer than his name would suggest. While a handful of songs on his SoundCloud site border on pornographic (sample “Nighty Night,” for one, well after the kids go to bed), here he opted to keep things relatively PG, offering up throwback boasts like “Call me the Mailman ... Karl Malone!” because, you know, he always delivers. The musical backdrop, courtesy of CJ the DJ, melded hip-hop and electro, coming on like a raucous house party set somewhere within the Matrix.

Post Coma Network hit the stage nearly 20 minutes after its scheduled start, but appeared to be in no hurry to make up for lost time. The band's beach bum attire (colored plastic sunglasses, T-shirts with rolled up sleeves, etc.) matched its laid back, vaguely island-rock sound, and songs like “Queen of the Nightlife” hit like a cooling Caribbean breeze.

Long-running soul crew Mojoflo hit its stride with “Waiting,” a gritty R&B stomper where singer Amber Knicole, tired of playing second fiddle, kicked a would-be beau to the curb, growling, “Let me go!” The seven-piece band was undeniably tight, its sound honed by years of gigging in various bars, clubs and flophouses, but there were times its appeal-to-everyone ethos blunted the music's impact. Best were those moments when the group locked into a muscular strut and Knicole grabbed firm hold of the song — even as she pleaded to be set free.

It sounded like city-devouring monsters were doing battle somewhere in the near distance when EOP performed a sharp set of earthy, jazz-flecked hip-hop tunes — a product of the sound bleeding in from Porter Robinson's DJ set inside the stadium. The sextet didn’t appear fazed, however, and rapper Eric Rollin rarely paused as he spun heartfelt verses about racial harmony and the power of love atop a musical backdrop suggestive of early Roots recordings. It wasn’t all high-minded, socially conscious fair, however. The locals also knocked out the day's best cover with a playful, party-minded take on Gorillaz' “Feel Good Inc.”

[Photo: Music_SensoryOverload_Mojoflo_PhotoByAndyDowning_0919]