Royal House, March 24

Low attendance and massive overreach hindered this nascent indie-rock festival. On the plus side, the Royal’s cool carnival setup (including a Ferris wheel), friendly staff, awesome sound and first-rate bands (even if the groups leaned toward the Pacific Northwest synth-pop end of the musical spectrum) suggest that this fest could eventually work. Case in point: Chromatics played a vibrant and totally pro set. “Back from the Grave,” “Candy” and “Lady”—all from the band’s forthcoming, ferociously excellent disc, Kill for Love—simmered in their cold, calculated, electronic glory. Singer Ruth Radelet sounded like nothing less than a beautiful Blade Runner replicant melodically lamenting her persecution for computer-related crimes against humanity. Like all the other bands gathered at the Royal, Chromatics proved Pastel had the better taste in bands, but inferior directorial skills. ★★★★☆

Suggested Next Read

Read ’Em and Don’t Weep


Read ’Em and Don’t Weep

By Cindi Reed

By now you’ve been bombarded with the pop-culture phenomenon that is The Hunger Games. Following the likes of Harry Potter and Twilight, the young-adult trilogy is traveling a well-trodden path toward ubiquity. Three books turn into four movies (pending box office success, of course); the first, called simply The Hunger Games, comes out on March 23. Its young cast finds insta-stardom, their soon-to-be-familiar faces plastered on tabloid covers, themed products and an elaborate social-media marketing scheme. It’s enough to inspire a backlash.