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Friday, May 09, 2008

A Day in the Life....

Of local sensation RACING KITES as they take on the music festival world...

Meet Alex, Matt, Preston, Rick, and Matt (yes, there are two Matt's). They make up one of the most successful pop-punk acts that New Jersey has seen in years.

After winning an opportunity to rock out on the Linc Star Stage at Bamboozle this year, Racing Kites threw it into high gear. Not only would this unsigned band be thrown in front of management companies, booking agents, labels and A&R reps, they would have the chance to win over the larger population at Bamboozle- the spectators. Having watched many a “local band” be overwhelmed by the festival atmosphere and allow themselves to be overcome with nerves, I knew that Racing Kites would be different, they used the nearly sold out second day of the fest to captivate and dominate. Each member emanates pride and passion for their work, determined to make themselves an ever growing presence in the music world.

RK has been working tirelessly on developing a solid consumable EP that they are proud of, and recently completed it. With the sampler ready, they decided to make it available for purchase at Bamboozle…they were flying off the table. Whenever I popped in on the merch table throughout the day there were always kids near by they were getting ready to buy it, or that had already bought it. The band strategically had at least one member ready to greet fans and talk about the new EP while the other members were risking life and limb in the sea of humanity with signs advertising their next performance or appearance in the in day, always sporting a box of EP’s to sell.

I met up with the band around 10 on Sunday…they had been at the venue since 7:30! Punctuality? Alex (vocalist) was already “vibeing” off the environment and the sound checks occurring on the larger stages surrounding us. Matt was already walking around trying to sell some of their brand new EP, and the other members were finishing up some table and gear preparations for the day ahead. With nothing but smiles and pride, Alex gave me the run down on the days event for Racing Kites (only after trying to get at my citrus green tea, it was still super cold!)-

1:30- BamboozleTV
2:30- Linc Star Stage
3:40- Signing at the Linc Star table
5:30- Acoustic set in the “Golden Inn” VIP tent

Alex explained to me that in between all of the scheduled appearances he really wanted to be out in the crowd and give the voices in the band a face. One thing I found Racing Kites pushes is being accessible. They want the fans to remember not just light hearted pop-punk performance, they want fans to remember interaction; kids are more likely to remember the music if they meet and interact with the members (this is a HUGE marketing approach and has been extremely successful for the guys).

As Racing Kites Bamboozle debut was nearing, the crowd in front of the stage was growing exponentially. Behind the stage there was a tense moment as we discovered the stage water supply was diminished, but once catering provided a restock the moral was back up to norm and the excitement was approaching peak...

There is no doubt that they have a solid fan base, no really, there’s no doubt- the fans knew the lyrics as well as the band. For such a young band, seeing this is an extremely positive sign of things to come. The synchronicity and positive energy the band brought to the performance was profound. With each song they played nerves dissipated. Racing Kites provides a mix of pop and pop-punk sounds that many bands fail to execute successfully, these guys found the right ingredients for the recipe of success, that’s for sure.

Alex approached me before the signing and expressed concern that there may not be many people there… He was proven wrong. Starting about 15 minutes before the signing was scheduled fans began to form a line at the table. It was neat to see the various homemade “RK” shirts that were scattered throughout the line. They were signing without break for the entire allotted time.

Next on the schedule was their highly anticipated acoustic performance in the “Golden Inn” VIP tent. Even after about 20 minutes of technically difficulties (none of which really seemed to be the bands fault, there was no sound guy so everything had to be done by the band…this all takes time folks!). Once the set was in motion my jaw hit the floor. As much as RK provides a powerful set “plugged-in” they provide as equally a moving performance acoustically. Alex’s (vocalist) voice marries wonderfully with the acoustics of the bands guitars, the sweet sound would stop even the most distracted person… It is quickly becoming a rarity to find a band that is solid both on the plugged stage and in an un-plugged setting. This ability is certainly an asset. It would have been interesting to put their acoustic set on the bigger stage.

Racing Kites spent the day in non-stop motion. Constantly promoting (odds are you either met the guys or you saw their sign moving through a crowd) and playing showcase performances. Throughout the day the band left their impression on everyone they came into contact with. They are a truly talented group of guys, and I wish them the very best of luck.

Check out the bands myspace for an updated list of shows, you can also watch their super cool RKTV!

**By Amanda who had the most EPIC Bamboozle weekend ever...

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