A B & The Sea, 1 p.m.; Company of Thieves, 2 p.m.
A B & The Sea is more than just a clever name. Their pastel-washed retro-chic aesthetic and appreciation for dreamy guitar hooks might make them seem like just another beach rock band, but A B & The Sea skip the spacier riffs for a more upbeat, dance-able, summer-ready sound. Their music is almost exclusively about hanging out at the beach, or partying on the beach, or summer romance (also on the beach) — and their music videos all take place at, you guessed it, the beach. Even though they’re very firmly a beach rock band, their sound is surprisingly varied — ”Bad Girl” off the Constant Vacation EP sounds like R&B with a dash of sea air. Go check them out — you’ll feel like you’re in Los Angeles in July.
Stick around for Company of Thieves, a Chicago-based indie outfit. They’re a unique blend of indie songwriting sensibilities and heavy rock sound, and they basically sound like a blend of Norah Jones and Pearl Jam. The group’s vocalist, Genevieve Schatz, defines the band’s sound — she has a powerful, soulful voice that blends nicely with the band’s heavy, muscular guitars. She’s also a cunning lyricist and has a knack for crafting choruses that are both sing-along-able and deeply moving. The band has a real talent for driving melodies and lacing its music with emotion — equal parts happiness, anger and bitter sadness. If you like your rock hard enough to dance to but nuanced enough to sound like poetry, you will love this. Company of Thieves is a criminally underrated band, and you won’t want to miss them live.
YouTube It: “Oscar Wilde”
— Gavin Cook ’15
Physical Therapy, 1:30 p.m.; The War on Drugs, 3 p.m.
Physical Therapy, aka Daniel Fisher, aka the “urban cowboy,” is no stranger to obscure mixes of pop songs and whatever the vast world of music has to offer. This Brooklyn-based DJ and producer released his first EP this past June. The lead track “Drone On” is filled with free-flowing sounds, a longing ecstasy sort of like that “end-of-the-night” feeling we have as the club is closing up. Describing his music as “drum ‘n’ space,” Fisher aims to create something new for the ears and to light that spark of recognition with familiar, stripped-down versions of Top 40 hits. Find that balance between the bliss of music and the excitement of the dance floor in Physical Therapy’s opening set.
Hang around for The War on Drugs’ headlining act, featuring a touch of Americana, a double shot of indie rock and a shock to the system with the real tones of emotion and heart. The War on Drugs is a Philly-based band that began as a duo who shared an infatuation with Bob Dylan. Their beginnings, though rocky with the loss and addition of members over the course of their tours, have led to the release of psychedelic albums “Wagonwheel Blues” and “Slave Ambient.” Be sure to check these guys out when they fill Terrace with their beautifully sweet music.
YouTube It: “Baby Missiles,” “Best Night”
— Hannah Park ’15
Eric Hutchinson, 1:30 p.m.
In the mood for some feel-good music? Head to Charter for singer-songwriter Eric Hutchinson, who will get the crowd jamming and clapping along to his fun, bluesy “sunshine pop.” Although Hutchinson is often compared to Jason Mraz, he is a far more soulful and folksy artist. Influenced by a wide spectrum of sounds, ranging from Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye to The Beatles and hip hop, the 31-year-old’s tunes will keep the crowd moving and grooving. If you can make them out through the mad Lawnparties haze, you will also find Hutchinson’s lyrics to be well-constructed, profound and meaningful. You’ll find yourself singing along to lyrics you don’t know and dancing like you never knew you could. This is the charm of Hutchinson, and this is one party you don’t want to miss.
YouTube It: “OK, It’s Alright With Me,” “Rock ’n’ Roll”
— Sophia Deng ’14
Lights, 2 p.m.
When you hear Lights perform you’ll swear you’ve heard her before. With melodic electronic lines, dark, hypnotic beats and a soothing voice, Lights sounds like Bjork and Owl City’s more conventional love child. Nonetheless, Lights retains her own eccentricities — she legally changed her name to Lights at the age of 18. Lights is currently a rising star in Canada, receiving recognition for her work almost yearly. Her talent is obvious in her explosive single “Where the Fence Is Low” and her calmer, mesmerizing “Toes.” If you are looking for music that’s easy to listen to, at times relaxing, at times energetic but always electronic, look for Lights.
YouTube It: “Siberia,” “Toes”
— Nick Ellis ’14
twenty | one | pilots, 2 p.m.
People make music for a lot of reasons: love, loss, hope, happiness, unhappiness — but all for the delight of bringing something new into the world. That is twenty | one | pilots’ mission, with their synthetic schizoid pop and electric live sets. Their summer EP “Three Songs” is filled with heartening lyrics, upbeat pop sounds and something both familiar and fresh. They break down the genre barriers of classic rock, club music, electronic, pop and dance — basically, they make whatever they please. Be sure to check out this duo at Cloister for music that will bring you some unadulterated joy.
YouTube It: “Guns for Hands,” “Migraine”
— Hannah Park ’15
We Got The Beat, 1 p.m.
We Got the Beat, named after the 1980s chart-topper by The Go-Go’s, is a cover band you don’t want to miss. WGTB is from the same entertainment agency as the Deloreans (the ’80s cover band that you relived your parents’ dreams with at past Lawnparties). WGTB’s performance will go above and beyond, covering artists from the past three decades. Their covers range from the Backstreet Boys to Bruno Mars.
YouTube It: “I Want It That Way”
— Lily Offit ‘15
Suckerpunch, 1:30 p.m.
Suckerpunch has made a name for itself on the East Coast cover band scene with solid reprises of favorites such as “Are You Gonna Be My Girl?,” “Just A Girl” and, of course, “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Expect the band to mix a few contemporary pop hits into its slate of hits from the ’80s and ’90s. With a strong female vocalist and unique twists to some of its tunes, Suckerpunch might take you by surprise as more than your average cover band. If you want to chill to some reliable refrains, are nostalgic for the cabbage patch or are just looking for a little old place where we can get together, Cottage should be your base of operations this Sunday.
YouTube It: “I Love Rock ‘n Roll”
— Danny Johnson ’15
The Bayside Tigers, 12 p.m.
Does the hustle and bustle of modern-day Lawnparties get you down? Want to escape to a simpler time? Come to Cannon on Sunday and let the Bayside Tigers transport you back to the ’90s, that wonderful era of dial-up and Nickelodeon. The Tigers rocked the 10th-year reunion tent three months ago, with rowdy covers of The Presidents of the United States of America, Nirvana, the Backstreet Boys and even Third Eye Blind. Expect plenty of bright colors and an intense performance sure to fire up the crowd, with the Tigers putting their own spin on the ’90s while never failing to deliver the hits you know and love.
YouTube It: “What I Got”
— Stephen Wood ’15
Third Eye Blind; opener TBD
Third Eye Blind is about to hit Princeton with a wave of ’90s alternative-rock nostalgia. The group has had its own share of struggles with a revolving door of band members, but the natural honesty of its songs’ emotive content remains the same. Their music still sounds like Boy Meets World, summer camp and rocking out in the passenger seat of your mom’s minivan while rolling up your socks on the way to rec soccer.
Revisiting their lyrics, though, reveals a level of darkness you might have missed in your Disney Channel days. Behind its catchy, blue-sky melody, “Semi-Charmed Life” is a story of meth addiction. Themes of directionless-ness, alienation and insecurity sit well with the band’s name, a reference to the humbling and extraordinarily human feeling of not knowing one’s future. New listeners might hear job anxiety and hook-up culture malaise behind the familiar, feel-good riffs of alt-rock, garage-band bounce. Either way, Third Eye Blind promises to be an easy, relatable crowd-pleaser. Expect to rock out to the tune of flashbacks and feelings.
YouTube It: “Semi-Charmed Life,” “Jumper”
— Christine Wang ’14
Cap & Gown Club:
Vinyl Headlights, 1:30 p.m.
This trendy three-man band performs all your favorite songs, ranging from hits of the ’60s to the hottest pop songs of the day, but with a twist of quality musicianship. Specializing in pop, rock, disco and R&B, Vinyl Headlights travels across the country lighting up nightclubs, bars and colleges with their funky remixes and fresh beats. This professional band that loves interacting with the audience truly knows how to put on a memorable, high-energy performance. Engaging and charming, Vinyl Headlights will make you hit the floor and dance, so if you’re seeking out a lawn with a band that will get you that high you deserve, bring your party over to Cap & Gown to witness the show everyone will be buzzing about.
— Jessica Ma ’15
Right On Band, 12 p.m.
T.I. knows how to throw a party. That’s why it hired Right On Band — a flashy, 10-piece ’70s cover band. This self-proclaimed “World’s Greatest ’70s Show Band” has the credentials to back up its claims — the group has performed for three U.S. presidents. Donning outrageous platform shoes, boots and an insane amount of sequins, the internationally diverse Right On Band puts on a dazzling display, showing that the ’70s never died. They specialize in Motown, disco and ’70s funk, which means, yes, you will be dancing. Everyone will be dancing. If you want to see a band whose performance is as engaging and fun as its music, you should come see Right On Band.
YouTube It: “Motown Medley”
— Nick Ellis ’14