Chill on the Hill 2014 Part IV: Hollow & Akimbo, Kyng, The Orwells, and Skaters

Having Hollow & Akimbo open up day two of Chill on the Hill was just icing on the cake of an already spectacular day of music. One of my favorite things about their self-titled debut was that each song was intricately layered enough so that you wouldn’t be able to catch everything in a first, second, or even tenth listen through and I’m happy to report that the same is true for their live show. I could hear even the smallest embellishments added and it made their already stunning live sound that much better. I was very happy to see that the small crowd that had showed up early was also really enjoying Hollow & Akimbo. Even though many were hungover from the previous day, they still managed to muster the energy to move to the hypnotic beats.

Even better, like their show back in July that I went to, they premiered some new music which is always exciting. As a reviewer, it’s hard sometimes because you don’t get to spend as much time worshiping albums as you would have before because there’s always something new to review. Seeing Hollow & Akimbo live and hearing them play some of my favorite tracks off their self-titled debut, “Singularity” and “Fever Dreams” in particular, reignited that love and now I’m making time to listen to this album again and again and again.

L.A. band, Kyng, took the stage next, getting the hard rock fans up and moving, specifically one very enthusiastic long-haired head banger near the front of the crowd. While their stoner / hard rock sound isn’t something I’d usually seek out, they put on a decent live set. The radio DJ that introduced them asked how many people were hungover that early afternoon and there were a lot of people that half-heartedly raised their hands while quietly groaning so I was surprised at how many people were up thrashing to Kyng’s set. Part of that may have had to do with lead singer, Eddie Veliz’s ability to keep things entertaining between songs as well as keep the energy up while playing. The guys even treated the parents and other older folks in the crowd to a cover of Van Halen’s “Hot For Teacher” which got the last few people that were laying in the grass up and singing along.

Finally it was time to make it over to the main stage and claim a spot on the lawn for The Orwells. I hadn’t gotten a chance to listen to Disgraceland yet, but the buzz around it and their live show was fairly good so I was excited to see what they would bring to Chill on the Hill. Their garage-rock sound is definitely right up my alley. I really enjoyed just being able to chill on the hill (yeah I did it) while enjoying their set, mindlessly people watching as I bounced along to each song. The Orwells didn’t have much to say between songs, but when a band only gets a 30 minute set I can’t really blame them for trying to squeeze in as many songs as they can. It may not have been the most high energy performance of the event, but hearing The Orwells live has made me go and finally give their album a listen and I’m happy that I did.

When we got back to the small stage the guys in Skaters were already set up and huddled around the drum set. Another band that has gotten a lot of buzz in the past year both for their new album, Manhattan, and their live show, I was pretty amped up to get to see them live and I wasn’t the only one. More people had begun filtering in, possibly boot and rallying for day two and the myriad of great bands that would be performing. It was the band’s first time in Michigan and the start of their tour with The Orwells and I have to say it was a good way to kick it off.

I watched one guy in front of me dance enthusiastically to each song, much to the embarrassment of his girlfriend but I don’t know what she was ashamed of, a lot of people were up and dancing along to the infectious songs of Skaters. The crowd went especially crazy when they played their single “Deadbolt”, which I actually knew the lyrics to so I could stop taking copious amounts of notes and sing along. Their set was just what I needed to shake off the last of the grogginess of already having gone through one long day of music and get me up and ready to go for the rest of the bands that day.

Don’t forget to check out our coverage for the rest of Chill on the Hill:
Part I: Bristol Street, Sleeper Agent, and My Goodness
Part II: Portugal. The Man, Sycamour, Grouplove, and The Bots
Part III: Bad Religion, A Day To Remember, and The Offspring
Part V: Brick + Mortar, USS, Taking Back Sunday, and Silverstein
Part VI: Chevelle, Awolnation, and Rise Against