Indie "Fest" '08 

Last Saturday, I caught some of Paragon Entertainment's Indie Fest '08 at the Qwest Arena. The huge space was made all the larger by woeful attendance. A head count of about 50 people—not including the handful of vendors, band members and Qwest security— may have been due in part to people being gone for the long Fourth of July weekend, the switch from a Linen District venue and a subsequent rise in ticket prices from a fin to a 10-spot plus.

Out of the 13 bands scheduled to play, the two I caught were both local, and for those two, I was glad I'd gone. Josh Olswanger's trio played a lovely set on keyboard, cello and acoustic guitar, and ended it with the Beach Boys' "God Only Knows," one of the most beautiful songs ever written.

Low-Fi, a self-described "power trio" brought it down from 11, playing an acoustic set that, even coupled with the rather echo-y quality of the arena, let singer Todd Sloan's voice really fly. I hope they consider playing acoustic sets again.

The musicians performing seemed proof-positive that it doesn't matter how big the crowd is, sometimes bands are happy just to play. I was happy they played, too, and look forward to Paragon's next summer festival installment. Here's hoping it's not on a holiday.

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