KSUN Radio’s Day in the Sun music festival was ironically held indoors this year, but the visiting artists still managed to keep the small crowd alive.
The event lasted from noon. to 6 p.m. and was held inside of Lobo’s last Friday due to rainy weather. Sonoma State University’s campus radio station, KSUN, invited a total of nine acts to perform, and three of the musicians present were SSU students. All other acts who came and played were local Bay Area artists.
The event consisted of plenty of acoustic performances, but a couple bands played louder sets later on in the evening. One of the first groups to play was the duo Times of True, consisting of guitarist/vocalist Gabriel Duran and drummer Russell Brackett.
“We’ve only been playing together for about two months and that was our second performance,” said Brackett. “I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out. I thought KSUN did a good job finding an emergency venue and putting it together.”
Times of True’s set was sweet sounding, and the combination of Brackett’s drumming and Duran’s guitar playing was easy to nod your head to. The set, like all the proceeding sets, lasted for only a few songs.
Lobo’s was not full by any means, but the small crowd that surrounded the stage seemed to enjoy the show. KSUN’s programming director, Matt Dougherty, was disappointed they weren’t able to hold the event outside.
“If [Day in the Sun] was in the Alumni Amphitheater, we would have been one of the only organizations utilizing the spot and we would have attracted a lot more people,” said Dougherty. “But I think there are some people that were committed to coming today that really wanted to see the live music.”
One of the singer/songwriters who shined at Day in the Sun was artist Keeley Valentino. Accompanied by Ash Scheiding on guitar, Valentino was able to show off her avid guitar playing and wide vocal range. Valentino remarked that she enjoyed playing at the venue. “We were just excited to come out and play for a new audience,” said Valentino. “Everyone’s been super kind and all of the acts are super talented. I’m just excited to be a part of the lineup.”
Next to perform was former “American Idol” contestant David Luning. Luning’s performance was exceptionally fun to watch, and it’s clear that he is just as good an entertainer as he is a songwriter. A completely acoustic set, Luning’s upbeat Americana music had the crowd dancing in their seats.
Blueshift, a band whose musical style is comparable to that of Sublime’s, was next to take the stage. The group, consisting of lead vocalist and guitarist Jared O’Connell, bassist Alex Izzarelli and drummer Anthony Garcia was one of the first rock and roll bands to play at the event. Their sound was alternative, with unmistakable hip-hop and funk influences. The native Santa Rosa band played one of their hit songs, “Way Too Much,” where Izzarelli’s funky baseline carried O’Connell’s fast-paced lyrics.
Jimbo Scott’s folksy guitar playing made his performance a soulful one. While his set tended to blend in with the rest of the performances, that didn’t stop the crowd from bobbing their heads to every song he played.
The bigger acts performed later on in the evening. The bands the Hundred Days and Picture Atlantic have both traveled around the country and KSUN was pleased to have them come and perform.
Day in the Sun was created by KSUN years ago and used to be held annually on the SSU commencement lawn. The last time it was held was in the 1990s, so Dougherty and KSUN’s general manager Ashley Floren were eager to bring it back. “I think it’s something that we’re going to try to bring back because it’s such a great event and it’s a good way to promote the station by bringing all these awesome acts in,” said Floren.
With how much promise this year’s Day in the Sun held, hopefully next year’s can be held outdoors.