Buzz Beach Ball Rocks Kansas City

Dan Moreno

Fourteen bands from all over the world rocked Berkley Riverfront Park Sept. 27 for more than nine hours of non-stop music.  More than 16,000 fans gathered for the annual Buzz Beach Ball music festival hosted by radio station 96.5 The Buzz.

The band selection covered different styles and genres, from indie rock and roll to mellow and soft pop, sharing two stages throughout the sunny afternoon and into the starry night.

The synthpop alternative rock band Phoenix served as the festival’s main event. The French group has created quite a following in the U.S., with its catchy melodies and outstanding percussion.

Lead singer Thomas Mars impressed concertgoers with his spot-on vocal delivery, belting out fan favorites like “If I Ever Feel Better,” “1901” and “Lisztomania.” Mars even crowd surfed his way to the top of the lighting booth, taking advantage of his fans’ diehard admiration for him.

Alt-J, an indie rock quartet based in England, shared the headlining title as their bizarre yet mesmerizing music was one of the night’s most expected acts.The band thrilled the crowd with familiar hits like “Breezeblocks” and “Fitzpleasure.” Many fans old and young sported T-shirts with a delta symbol on them, which alluded to the band’s alternative title

When  L.A.-based band Awolnation set foot on stage, the crowd went wild. Lead singer Aaron Bruno pumped up the crowd, especially when the chords of the top hit “Sail” reverberated through the air.

The variety of synthesizers, electro beats and smooth rock by Kitten was without a doubt the best band of the night. Lead singer Chloe Chaidez acted as if she had been locked up for a long time and let out just before the show. Bursting with energy, Chaidez changed outfits, climbed the scaffoldings, and surfed the crowd. She expressed her appreciation to Kansas City’s fans, shouting, “We are from L.A. and you are extremely better than our fans over there,” she said, as they played their hit “G#.”

At approximately 5 p.m., English indie pop band Daughter stormed the main stage and played mellow, softtunes. Elena Tonra’s voice captivated the audience with the lyrics of “Youth” and “Landfill.”

The Australian alternative rock trio Atlas Genius and the Texas-based rock band Saints of Valory were less fortunate to engage with the smaller crowd that decided to arrive early in the day, scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m., respectively.

Around 8:30 p.m.,  the curly green hair and long legs of Lizzy Plapinger, vocalist of the New York duo MS MR appeared on stage for fans who had been patiently waiting to hear “Bones” and “Hurricane.”

Little Green Cars, Cage the Elephant, Hanni El Khatib, Wavves, Coheed and Cambria and the St. Joseph band Radkey concluded the festival’s lineup.

Concertgoers enjoyed perfect weather on Friday, but the excessively long lines for beverages, food, tickets, and restrooms were a mild drawback to the overall experience.