Mission Creek Festival highlights include Beach Bunny, Son Lux


It’s time to take off your blue Mission Creek Festival wristbands because this year’s event has passed.

Three days of music, readings by literary artists, a book fair and more brought residents to downtown Iowa City venues like Prairie Lights, Riverside Theatre, Big Grove Brewery and more.

There were plenty of big moments at Mission Creek this year, like the crowd at the Englert Theater singing Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated” while waiting for Soccer Mommy to perform Saturday night. Or when Eve L. Ewing, the winner of the 2020 Paul Engle Prize from the UNESCO City of Literature of Iowa Cityfinally received the artwork that comes with the win as she read at FilmScene at Chauncey on Saturday.

Here are five memorable moments from the 2022 Mission Creek Festival.

Beach Bunny at the Englert Theater

The Chicago Beach band Bunny performs at the Englert Theater on Friday, the second night of the Mission Creek Festival.

Beach Bunny singer Lili Trifilio had the crowd jumping and singing with her at Englert on Friday night.

The theater was packed for the Chicago-based pop and indie-rock band. Beach Bunny began as a solo project in 2015 by Trifilio, who released their debut EP “Animalism” that year.

Beach Bunny’s song “Prom Queen”, taken from the EP of the same title released in 2018, was popularized on Tik Tok with over 100,000 videos using the song.

Trifilio told the crowd on Friday that she felt like they were a little sleepy, asking people to shout twice after jokingly getting them up and squatting down.

Beach Bunny performed hits like “Oxygen,” “Good Girls (Don’t Get Used)” and a new song coming this summer.

Son Lux and Kassa Overall at the Englert Theater

Los Angeles band Son Lux performs Friday at the Englert Theater as part of the Mission Creek Festival.

Los Angeles-based experimental band Son Lux brought their sometimes dissonant and always unique sound to the stage at the Englert Theater on Friday ahead of Beach Bunny.

“It’s the first time we’ve been on stage in years and it’s awesome,” founding member Ryan Lott told the crowd.

Producer-songwriter Lott launched Son Lux as a solo project, but expanded the band in 2014 with guitarist-songwriter Rafiq Bhatia and drummer Ian Chang.

Last year, Son Lux released a trilogy of albums titled “Tomorrows.”

Lott spoke to the crowd about the group’s recent opportunity to score the film “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert.

During the performance, Son Lux invited Kassa Overall on stage for a song.

Kassa Overall performs during Mission Creek Festival, Friday, April 8, 2022, at Gabe's in Iowa City, Iowa.

Overall is a Brooklyn-based jazz musician, singer, producer, and drummer. The musician, also on the Mission Creek Festival lineup, performed at Gabe’s later Friday night.

Son Lux ended her set with a rendition of her popular 2013 song “Easy.”

ICE CREAM at Public Space One

Better known by its delightful-sounding acronym, the Iowa City Expo for Comics and Real Eclectic Media returns for its fifth year as part of the Mission Creek Festival Saturday lineup.

Artists set up tables with their comics, zines, artwork, shirts and more, all for sale at Public Space One’s 538 S. Gilbert St.

Earrings resembling the Japanese onigiri dish, small hand-felted figurines, and “Encanto”-inspired artwork are just a few of the many pieces on display at ICE CREAM.

Some of the local artists who set up shop at the event included self-taught linocut artist Jenny Gringer; and Samuel Locke Ward, draftsman, draftsman and musician.

People were walking around the space, which has a new tenant upstairs.

The LGBTQ Iowa Archives & Library’s lending library, previously housed at the Wesley Center, has moved to PS1 and is open for business.

Round 3 of the Lit Walk at the Goosetown Café

the Lit Walk annual series features readings by Mission Creek Festival writers at venues in downtown Iowa City.

For the third and final round of Friday night’s lighted march, which ran from 5 p.m. to nearly 8 p.m., literary artists Gyasi Hall, Caleb Rainey and Karyna McGlynn read excerpts from their work in a corner of Goosetown Cafe, North Iowa City.

The restaurant was standing room only as the crowd quieted down as Rainey, known as the “negro artist”, captivated by spoken pieces about love and empowerment.

After Rainey, McGlynn, writer and teacher, read an excerpt from her upcoming collection of poems “50 Things Kate Bush Taught Me About the Multiverse.”

“Sometimes I tell people I just wrote this book so I could meet other Kate Bush fans,” she told the crowd after being asked if there were any fans of the author. -songwriter.

“Many of the poems in this book deal with some of my favorite subjects, growing up in suburban Texas in the late 80s and 90s as a queer goth poet, which wasn’t always the easiest thing “, she said.

McGlynn’s playful and humorous poems explore growing up in Texas, stealing, and cruel encounters with classmates.

Hall is an essayist and poet from Ohio and a student at the University of Iowa. Hall, who uses the pronouns they/them, read excerpts from a larger piece recounting an absurd and enlightening experience as they attended the funeral of a family member they didn’t know.

Arooj Aftab at Englert Theater

The crowd was silent as Grammy Award-winning Arooj Aftab performed on stage at the Englert Theater on Saturday night, lit only by the soft glow of stage lights – at the artist’s request.

She teased the crowd saying she didn’t want to see anyone’s faces and asked for less lighting at the start of her set.

Aftab took the stage and joked that Mission Creek festival-goers still had to be at Gabe’s because the “sold out” show had empty seats.

Aftab performed songs from his latest album “Vulture Prince,” such as “Last Night,” and finished with his Grammy-winning song, “Mohabbat.”

Arooj, who sings largely in Urdu, told Press-Citizen in late March that participants should not worry about not knowing what the words mean.

“I tried very hard to make music in a way that elicits a lot of emotion without really having to guide you lyrically,” she said. “So I would just say that’s kind of the intention of the work, of the music, so that it immerses you on a level that goes beyond tradition and language. So just feel open and feel free to do that.

Paris Barraza covers entertainment, lifestyle and the arts at Iowa City Press-Citizen. Contact her at [email protected] or (319) 519-9731. Follow her on Twitter @ParisBarraza.

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