Festivalgoer reflects on weekend’s XPoNential Music Festival

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CAMDEN >> For those who shook off the lazy Sunday and prepared to wrestle the too-soon arrival of their morning alarm on Monday, there was a lot of good music to enjoy on the final day of XPN’s XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru.
Festival fatigue and a relentless sun posed a challenge for the Sunday lineup, but armed with cardboard fans, umbrellas for shade, cold giveaways from vendors and plenty of sunscreen the crowds rallied for acts including the Pine Barons and Israel Nash.
The Philadelphia-based band Cheerleader’s helped set the mood for the afternoon during their early set at the Marina Stage. Their indie pop was refreshing to hear a few minutes after arriving and got the energy levels up for another day of shows.
Two of the most fun acts were Buckwheat Zydeco and Bombino which brought something different to a lineup of bands that were all good but also sounded a bit alike. Buckwheat Zydeco’s Louisiana flavor and Bombino’s desert rock got festival-goers on their feet dancing, jumping and shouting along. It was the kind of sweaty mess that makes festivals great.

Judging by the big cheers or the crowd which filled the area in front of the stage and extended up the center aisle and to both sides of the stage, Courtney Barnett was one of the biggest attractions at Wiggins Park on Saturday. The crowd was ready for her and Barnett obliged with gritty, distorted guitar and a dynamic performance that justified the price of admission all on its own.
Things wrapped up with a return to the Susquehanna Bank Center for a grand finale featuring four more bands.
The Wailers delivered everything one could hope they would, with favorites “No Woman No Cry,” “Stir it up” and “Three Little Birds.”
Things seemed to be winding down with George Ezra providing the easy listening that seems perfectly suited for the lawn seats during twilight. Free upgrades were being offered to those on the lawn but most turned them down, content to enjoy the evening right where they were.
Grace Potter provided the ultimate act for the show, and came out with some fire to carry the show into the night. Fans got to enjoy “Empty Heart” off her upcoming album, “Midnight,” out Aug. 14 along with past hits. Potter made sure the weekend ended with an exclamation point.

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