Best Of 2018

Walk the Moon
Edward Derrico
Walk the Moon
click to enlarge Walk the Moon - Edward Derrico
Edward Derrico
Walk the Moon

Skepticism seems to follow the MidPoint Music Festival every year, particularly since local promoters MEMI took it off of CityBeat’s hands a couple of years ago. When it was announced that the 2017 event was to be centralized around MEMI’s Taft Theatre, eyebrows raised, but the fully indoor two-day fest smartly used the theater’s main space and ballroom, as well as the gorgeous rooms in the Masonic Temple building next door. The two buildings were connected by maze-like tunnels/hallways, creating a surrealistic experience that was a little David-Lynch-meets-The Shining. The lineup was solid, as well, with bands like Broken Social Scene, Valerie June, Noname, Pile, BADBADNOTGOOD and Cincinnati’s Walk the Moon, whose performance was both a triumphant homecoming after their global success and a new album preview as the band geared up for the release of its anticipated What If Nothing album a couple of months later. No, MidPoint isn’t what it used to be (an annual go-to grievance since approximately the second year), but its previous configuration was nearly impossible to replicate with the constantly shifting bar scene in Over-the-Rhine, which includes numerous prior and potential venues that balked at participating for a variety of reasons. MEMI has reimagined MidPoint as something new for Greater Cincinnati music fans; hopefully it expands on the concept (both music and non-music programming) in 2018. MidPoint Music Festival, mpmf.com.

Music & Nightlife
Illustration: David Wilson


2. Northside Yacht Club

3. The Video Archive

2. MOTR Pub

3. Queen City Exchange

2. Overlook Lodge

3. Dutch’s

2. Back Porch Saloon

3. Fox & Hound

2. Molly Malone’s Irish Pub & Restaurant

3. Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar

2. Knotty Pine Rock Club & Tiki Bar

3. The Crow’s Nest

2. Bogart’s

3. Southgate House Revival

2. Madison Theater

3. Woodward Theater

2. Arnold’s Bar and Grill

3. Below Zero Lounge