Photography + Review: Sound on Sound Fest 2023

Posted: by The Editor

Sound on Sound marked its second year in the heart of Connecticut over the weekend. This year was all about fine-tuning the experience from the inaugural event. The most significant change was the putting all the performances onto one stage, ensuring that no one missed out on their favorite acts. In addition to a fantastic lineup on a single stage, this year brought a complete revamp of food vendors, an expanded festival grounds, and smoother entry processes for festival-goers. We were thrilled to bid farewell to September and welcome October in the company of thousands of fellow music enthusiasts.

Saturday kicked off with a brief rain delay that led to a few acts from the lower part of the bill being canceled. However, the headliners remained unchanged. While many festival-goers had the foresight to wear sturdy boots to tackle the damp grounds, our choice of white vans turned out to be a misstep (pun intended). Despite this rookie wardrobe error, we were filled with excitement and ready to witness the spectacular performances by Nathaniel and the Night Sweats, Trey Anastasio, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers closing out night one. It was a bold move for the Red Hot Chili Peppers to kick off their set with their biggest single, “Can’t Stop,” before embarking on a 90-minute barrage of hit songs.

Sunday, in terms of both crowd size and performance, was the pinnacle of the weekend. The weather was a perfect fall day and the homecoming show by John Mayer was eagerly anticipated. With such a winning combination, we spent the day reveling in some extraordinary opening acts. The day began with the Gin Blossoms, who battled technical issues with humor and encouraged the crowd to share a drink in high spirits.

As the festival grounds gradually dried up, we had the opportunity to explore the full scale of the venue. Regrettably, the rush to catch the next act kept us from experiencing the Ferris wheel, but observing the sheer joy of those on it was infectious. Next up for us were Margo Price and Mt. Joy, both of which provided captivating performances.

We were well-prepared for an action-packed closing night and stocked up on festival French Fries and caffeine to keep us going. The crowd at the back settled into their lawn chairs, the middle pushed forward toward the barricade, and the VIP section gathered at the front. As the sun set for the evening, Hozier and Alanis Morissette took the stage, with Alanis treating us to almost the entirety of “Jagged Little Pill.”

It was time for John Mayer to come out and he had the governor of Connecticut proudly introduce him. John Mayer hit all the stops from classics such as “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room”, “No Such Thing”, and “Why Georgia” to the fan requested “Drone Shot of My Yacht” and “3×5”. Between each song, he detailed his life growing up in the city he was playing and even noted the odd feeling seeing the hospital you were born at from the stage you were playing.

We sincerely hope that everyone who attended this year had as much fun as we did. For those who missed out, we hope our pictures will inspire you to join us next year, as the celebration promises to be even more joyous and exhilarating!


Kyle Musser//@godvfwine