Concert Review: City of Trees Festival 2016


Image Credit: Ashley Buyalo | The Young Folks

This past weekend, I attended Radio 94.7’s City of Trees festival at the Bonney Fields in Sacramento, Calif. This year’s lineup featured Weezer, Panic! At The Disco, Phantogram, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, The Struts, 888, The Unlikely Candidates, The Rebel Light, Kungs (DJ set) and much more. Being my first year to the festival, I had no idea what to expect. Little did I know it would be somewhat similar to another local radio station’s concert, BFD. Except at this concert, no one told me I’d be pretty much drenching in sweat all day. TMI? My bad. But it’s true.

I started my day off with the “Sacramento Tent” and was introduced to local band The Color Wild. I really enjoyed their set. They reminded me of a younger Walk The Moon and I could have sworn I’ve heard at least ONE of their songs before. Either way, I was jamming out to them and they sure knew how to get the crowd going but that’s when I noticed I was surrounded by mostly teenagers and figured… They must be teens? Or around there? Either way, I can’t wait to see where they’ll be going next.

Onto the main stage where I remained the rest of the day. I couldn’t dare miss Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness. I caught him once at the Chipotle Festival in San Francisco and that’s when I realized it was the Andrew McMahon from Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin. Be still, my heart. He played his hits: “Cecilia and The Satellite”, “Fire Escape” and “High Dive” but what tops everything was when he played “Dark Blue.” It was in that moment, I went into total fan-girl mode. But, I think another great moment was when he brought out the second grade parachute out into the crowd and ran around while singing. It was such a laid back, carefree set. I just wish I was in that part of the audience when that happened.

Phantogram was next on my must see and I forgot how much I used to listen to their album when it first came out. Trust when I say they are just as good live as they are recorded. Next up, The Struts whom I had the chance to catch back in May during BottleRock. Since that festival, I started listening to them much more and was so glad to see everyone else rocking out to the band. It was actually weird to see them on the “Music Discovery Stage” rather than the main stage when they’re pretty much a huge deal in other parts of the world…

Weezer hit the stage just as the sun was setting which was an absolute perfect backdrop while listening to “Island in the Sun.” It was such a freaking honor to watch them perform all the hits I grew up with and their newer music. Weezer always delivers without fail. From “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To) to “Perfect Situation” to “Buddy Holly”, Weezer can do no wrong no matter what generation you’re in. There was even a person I was standing next to in the crowd screaming, “I’ve waited 15 years for this!” True fan right there.


Image Credit: Ashley Buyalo | The Young Folks

And the last act of the night: Panic! At The Disco. Damn do they make people freak out. I witnessed about five to seven people have to be carried over the barrier due to being squished or dehydration. Now, that’s a rock concert. But I’ll also give credit to the fact it was just too hot for anyone to stand in the heat in all day long.

Panic! of course, played their classics and their new songs including their cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” which was included in DC’s Suicide Soundtrack. That was absolutely unbelievable to see. The energy was so high and the crowd pretty much lost their mind at that point. Although I’ll never in my life see Queen perform this song… This might be a bold statement but they seem to be a close second best. Even if you’re seeing Panic! For the first time or for the tenth time, they’ll always know how to keep the high energy going and keep the crowd entertained.

Overall, City of Trees 2016 was a huge success and I’d definitely see myself attending next year. Probably a little earlier so I don’t miss out on any merch and I’ll come better prepared for the weather.

Oh, and a note to anyone who wants to visit Sacramento in the summertime: Don’t do it. Or, if you do, bring extra clothing, keep yourself hydrated and bring a towel. It gets hot!

Ash is a teenager trapped in a twenty-three year old body. She owes everything she's learned to Lizzie McGuire, Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Unfabulous. She's a pop culture fanatic so yeah, she tend to pray to the entertainment lords begging for MTV to finally hire her. When she's not updating her dog with her life stories, she tweets some pretty cool things from time to time.