By Linda Smith
On Sept. 26 through 28, three stages and six surrounding clubs will fill the air in Deep Ellum with the newest and greatest in indie hits. People will be able to check out British band The Kaiser Chiefs that Friday and close their Sunday with a performance by Los Angeles-based band, Local Natives. All this is set against the backdrop of the thriving culture and nightlife available in Dallas.
According to their website, the Index Fest has committed itself to bringing “the best of what’s next in indie music (indie next = ind ex)” and highlighting (or indexing) “the artists that dominate the personal catalogues of festival staff members.” This year, four bands are headlining the tour, including The Kaiser Chiefs, Local Natives, Lord Huron and Future Islands.
The members of Local Natives, who were on tour for 10 months over the past year, have experience in everything from small gigs to major festivals, including Lollapalooza and SXSW.
“Festivals are always really fun,” Local Natives drummer Matthew Frazier said. “The lineup looks sweet.”
With over 90 bands performing over the span of three days, indie subgenres of every sort will be on display. Even with all that experience, Frazier said the band is new to headlining at a festival, and described it as a “new thing that we’re really excited about.”
The band released its first album, “Gorilla Manor,” in 2009. The album is named after the band’s LA house, and Frazier said that they took several songs that they had performed live for some time and recorded the whole album in about two months. Several tours delayed the release of their second album, “Hummingbird,” to 2013.
“Touring for any band is extremely important,” Frazier said. “We’ve always been a live band first and a recorded band second. For the past one and a half years after ‘Hummingbird’ was released, we hadn’t really played the new songs live. As the touring progressed, it was like the songs gained a new life. I think our touring has also shaped our songs. We’ve had people tell us that our show is a totally different experience live.”
Frazier said that while they have played both types of shows before, they are excited to be involved in this growing festival.
“[Big festivals and small gigs] both have their own thing,” Frazier said. “We’ve been fortunate to play at a few pretty large festivals. You can reach a ton of new ears, people who have maybe heard of ‘that Local Natives band,’ and want to check it out. You can win over a broader audience, and that’s amazing. You also can’t deny an intimate show. We’re able to better feed off the crowd, and the crowd feeds off of us.”
Food trucks, beer gardens, craft vendors and restaurants will be accessible throughout the festival. Single-day ticket prices range from $40 to $99, and three-day passes range from $99 to $109. For ticket and artist information, including a detailed schedule and options to create a custom schedule based on your top choices, check out index-festival.com.