5 Bands to See at the Toyota Music Den

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The Revivalists at the 2017 Toyota Music Den. Photo by FilmMagic.

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The Toyota Music Den is coming back to Life is Beautiful. The concert series, held each day of the festival from 3 to 7:30 p.m., serves as an intimate showcase of emerging bands from the Life is Beautiful lineup. It’s an opportunity to get up close and personal, see a preview of a performance, or catch an encore. The Music Den’s eclectic roster could be a sold-out party on its own with 15 bands including indie-pop sibling act AJR, DJ Chet Porter, rising rapper Mike Xavier, and more. Here’s a sampling of what you can expect to hear.

Poolside

Poolside is a fitting stage name for producer and DJ Jeffrey Paradise. The veteran musician’s tropical boogie is a summer escape. His unique sound, dubbed “daytime disco,” is best exemplified on jams like “Feel Alright” and “Which Way to Paradise.” We can already picture all the bodies twirling to his retro grooves under the Toyota Music Den tent.

Poolside plays the Toyota Music Den at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 21.

Morgan Saint

The NY singer’s dreamy synth-pop banger “You” should have been the song of 2017. It’s a seduction of Saint’s airy vocals laid gently over a twinkling production. That sound is echoed throughout her 17 Hero EP. We’ve been hooked on it since it dropped last October. Though we’re still waiting for a full LP, at least there’s two chances to see her at Life is Beautiful.

Morgan Saint plays the Toyota Music Den at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22.

Knox Fortune

If the name Knox Fortune sounds familiar, it’s because it is. His voice can be heard on the chorus of Chance the Rapper’s infectious “All Night.” He’s been a key player among Windy City’s unstoppable brood, producing cuts for fellow Chicagoans Vic Mensa and Joey Purp. But while he’s known for his eclectic hip-hop beats, his solo work is dressed in shimmery indie-pop. “Torture” bounces with its flourish of horns while “Lil Thing” is the very essence of a chill summer night.

Knox Fortune plays the Toyota Music Den at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22.

Mt. Joy

Mt. Joy just might bring indie-folk to the forefront. Theirs is a sound much bigger than the campfires the genre is often associated with. It’s buoyant at times and somber at others without taking itself too seriously. “Bigfoot” is a perfect example with its absurd video and whimsical lyrics: White kids don’t dance, they just follow commands / Put your right foot in, leave your heart in your hand.

Mt. Joy plays the Toyota Music Den at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 23.

Lauv

The pop singer-songwriter is ruling Billboard’s Emerging Artists chart. His hit single “I Like Me Better” has been inching its way up for 28 weeks—and racking up more than 35 million views on YouTube. It’s safe to say the kid is blowing up. Thanks to Toyota, you get to catch an intimate encore performance by him after he rocks the main stage Sunday night.

Lauv plays the Toyota Music Den at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 23.