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Hinterland 2022, Heat Waves and the Night Sweats

Meme of the sun from TV show Rick and Morty screaming at the crowd watching a performance at Hinterland music festival.
Lindsey Moon and Madeleine C. King
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IPR Studio One
Meme of the sun from TV show Rick and Morty screaming at the crowd watching a performance at Hinterland music festival. The high temp according to the National Weather Service was 106 degrees actual on Saturday.

These were our favorite sets from Hinterland 2022.

First, let's acknowledge the beautiful symmetry of a band called the Night Sweats closing out the hottest day in Hinterland history the day after Glass Animals ended their headliner set with a song called “Heat Waves.” Sometimes, life just gives you a moment.

The 2022 Hinterland music festival was one for the record books, and not just because of the heat! It was the first year the festival was spread over four days, which also meant this year had the the most bands perform in its history - and eight of them made their Iowa debuts. That's some big change. And there were additional weather-related challenges - culminating with Phoebe Bridgers’ festival-closing set getting delayed by over an hour thanks to lightning. Major hat-tip: when there were challenges, including 106 degree heat, the festival staff rose to the occasion with swift, calm professionalism, and, in the case of the Madison County emergency management director, with festival glitter on his face. What a great team.

For us, it was an amazing experience, including a couple of Hinterland firsts: some of our team attended for the first time, camped on the festival grounds for the first time and also sat in one of those big weird inflatable chairs for the first time. If you’re curious about the camping experience, we definitely recommend it. After years of driving or riding the bus back to Des Moines at the end of the day, it was really nice to be able to simply walk back to the IPR campsite. We have more complicated feelings about the air pouch couches. Now, for the music:

THURSDAY

Daniel Creamer of The Texas Gentlemen plays piano at Hinterland music festival.
Madeleine C King
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Daniel Creamer co-writes the lyrics for The Texas Gentlemen with guitarist Nik Lee.

THE TEXAS GENTLEMEN

The Texas Gentlemen are a new-to-Studio One band. Their set Thursday night was a great way to get ready for Sierra Ferrell and Billy Strings. Excellent booking work there. "People expect something completely different from a band called The Texas Gentlemen," they said from the stage. And they were right. ⁠ They played an unrecorded song about a West Texas cop that we *hope* they'll send us a version of when they get it recorded.

SIERRA FERRELL

Sierra Ferrell was new to most of our team this weekend too. The end of her set was one of our favorite parts of the weekend.

“When I sing ‘rainbows,’ I need you to go like this…” Whatever you command, our new Queen.

Billy Strings joined her on stage for two of her closing songs, and then she came back on stage with him at the end of his set. Can’t wait to listen to more of her music. She might have also had one of our favorite wardrobes of the weekend. That headdress was a whole vibe.

We also loved her last message to the audience: "Never go too far. Drink water. Have fun." Words to live by.

Billy Strings leans over the crowd while playing guitar at Hinterland music festival 2022.
Madeleine C King
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Billy Strings had no shortage of material for his set at Hinterland music festival 2022 — his latest album, Renewal, boasts 16 tracks.

BILLY STRINGS

Billy Strings. We feel like that should be enough to describe the energy he brought to Hinterland to close the first day. What a live show. His expanded jam moments were some of our favorite musical moments this weekend. He was doing anything but stringing us along up there. What an amazing set.

FRIDAY

GOTH BABE

Goth Babe: “Anybody wanna crowd surf?” *brings out giant inflatable watermelon and beach balls*

What a playful and crowd participation-focused midafternoon set on Friday! We had so much fun watching the two crowd surfers go from the top of the Hinterhill, and it was such a well-curated and safe way to give someone that experience.

Goth Babe – thanks for playing your first show in Iowa; please come back.

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Madeleine C King
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BRISTON MARONEY

Briston Maroney was one of our favorite acts of the weekend.

There's always a few bands at any fest where we come away from their performance thinking 'man, we've been sleeping on this.' This weekend it was Briston Maroney. His set was authentic. It was new but also seemed familiar. And ya know, he just put a huge smile on our faces. The band seemed as happy to be at Hinterland as we were to see them play. He closed the set with his song Freaking Out on the Interstate, and I just loved this lyric. 'Fear is just a part of love/ and one thing I found / is love is what you deserve.' ⁠ ⁠

Maroney also briefly stopped their show to help someone who was dehydrated get safely out of the pit near the front of the stage. Kudos to him for that!" wrote Studio One Tracks and All Access host Tony Dehner.

TURNSTILE

"The stage left guitar player was playing a Jackson brand guitar, and it had the Floyd Rose bridge and wammy bar. It was plugged into a Peavey 5150 head with a Marshall cabinet. I’m a guitar nerd, and those things are way out of style in 2022. There is this whole guitar subculture where it is still 1989, Eddie Van Halen is still alive and music stopped with the release of Metallica’s Master of Puppets. I haven’t seen that set-up on stage in a long time, and I loved the nostalgia.

That kind of guitar sound was really big when I was started playing guitar, and seeing that on stage, I didn’t know what we were going to hear. I was expecting nothing but thudding power chords, bass drum and bass that just cave your chest in. Turnstile’s performance was not that.

They really fit into Friday’s alternative rock vibe, and the crowd in the pit was really into it. I liked it a lot more than I thought it was going to.

Turnstile replaced Rainbow Kitten Surprise on the lineup, and the booking was a curveball given the music Hinterland normally programs," Studio One Track and All Access host Tony explained from the pit near the stage right gate on Friday.

Did you see their set? What did you think? Join the conversation on Instagram.

GLASS ANIMALS

"Glass Animals’ set Friday night at Hinterland was epic. Their performance, staging and video screens were electric. The mesmerizing psychedelic visuals added to the crowd energy. Their waiting room screen using an early 2000s file loading image was nostalgic, and created a countdown energy before their set that we were very into. There were also fireworks going off in the distance behind the stage.

The English-American indie rockers played classic tracks of theirs like “Youth” and “Gooey” alongside new favorites like “Tangerine” and “Space Ghost Coast to Coast.” They closed the night with a three-song encore ending with Heat Waves. (Tongue in cheek: that definitely set the tone for Saturday.)" said IPR's Cece Mitchell.

SATURDAY

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Madeleine C King
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DURAND JONES AND THE INDICATIONS

“I’d been excited about Durand Jones and the Indications since the lineup was announced. Their 2021 album Private Space was one of my favorite albums of the year. They effectively have two lead singers. Durand Jones is an R&B/soul singer, everything you’d want in a front man, very charismatic with powerful vocals. Then the drummer is a guy named Aaron Frazer, and while he’s drumming, he also sings all the falsetto parts. I’ve always admired drummers who can sing and play drums at the same time, especially if you’re doing lead vocals.

Their set drew heavily from the newest album, including their song "Love Will Work It Out."

They closed with their hit "Witchoo," which got everyone singing along and dancing. I really wished there was more of that at Hinterland. I loved the R&B dance music. It was a real breath of fresh air --- perfect for such a hot afternoon,” said All Access and Studio One Tracks host Tony Dehner.

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Madeleine C King
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TRAMPLED BY TURTLES

"Trampled By Turtles brought their crowd-pleasing bluegrass-adjacent country music to the Hinterstage just as the sun was starting to set Saturday evening. All of the strings' performances were very impressive. The highlight of the show for many was the fiddle expertise of member Ryan Young, who made that thing sing all set long. A mandolin solo by Erik Berry also stole the show for a while, although all players really gave a strong performance. Key performances of theirs included the slow and romantic “Keep Me In Your Heart” as well as cult favorite “Wait So Long,” which I have indeed waited so long to see. A great first TBT show for me. So glad I caught them at Hinterland!" wrote Cece Mitchell.

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Lucius Pham
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JENNY LEWIS

"Jenny Lewis showed up in one of her signature white jumpsuits to give a dazzling performance on the third day of Hinterland. The third song she played was one of my favorites, "Do Si Do," which sounds even better live than on the recording. She also did a cover of Keith Whitley’s “Miami, My Amy” the '80s country song that has gained a lot of recent popularity on TikTok that was a lot of fun to listen to. She also played "The Moneymaker," a song from her old band Rilo Kiley, which was a nice throwback that definitely rocked. She closed out the show with a stripped down "Acid Tongue," which happens to be my favorite Jenny Lewis song and a great way to end the set," Cece said.

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Lucius Pham
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LAKE STREET DIVE

“Y’all must really love music, because it has been hot all day!” That’s the first thing Lake Street Dive frontwoman Rachel Price said to the Hinterland crowd this year, and it was really a connecting moment for the whole audience.

Lake Street Dive are no strangers to Iowa: bassist and songwriter Bridget Kearney is an Iowa native, and the band was making its second appearance at Hinterland, but first with the band’s current lineup: keyboardist Akie Bermiss joined the band in 2017, and founding member Mike “McDuck” Olsen left the band last year. He’s been replaced by guitarist James Cornelison.

Everyone in Lake Street Dive is a top-notch musician, and they all got their time to shine during the band’s breezy, exciting set at Hinterland. Price has a wonderful voice that only sounds like she’s singing effortlessly, and Kearney played the double bass the way only she can, making her home state proud. A personal highlight for me was “Same Old News,” a song written by Bermiss, and the crowd erupted in applause when he came in with his vocal part.

And as all concert-goers know, good things happen when musicians meet in the middle of the stage. The band all gathered around a single mic for a couple of songs: “Red Light Kisses,” from one of the band’s earlier albums, and a cover of the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back.” Kearney and Cornelison also met in the middle for a couple of exciting instrumental sections.

Lake Street Dive’s set leaned heavily on their latest album, Hypotheticals, including highlight “Making Do,” with its lyrics that really hit home after a tumultuous couple of years. I had a big smile on my face for their entire set, and I can’t help but wonder if they’ll be at Hinterland again in 2028," Tony said.

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Lucius Pham
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NATHANIEL RATELIFF AND THE NIGHT SWEATS

We have to start by acknowledging the beautiful symmetry of a band called the Night Sweats closing out the hottest day in Hinterland history the day after Glass Animals ended their headliner set with a song called “Heat Waves.” Sometimes, life just gives you a moment.

One of my favorite parts of the Nathaniel Rateliff set was when they slowed things down and played “Face Down in the Moment,” a track from their latest album The Future. It's one of those more reflective songs on the album that I love to listen to in quiet moments by myself, so experiencing the track in a crowd of people was pleasantly different.

I thoroughly enjoyed the encore. I looked at my watch when they returned and figured they had time for two more songs. I thought to myself, "I want to hear 'The Future' right now." That's exactly what they played next!

The encore got even cooler from there, with the obligatory performance of the classic "S.O.B." This song got the entire crowd dancing when the band performed it at Hinterland in 2018, and the entire crowd was on their feet this time too. Then came the rare 'fake-out ending' during an encore, as Rateliff and the Night Sweats ripped through "Love Don't," the closer to the new album.

Headlining a festival on a day when it’s been that hot is a hard crowd to play to, and we want to give them major kudos for bringing fantastic energy to close out the night.

SUNDAY

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Lucius Pham
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MIKO MARKS

"Miko Marks played about a 5 - 6 song set and packed a lot into the time she had on stage Saturday morning. She and her band played new singles out this year called “One More Night” and “Feel Like Going Home.” They're the type of songs that you hear the chorus once and can instantly sing along.

They closed with an unreleased song that's about the late, great John Lewis, and Miko encouraged everyone to go get in some good trouble of their own. The song is on a forthcoming album, out this fall.

Miko, pretty please send us a copy of your new record! We’d like to keep the good trouble message going through the airwaves," Tony said.

LIZ COOPER

"Liz Cooper makes music for people who never know how to answer the question, “What genre of music is this?” Her latest album, Hot Sass, came out last fall, and it’s a pretty big departure from her previous, more Americana-sounding music. It’s her first album to be credited to her own name, instead of her band, Liz Cooper & The Stampede.

Cooper and her band took the stage in the middle of the afternoon on Sunday, which wasn’t as hot as Saturday, but low-key still pretty dang hot. The band ripped through songs from their new album, and some older ones as well, including “Mountain Man” from Cooper’s previous record.

Cooper and the band closed with the title track from Hot Sass, which, for me, is such a perfect summation of what she does that it might as well be the name of its own genre. Liz Cooper’s music is Hot Sass. And those hearing the song at Hinterland got a special treat: the album version of the song has a bit of a lull around the 3-minute mark, which the band used at Hinterland to throw in a cover of Dick Dale’s “Miserlou,” because hey, why not?

Liz Cooper certainly gained a lot of new fans at Hinterland, and I’m looking forward to digging further into her back catalog, and to what she does next," Tony said.

MUNA

Like a cold bottle of water on a hot Iowa day, or a serotonin infusion directly into the bloodstream, MUNA’s midday set Sunday rocked the systems of all those in attendance. The rock trio opened their set with a loud and dancey "What I Want," followed by an hour of genre-fluid “pop” music, which sometimes veered into the Hinter-country sound of days one and three. Due to The Aubreys’ exit from the Sunday bill, MUNA was granted an extended set, which allowed the band to get a little weird and do things like cover The Killers’ "Mr. Brightside."

Their set built to an explosive finish, closing out the hour with MUNA’s 2022 smash hit "Silk Chiffon," with special guest Phoebe Bridgers and special, special guest Lucy Dacus.

To paraphrase frontwoman Katie Gavin, whose mic slipped out of her hand mid-song: “We’ll never forget how you guys rocked with us for an hour in 100 degree heat!" wrote IPR's video producer Lucius Pham.

LUCY DACUS

"Lucy Dacus came out in a Slayer shirt and started her set with “First Time,” a track from her latest album Home Video. The graphics behind her corresponded with the albums she was playing tracks from, including her 2018 album Historian. It was great to see her play “VBS,” one of my favorite tracks from Home Video — especially when Dacus mentions playing Slayer at full volume and the instrumentals behind her get heavy and loud," wrote IPR Studio One Tracks and All Access host Cece Mitchell.

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Lucius Pham
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KURT VILE & THE VIOLATORS

"Kurt Vile is one of my favorite musicians, but I have to be honest, I was skeptical when I saw he and his band The Violators were scheduled as the second-to-last band of the entire Hinterland weekend. They are 100 percent worthy of that slot, but Vile’s music is so chill and off-beat that I wasn’t sure how it would work. It's ideal for a lazy Sunday afternoon, but nearing the end of the weekend, I was thinking I’d want something a little more upbeat.

Well, I’m happy to admit when I’m wrong. Kurt Vile & The Violators were exactly what I needed at that time of day. Most of the band’s set, as you might expect, were from their latest album, (watch my moves). It’s a little more laid-back album, but Vile injected the songs with new energy, propelled by his unique, frenetic guitar playing. (Before the festival, I predicted that this set would fill Hinterland’s “jam band” quotient for the weekend. That honor ended up going to Billy Strings, but this was still a pretty jammy set.) The set did feature some well-loved songs from Vile’s prior albums, including “Wakin on a Pretty Daze” and “Loading Zones.”

Vile is also well-known for his unique vocal delivery, which sounds almost more like melodic talking and seems somewhat low-effort. However, I watched most of this performance with my friend Courtney Krause, a wonderful singer and songwriter from Des Moines, and she explained to me how that’s actually incredibly difficult to do well. Some of it went over my head, because I’ve never had vocal training, but I’ve got a whole new appreciation for Vile’s vocal skills after our conversation.

Speaking of Courtney, she also caught me singing along to “Pretty Pimpin,” one of my favorite songs of all time, and put it on her Instagram story. If you missed it, sorry, not sorry. Maybe we’ll run into each other at another Kurt Vile concert, and then you’ll get to hear it," Tony said.

PHOEBE BRIDGERS

"This set was charged, and not just by the lightning that delayed the start time until just after 10:30 p.m. After a grand entrance, Bridgers' took a moment to thank the crowd for their "tight behavior," referring to the mass evacuation of the festival grounds and reentry, all of which happened without incident. For the lucky, and sizable, crowd that stuck around late into a school night for this set, they were treated with wailing guitar, a group cry (well, at least for most of us) and a wonderful moment when Phoebe took the mic into the crowd and had someone sing who looked more surprised by how good she sounded than the rest of us.

To top it off, festival goers got an added treat with a sit-in fit for any Serious Music Person's dreams: Lucy Dacus and Kurt Vile came on stage to help Bridgers end the set with an electric, cacophonous "I Know the End." It was legendary, and just the boost everyone needed to return to their cars, shuttles and campsites after a long, sweaty four days of live music," wrote Madeleine King, All Access photographer.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Tony Dehner is a Studio One Host
As the newsletter product coordinator, Madeleine (she/her) manages and writes for Iowa Public Radio’s newsletter portfolio, including The Daily Digest and Political Sense.
Lucius Pham is a writer and producer based in Des Moines, where he graduated with a bachelor’s of journalism & mass communication from Drake University. While there, he served as program director for KDRA-LP 94.1 “The Dog.”
Cece Mitchell is a Music Producer for IPR