Sandusky, Ohio – a small, lakefront town not frequently talked of outside of Ohio, other than for its nationally known park Cedar Point, welcomed PVRIS to perform a free, lakefront show along with supporting band Hooked Like Helen, an alternative indie band local to the shores of Sandusky. Opening off Sandusky's pride festival weekend on June 23rd, Hooked Like Helen and PVRIS raised the energy of the festival, preparing everyone for the weekend that was to come. The event may have been smaller than other festivals, composed of one center stage and an excellent array of local business vendors, but this did not deter the festival-goers; the overall energy was through the roof, and the crowd was filled with people who enjoyed every band and drag performer that hit the main stage. Precursing Hooked Like Helen and PVRIS were an array of spectacular drag performers, those performing before Hooked Like Helen being Gizelle DeVaux, Adonis, and Chi Chi Dela Cruize; all drag performers local to Ohio! After their stunning performances, Hooked Like Helen took the stage.
Once Hooked Like Helen took the stage, the majority of the festival's crowd that had not been at the stage previously brought themselves in closer to enjoy their performance. Their set contained multitudes; some of their songs got the crowd energized and excited, waving their hands along to the beat, while some of their other songs were more calming, letting a cool, calm wave over the crowd as they sat and took in their music. They played a fairly long set, beginning at eight at night and ending only a few minutes before nine. They played many original songs of theirs, such as "Sleepwalker," their most recent single that was just released on May 12 this year. To close off the set, they ended off with a cover of "What's Up" by 4 Non-Blondes, which they performed with a lot of crowd interaction. The entire crowd was singing along as they ended their set, which meant PVRIS' set was next.
Before PVRIS' set even began, the crowd had become even larger and had inched closer to the stage. When they took the stage, the crowd erupted into cheers, shouts, and applause. Never before had I been to a free concert that had drawn this large of a crowd, nor such a dedicated and engaged crowd! For every song, you could hear most of the crowd singing along to every lyric. There was not a single song where the crowd had not known what to sing along. When Lynn walked onto the catwalk, the crowd would immediately rush to be closer and reach their hand out to her. Lynn had even revealed to the crowd that Sandusky pride had been the first pride she had been to, making this show even more special–for both her and the queer fans in the crowd. PVRIS' performance was incredible, and the crowd was able to match the energy as well. Although Sandusky Pride may not have an artist of PVRIS' popularity for next year, it is always an amazing and love-filled weekend for both the artists that perform there, the vendors, and the festival attendees.
All photos are by Sol Howard