by Caleb Davis
2023’s KURE Fest was a huge success! This year’s lineup included two Iowa-based bands, Allegra Hernandez and Hot Kunch (the latter being formed here at ISU), and the great singer-songwriter Indigo De Souza. Each band brought its own vibe to the show to make for a unique experience and played their hearts out for everyone there.
Allegra Hernandez kicked off the event with some very heavy-hitting and moshable tunes. They did a great job warming up the crowd, and everyone was feeling the music. I particularly enjoyed their head bopper Use My Fkn Pronouns and their last song, which included a ripping bass solo.
Up next was Hot Kunch, who contrasted the previous heavy songs with some more light-hearted ones, bringing an eclectic lineup of funky tunes. The band was formed back in 2016, starting off as a bar band playing covers, and it’s clear by now they know how to put on a good show. The guitarist made one of my favorite moments from the night, hopping off stage mid-song to get on an equipment case to play a solo in the middle of the crowd. Aside from their originals, they included some great covers including Earth, Wind & Fire’s September and Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance. All in all, you can tell the band has a lot of fun playing with each other and putting on a fun time for everybody.
Finally to close the show out was Indigo De Souza. Having been a fan of hers before I couldn’t wait to see the kind of show she would put on, and I wasn’t disappointed. She kicked off the show with the song Darker than Death off her latest album, and right off the bat her stage presence was incredible. Starting with that song I expected to hear a lot of the songs I’d been listening to, but was delighted to be treated to a varied setlist with many unreleased tracks for her upcoming album, All Of This Will End. My favorite of the tracks was the now-released single Younger and Dumber, which had Indigo putting heart and soul into a nostalgia-filled song about the struggle of growing up. Indigo finished her set with the song Real Pain. This song is one of my favorites of hers and getting to hear it live was an amazing experience. She really seemed to connect with the audience and conveyed her emotions on stage so well to close off such a wonderful night of music. If you ever get a chance to experience these bands live in the future, I highly recommend you do so, they all did such a great job making 2023’s KURE fest a special one.
Photo credits to Avery Staker @be.homebody