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FLOW - One of Midpoint's shiniest gems

By Matt Mitchell - Derf Magazine Music Columnist

A lot of high quality acts are booked at the 2008 Midpoint Music Festival.  The schedule is definitely very strong but there is a band on the roster this year that I feel deserves special attention.

If you haven't heard a lot about the band Flow yet, I suspect it is because A) They're from outside the U.S. and B) They're from Israel.  I'm not sure a lot of people are associating the country of Israel with great rock music yet but it's time to change that perception because Flow is indeed a great rock band.  Is Tel Aviv the next Seattle? 

Let's get the award mentions out of the way.  These are great awards but in the end they're just awards and they don't tell us about the true essence of the band.  Still important though:  Flow has been crowned "Israel's Indie Band of the Year" and was nominated for the Hollywood Music Awards "Band of the Year".   Several Flow songs have been selected as theme songs for television shows all over the world.  Critics in many countries are writing about Flow's music. The band makes it's U.S. debut by appearing on Late Night with David Letterman this week.   Then it's off to Midpoint.  (Saturday at Midnight, Cadillac Ranch on 6th Street)

The emotion heard in the music of most rock bands can be heartfelt and powerful.  It is often inspired by the pain of things like love, loss, world events, etc.  The music of Flow however gets a certain aspect of it's emotion from something much more powerful:  the wars of Israel that have been in progress longer then the band members have been alive. So among the beautiful melodies and vocals, expect to hear some angst.  But in the case of Flow, understand that it comes from a deeper place than breaking up with a college girlfriend. 

It is always difficult to describe a band's sound with words. I would rather spend time encouraging you to go see the band than trying to describe their music but it is important to at least make an attempt to give you something to start with regarding Flow's music.  Let me warn you in advance, I already know my description will not do the music justice.  You can expect a unique and original sound.  Many say it has a slightly modern electronic ‘touch' and I agree.  The vocals are in English.  I like to be cautious when making comparisons to other bands but a few that several critics have made comparisons to include Chris Cornell, Radiohead, Coldplay, Muse, and The Smashing Pumpkins.  The band itself lists these groups among many others as inspirations.  After it all said and done, Flow has their own sound.  It is also worth noting the production of Flow's recordings is highly professional.  This may not be the most charming part of a band review but without top notch production a great band will never be heard.  Obviously Flow knows this. 

Trust me when I say this is a band you're going to want to hear.  Join me at Cadillac Ranch around midnight.  I'll be the guy wearing the t-shirt that says, ‘My parents went to Tel Aviv and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.'

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