The sun warms your skin in an aggressive but welcome way. The stage is at the edge of the river, so it seems as if the band will have to walk on water. Surrounded by quirky teenagers and 20-somethings, you get the feeling everyone is simultaneously experiencing a coming of age. While rummaging through your fanny pack for your Polaroid film, a perky man and woman run on stage, with smiles so wide and enthusiasm so strong, they could star in an exercise movie. The man wears high-waisted jeans, one long earring, and a blonde mullet; the woman, white high tops, red pin stripes, and brunette bangs. Synthesizers fill the air as the electronic pop music begins. It takes a moment to realize you’re not in the 1980s, you’re watching Moonbeau at the 2018 Bunbury Music Festival.
Moonbeau started out as a side project for Yugos member Christian Gogh: “When I started Moonbeau, it was a folk thing. It’s really funny, it was an acoustic guitar, singer-songwriter thing. But then I wanted to do electronic music, and I already had the name.” Now Moonbeau is the dreamy synth-pop duo John Hughes never knew.
With Christian on vocals and sometimes guitar, several years after its inception, Claire Muenchen joined the project providing vocals and keys. These two are the core of Moonbeau, although they are joined by Alex Murphy-White and Kyle Kubiak on drums and bass during live shows.
Moonbeau has built a strong, methodic foundation in their hometown of Cincinnati. After years of writing, recording, and playing music, on June 29th they will release their debut album. When we chat after their Bunbury set, they tell me they’ve had album number one finished for around two years. So, why the delay? “We wanted to do things right and spend more time on the release of it,” Christian muses. Without pause, Claire adds, “I’m glad we have, because we’ve had time to build up here and get comfortable playing together… We’ve had practice shows and now we’re ready for this Bunbury moment.”
And the moment was well worth the wait. Despite being one of the first sets of the day and performing in unforgiving heat, there was a sizeable crowd ready to dance and sing along to their infectious music. Fans of Moonbeau have only had a couple singles to listen to online, and yet as I looked around during their set, fans knew the words to every song they played. The methodic circuit of shows Moonbeau has been playing has served them well. They’ve had steady additions to their band and have grown a strong, dedicated fan base. Watching their hard work culminate into a set at Bunbury, I get the feeling that the fans in the crowd aren’t the only ones experiencing a coming of age.
Local radio station and start-up INHAILER will present Moonbeau’s 18+ album release show Friday, June 29th at The Woodward Theater. Exclusive merchandise will be available at the show, as well as tickets for a VIP meet and greet before hand featuring Eli’s Barbeque and props from their forthcoming music video.
Tickets are available below: