Maximum Ames Music Festival Concert Review: Mikal Cronin with TWINS and The Cairo Gang


Charlie Coffey/Iowa State Daily

Mikal Cronin performs at Elks Lodge on Saturday for Maximum Ames Music Festival.

Charlie Coffey

Mikal Cronin performed alongside TWINS and The Cairo Gang Saturday at Ames Elks Lodge for the fifth annual Maximum Ames Music Festival.

TWINS is a rock and roll garage band straight out of the Maximum Ames record label. Based out of Waterloo, the band has released two albums and consistently performs shows around Iowa.

TWINS’ performance really shined because of the front man, Joel Sires. While every member of the band contributed vocally, Sires was the most prominent vocalist.

Sires held the crowd’s attention with his head banging and exaggerated facial expressions. A theatrical front man and versatile vocals led to a great set by TWINS.

The Cairo Gang lacked the excitement that TWINS had going for them. The band’s opener was a minute-long instrumental song that was loud and fast-paced.

After the instrumental, The Cairo Gang’s songs were mostly melodic and heavier than the TWINS’ set. The songs that had the most vocals seemed to stand out a bit more.

While The Cairo Gang did not quite live up to the TWINS’ performance, they still had a steady set.

Mikal Cronin followed TWINS and The Cairo Gang with his typical alt-rock sound. Cronin’s website describes his music as “surfer rock,” which is exactly what he delivers.

As he stepped on stage, the lights dimmed and Cronin started his set with “Is it Alright?” The crowd quickly doubled in size as more people came to check out the headliner.

On Cronin’s newest album, “MCIII,” he plays all of the instruments himself and mixes it together, which makes it interesting to hear him play with a group.

The strongest song from his set was “I Feel Like” from of his new album, which has one of the catchiest choruses of his music.

Cronin controlled the crowd with his catchy vocals and relaxed riffs, overall producing a satisfying show.