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Des Moines Music Coalition (DMMC) announced the return of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), an Iowa-centric music festival that has been absent since 2019.
This year’s age 21-plus festival will return to venues near the Western Gateway Park starting at 4:30 p.m. on April 23, including Gas Lamp at 1501 Grand Ave., Teehee’s Comedy Club at 1433 Walnut St. and The Cave at 1437 Walnut St.
In late 2021, shortly after he was named executive director of DMMC, Mickey Davis told the Des Moines Register about the return of the GDP music festival, which first began in 2006, as well as the return of 80/35 Music Festival which announced the lineup last month. DMMC is also responsible for last year’s Riverview Music Festival.
“We are excited to bring back GDP after two years of no festival due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Davis in the release announcing this year’s GDP. “Along with 80/35, GDP is one of the best opportunities to catch exciting new voices in the Iowa music scene, and with so much new music emerging especially in the past two years, this is a great opportunity to reconnect with the current sound of our music community.”
Who’s who at GDP 2022?
GDP’s goal is to build an audience for smaller Iowa musical artists, introduce artists from outside Des Moines to the community and support an array of genres.
The organizers of GDP announced a dozen acts for this year’s festival. Here’s what you need to know about the performers coming to Des Moines.
This Des Moines-based multi-media band has been performing in central Iowa for years. The group mixes rock sensibilities with an electric-synth sound.
The group released its first full album, “TRVE LVV” in 2019 and has since then put out a single, “Everything That I Got,” and a set of EPs with “Memory Metals” Vol. I through IV.
Hailing from Iowa City, Wave Cage relies heavily on a jazz sound that blends with electronics. Two weeks before the group’s GDP performance, the band will also play Iowa City’s 2022 Mission Creek Festival.
Good Morning Midnight
The main member of Good Morning Midnight is Iowa City’s Charlie Cacciatore, who works with a revolving cast of musicians to create the sound of this alt-rock band.
The band has previously performed at the Grey Area music festival in 2019 and will also perform at this year’s Mission Creek Music Festival in Iowa City. The band’s latest album, “Songs Of Violence,” was released in August 2021.
Fans of Des Moines’ local music scene might recognize Allegra Hernandez, who has not only performed in the area but also educated other musicians at School of Rock West Des Moines and the nonprofit Girls Rock! Des Moines.
Their EP “Pearl” was released in 2020 and showcases a chill rock sound with introspective lyrics. Before this year’s GDP music festival, Hernandez opens for Man on Man at Des Moines’ xBk Live on March 30.
Peach has been a prominent voice in the Iowa City music scene over the past few years, bringing a focus on vocals and lyricism to the stage while wielding a guitar with rock ‘n’ roll influence.
Raised in Norwalk, Teri Underhill has been playing locally for the past few years, including in 2018 as part of the Bill Riley Talent Search at the Iowa State Fair. Pulling from a variety of genres, Underhill’s work tends to be characterized by soulful singing.
Last year, Underhill was also one of the performers at the Norwalk Musical Festival and released her music video “DRUNK,” filmed in downtown Des Moines, as well as her first album “Salt ‘n Citrus.”
Us Vs Them
Des Moines’ Us Vs Them — sometimes abridged as UTV — describes itself as “a collective of musicians and creatives with similar goals.” The group is comprised of multiple central Iowa hip hop artists such as FlyLife and Ace Forgiato, among others.
In the summer of 2020, Us Vs Them performed at the “More Justice. More Peace” concert at Wooly’s to benefit Des Moines Public Schools.
Finally Some Action
This ’80s retrowave duo hailing from Keokuk released a self-titled album in 2017 as well as an EP, “Circuits of Time,” in 2019. More recently, the pair have released two singles — “Stay Asleep” and “Is This Your Party?” — in 2020 and 2021 respectively.
If you don’t recognize the name of eastern Iowa performer Blake Shaw, there’s a chance you’ll recognize one of the groups he plays with, like Goose Town or the Clinton St. Trio.
Whatever name you might see him under, Shaw is a singer and bassist who primarily performs jazz and adjacent genres.
As the head of the Des Moines-based band Lightcube, Natalie Lowe does songwriting, keyboard, guitar and vocals for the group. Lightcube released its self-titled album earlier this year.
Soultru is primarily attributed to artist Terrance Banks, a soul artist who will be making his way to central Iowa from the Quad Cities. Sometimes, Soultru refers to a duo (or even a full band) that includes not only Banks but also Erick Frias, who performed on the Soultru album “Soultru & Progeny,” released in 2018.
Tickets and other info for Gross Domestic Product music festival
Advance tickets for the festival are $18 and $20 at the door.
DMMC created a Spotify playlist for those interested in hearing music from the featured performers. That playlist as well as more information about the event can be found at desmoinesmc.com.