Labra Brothers to Unveil New EP at Federal Frenzy

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Federal Frenzy rock festival will return Saturday, April 23, for the first time since 2019, with a lineup led by California-based indie-pop band Hunny.

The downtown festival will also feature 17 regional bands on its three stages, including The Labra Brothers, Spirit of the Bear, JD Eicher and Chanelle Kazadi. The main stage will be set up on West Federal Street between Central Square and Phelps Street. Stages will also be on the Phelps Street walkway and in the water department parking lot.

Two blocks of West Federal Street will be closed to traffic for the event, which runs from 2 to 11 p.m. Unlike in past years, there will be no bands in downtown bars as a COVID-19 precaution. 

Admission to the festival, which is sponsored by Youngstown State University and will feature games and vendors, is free. 

For the Labra Brothers, who will play the main stage at 8:45 p.m., the festival is something of an album-release party. The band will release its “Waiting” EP on April 29 and will perform each of its six songs at Federal Frenzy. The band had released the songs as singles over the past six months.

“Just like the first songs we ever released as a band, this new material seems to be our segue into a new chapter,” said Adrian Labra, singer/guitarist for the band. “The ‘Waiting’ EP is part of a new effort to create and release new material more often and more effectively.”

The goal, he said, is to not just strengthen the band’s presence in its hometown but to expand into surrounding markets. The act has booked a string of shows in late spring and summer that will have it traveling throughout West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

“We’ve been fortunate enough to have played in most of these areas before, but I don’t think we’ve ever filled our calendar in a more deliberate way,” Labra said. “We really just wanted to get out to promote the new EP, and continue trying to get in front of new audiences.”

For now, the focus is on Federal Frenzy. The festival has emerged as the Mahoning Valley’s premiere live rock event and the Labras appreciate the moment and the opportunity.

“The lineup is amazing, and full of great friends from the Youngstown music scene,” Labra said. After two years in which the event was canceled, it feels like “a moment of revitalization.”

The band’s set will consist of the new songs, plus one unreleased song and older tunes from its “Colder Weather” album (2019).

Labra also hinted at a surprise the band will bring to the Frenzy stage. “Without ruining it, I’ll just say there will be dancing involved, but not involving any of the six members of the band,” he said.

The Labra Brothers wowed the audience with its harmonies during its performance at the 330 Day concert on March 30 at Stambaugh Auditorium. That show featured the fourth and newest Labra brother to join the act, Antonio, on congas and drums.

The band also includes Cristian and David Labra, Danny Svenson and Matt Hayes.

Here is the Federal Frenzy schedule:

Main Stage

3-3:45 p.m.: YSU Contemporary Ensemble

4:30-5:15 p.m.: Where’s Winona Now?

6-6:45 p.m.: Fifth and Aurora

7:30-8:15 p.m.: Spirit of the Bear

8:45-9:30 p.m.: The Labra Brothers

10-11 p.m.: Hunny

The Summit Stage

(Phelps Street walkway)

2:30-3:15 p.m.: Black Wolf and the Thief

3:45-4:30 p.m.: Candace Campana

6:45-7:30: The Shootouts

8-8:45 p.m.: JD Eicher

Bouncing Back Stage

(water department lot)

2:40-3:10 p.m.: The Band Hannah

3:30-4 p.m.: Lexi Kays

4:20-4:50 p.m.: Shelby Olive

5:10-5:40 p.m.: The Super Babes

6-6:30: p.m.: The Smokey Honey Bluesband

6:50-7:20 p.m.: Riley Burke

7:40-8:10 p.m.: Matt Jackson

8:30-9 p.m.: Chanelle Kazadi

Pictured: The Labra Brothers are (seated) David, Cristian, Adrian and Antonio Labra, and Matt Hayes and Danny Svenson. (Photo by Mollie Crowe, Little Blackbird Photo)

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.