With some of us rolling in early on Wednesday, then the Swaager RV catching up on the afternoon of Thursday, there was months of anticipation for Wakarusa riding on our minds. Most of us arrived as Wakarusa virgins, others seasoned festivarians, but the thought on everyone's mind what, "How would this weekend's adventure unfold?"
With the weather gods being gentle on us we were spared a tremendous amount of sweat. We quickly prepared ourselves with a bit of sunscreen, charged cameras, and a couple shots of Ten High. Off to our first set of the weekend... Sunsquabi!
SunSquabi (Written by Sarah Silvas)
The Crowd: We couldn't have been more thrilled to see the Satellite Stage packed out for SunSquabi, one of our Colorado favorites! It was obvious that this was the first day of the festival as people were throwing down hard early on - preparing for the weekend's roller-coaster of rage.
The Bad: The band had to inform the soundboard to adjust the settings on a couple occasions. While it was probably just a first-day bug, we hate to see performers frustrated with what's coming out of the speaker. The crowd didn't seem to notice any problems, thankfully, and continued to groove through the very end of SunSquabi's set.
The Good: Swaager was able to capture an exclusive, on-camera, interview with SunSquabi directly after their set. Check it out down below, we couldn't be happier with how it turned out!
Govinda (Written by Behrang Harsini)
The Scene: Govinda was a relatively unknown artist to Swaager before Wakarusa but made quite the impression. The combination of exotic beats at the majestic Satellite stage while the sun was setting was quite the experience and made it one of our favorite moments of the whole festival.
Favorite Moment: Most memorable about Govinda is his style. His beats are sexy and so are his dancers. The crowd was feeding off the energy of not only the music but the choreography of the dancers on stage.
FYI: We got to spend some time with Govinda (Shane) and his ladies during the weekend and they are great people. Experiencing his set was awesome, but getting to party and hang out with these guys was even better!
Pretty Lights (Written by Behrang Harsini)
The Stage: Pretty Lights has mastered choreographing his amazing city-scape backdrop set (with snippets of Colorado shining through here and there) and music. His visual production gets better every time and it was definitely on full display Thursday night! Lazer Shark for the win with both Pretty Lights and Big Gigantic, we can't wait to see how their stage production evolves! We wish there would have been lasers, although we are lead to believe this has nothing to do with the artist, but the restrictions of the land. Regardless the lights were stunning, especially when they went wild during, "I Know The Truth."
The Crowd: Seeing Colorado flags waving and all the fans from back home showing love for the hometown kid was awesome. This show was more proof that Colorado has the greatest fans and live music scene in the country. With smiles wide and feet dancing, you know this Colorado crew threw it down to favorites such as, "Hot Like Sauce," and, "I Can See It In Your Face."
In My Opinion: Having seen PL so many times it is almost as if we know what to expect. Many of the songs start to sound the same and it was nothing that was mind blowing or new. It is a sick production but we would love to see something new. The first half of the set came off a bit choppy, lacking fluidity. Once he dedicated and played, "We Must Go On," to his lady and photographer, Krystle Blackburn, the set became more cohesive. If anything, this set left us salivating for Pretty Lights' annual Red Rocks experience!
Quixotic (Written by Sarah Silvas)
The Stage: Completely transformed from Pretty Lights' set immediately before Quixotic took the stage, we were amazed at what the production crew did in such a short amount of time. Disassembling Derek Vincent Smith's stage and preparing for aerial, hoop and fire dancers as well as making way for an entire rock-like orchestra was a feat in itself. Hearing Quixotic while taking a quick bathroom break quickly drew us back to the Main Stage for this special late-night event. Upon setting eyes on the stage, we knew this was one performance not to miss. While other favorites, such as MartyParty, played on other stages, we couldn't be torn away from this memorizing act. Quickly scooting to the VERY front row, we were dazzled by both the musical talent and performers.
The Crowd: Quixotic truly puts on a show in its entirety; while the musical beats inspire you to groove your eyes and mind are occupied taking in what is before you. A Cirque du Soleil-type show blew away all expectations of what a "late night" performance should be. Instead of raging with sunglasses and lasers surrounding us, the crowd stood nearly still - in awe- of what was before us.
In My Opinion: If Quixotic is billed to perform on a large, open stage near you... GO! Do not miss this performance. The violinist is ridiculously amazing and in Swaager's interview with the creative team, he shared with us that they are playing alongside Emancipator in August at CrossroadsKC. The drummer's energy is inspiring while the women in unsurpassed physical shape dangle, twirl, and dance before your very eyes. All in all, it was one of the best performances of the weekend, partly due to the surprise factor of not even knowing we would be treated to such an act.
Savoy (Written by Dylan Windburn)
The Details: Lasers, lasers, lasers (www.swaager.com/tag/savoy). The electronic trio had alerted fans that Wakarusa would be their biggest production yet, and it’s safe to say that they didn’t disappoint- their show is approaching Ghostland production levels. Lasers backed up by green stage lights filled the Revival tent for an amazing 1.5 hour set.
The Crowd: Again, filled with Colorado flags, not a single person stood still during the show. Everyone was partying harder than Rebecca Black and it was Thursday, not Friday.
Other details: Check out Savoy’s new single “We Are the Sun,” featuring Heather Bright. They ended on it and while it is dubstep, it’s got some elements of French electro and it lacks that repetitive garbage that everyone knocks dubstep for.
While these were just a handful of the sets Swaager had the opportunity to see, every performance we caught added more wonderful memories to our Wakarusa 2012 experience. The day was nothing less than a success and before we feel into a Xanax-induced sleep, all we could think about is, "We get 3 more days of this!!!!"