Waking up on Saturday was significantly more difficult than the previous day, unless of course you didn't sleep at all. While still trying to piece together the previous night and prepare for the onslaught of music that was upon us, we began to feel at home in our RV and our surroundings. We knew the shortcuts, discovered the clean porta potties, and had our schedule mapped out for the day. With essentially our last full day at Waka, we knew we had to take full advantage of the music and surroundings.
Fitz & the Tantrums (Written by Sarah Silvas)
The Scene: Although it was nearing the later part of the afternoon, the heat beat down so hard that many breaks in the shade SHOULD have been taken... but it's impossible to stop singing and dancing to Fitz. After we caught them a couple months ago in Denver, this was a no-brainer set to catch at Wakarusa.
Favorite Moment: I always say... If I were a stripper, my song would be, "Sweet Dreams," by Eurythmics. This 80s, synthy track just always gets me movin' in all the right ways and I can't help but want to remove items of clothing. To my utmost, pleasurable surprise Fitz & the Tantrums covered my stripper song and next thing everyone knew... clothes were coming off. Well... just down to a swimsuit since it was god awful hot. But still, one of my FAVORITE moments of the entire weekend!
Random Detail: While nearly every Fitz track is dedicated to heartbreak and lost love, you'd never really know with how upbeat, soulful and groovy their sound is. "Pickin' Up The Pieces," and, "Rich Girls," are the best break-up songs, so if and when you go through the dreaded "breakup" toss on some Fitz, crank it up, and belt it out.
The Lumineers (Written by Dalton Kieta)
My Opinion: It was nice to know that Colorado native bands are also known for different style of music then EDM!! The Lumineers set was packed and had everyone singing in the 101 degree weather!
Best Part: We just love how The Lumineers get the whole crowd involved. From, "Ho Hey," to, "Flowers in Your Hair," the lyrics are catchy and the songs are short meaning all those in attendance are quickly singing along, even if it's their first The Lumineers performance.
Would be nice: If Neyla, their stunning female talent, had the opportunity to take the spotlight on the microphone more often. Sometimes you get a glimpse of her whimsical and captivating chords and it leaves your ears aching for more each and every time!
Primus (Written by Sarah Silvas)
The Scene: As the headlining band of Saturday night, and with Les Claypool being an undisputed character of all characters the scene was nothing short of a circus. A life-size kraken, jelly-fish, and other creatures crawling through the crowd captivated our eyes while fire-dancers and expert hoola-hoopers strutted their stuff. It was a sight to see and simply beautiful... the perfect depiction of what a headlining festival performance should look like.
Favorite Moment(s): Just about anytime Claypool decides to talk to the crowd, you know you're in for a treat. Talking about Ted Nugent to an imaginary fight with the the crowd-surfing octopus, Les had has rolling in laughter the entire time.
In My Opinion: Primus is more enjoyable live versus studio recordings, for me that is. Each time I've seen Primus live at a festival, it's one of my most memorable experiences, this one not excluded. While I do LOVE Primus, I can never put on my Mama Jam persona because it's really hard for me to bust a serious move to the heavy and silly sounds of Primus. Its more of a body-swaying, head-bobbing show for me. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, but throwing it down to Big Gigantic later at this same stage helped round out my raging needs of Wakarusa 2012.
Big Gigantic (Written by Dylan Windburn)
Details: Big Gigantic’s (www.swaager.com/artist/big-gigantic-2) evolution from pestering people about needing a “dolla” to becoming a legitimate sax-infused dubstep DJ hasn’t taken long. Dom’s new album “Nocturnal” (http://biggigantic.net/) hits hard, and the new LED podium makes it a great production. But his infusion of the saxophone still makes his sets incredibly unique- something the majority of “DJ’s” lack these days.
The Crowd: Filled with Colorado flags, the main stage was packed. Glowsticks erupted at the build up of each song, and the whole Waka-Swaager crew was there (even the film guys!).
Other Details: Big Gigantic was the last act to play (1am-2:30am) before they shut down Saturday night at Wakarusa due to intense lightning storms. Bummer, but you have to appreciate Wakarusa’s concern for the fans safety.
Opiuo (Written by Dalton Kieta)
Best Part: This Australian based producer Opiuo was hard not to move to, it was overwhelming!
Funny Story: Everyone wanted to stay and some fans chose to linger around, even when Opiuo grabbed the mic and said, “This is not a drill, really bad weather is coming in and we need to take cover!" All I was thinking about was, "I NEED more Opiuo!"
Lucid Vision (Written by Dylan Windburn)
Details: Lucid Vision is an up-and-comer from Denver that is still looking for his unique sound, but like Michal Menert, he rapped! A nice differentiator for sure.
The Crowd: All of Swaager was there, but the showing was weak as people headed home Sunday. That didn’t prevent Dalton from ripping the Satellite Stage a new one.
Other Details: Lucid Vision is a young, not yet legal, but aspiring DJ that won his set at Waka through a contest at Cervantes. Talk about proving yourself. For this 20 year old, it’s all happening.
While these were only snippets of our Wakarusa 2012 experience, there were so many more memorable moments. Like the man who ran around all weekend with only a wine holder on his dick, hassling MartyParty in our RV during our interview with him, the welcoming security, the vast and open lands, and all the new friends we made. It was more than a successful weekend, it was a memory that will last a lifetime. Thank you Wakarusa, Pipeline Publicity, Emily Ginsberg, every artist we interviewed, and everyone else we crossed paths with over the weekend. Until next year... Cheers!