With one day under our belts, the crew woke up the following morning, hippie-showered (baby wipes), ate some breakfast (cereal bars), and got ready for the day. Mulberry Mountain looked far different than it did the evening before - it was absolutely stunning to arise to. The weather was great, we weren't too hungover, and we were ready to tackle interviews, take pictures, and meet some new friends! First up was Elfkowitz on the Satellite Stage at 2 p.m...
Elfkowitz (Written by Dylan Windburn)
Details: I hadn’t listened to this Chicago based DJ before, but his hip hop infused dance music (http://soundcloud.com/elfkowitz) was a welcome injection of energy for a sweaty afternoon in the swampy Ozark “mountains.” It was a great warmup for VibeSquad’s second set (LINK TO VIBESQUAD REVIEW) that followed.
The Crowd: His set sampled a lot of Southern hip-hop, which the Alabama, Arkansas (do you love your ma and pa?) Mississippi, and Georgia based crowd pissed their pants for.
Other details: As with other sets at the Satellite Stage (see pictures below), the sound was great, and the surrounding forest made it a great mid-day vibe. All that was missing was a big pool and skimpy bikinis.
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros (written by Sarah Silvas)
The Crowd: Heading to Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros from our campsite, the line was backed up to get through security, a testament to how many people were piling towards the Main Stage for this acclaimed performance. Getting though right on time, it was a challenge to navigate through hoola-hoops and poi to find a comfortable spot near the soundboard. If nothing else, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros bring crowd-wide happiness through their upbeat songs, but naturally they are so much more. Connecting with the audience, frontman Alex Ebert descended into the crowd to sing among the fans. One of our favorite moves of the band, we just love how inviting they are and how they make the fans feel like part of the performance.
Favorite Moment: With nearly every song off of their first album, Up from Below, being a favorite, it was nice to hear new songs of the latest album that dropped that day, Here. Also having the chance to really belt out the word, "ARKANSAS," during their track, "Home," really sent shivers down our spine.
The Bad: This was the set we lost our voices to for about the next week! So not necessarily bad because we couldn't stop singing the entire time. It really was a highlight set of the weekend, something that will always be remembered.
The Avett Brothers (Written by Sarah Silvas)
In My Opinion: Easily, and hands down, my favorite set of the weekend. Prior to Wakarusa we made it a point to listen to as many artists that would be performing on Spotify and this was one that we really couldn't wait for. Unsure of how it would pan out, Railroad Earth in the Revival Tent was the back-up plan, but one song in and we were hooked. We were NOT moving from the Main Stage as The Avett Brothers won over the crowd for during their two hour set.
Favorite Moment: Heading into any show, you always have that "one" song you really want to hear - the song that will make that show for you if you hear it. "I and Love and You," was the one for me coming into The Avett Brothers. Neverbefore seeing them, each beginning to a track put me on edge, "Is it this one?" Finally, near the very, very end... I got it and it was GLORIOUS!
Take Away: The Avett Brothers are one of my new favorite bands. It's always nice to go to a festival and come out with new perspectives. This performance was a testament to how important it is to see bands you've NEVER seen or heard of before, you'll usually end up with one or two acts that pleasantly surprise you.
Girl Talk (Written by Dylan Windburn)
Details: While this set on the main stage was nothing new or ground breaking, it was a great time. Greg Gillis (aka GirlTalk (www.swaager.com/events_tags/girl-talk-3)) has done a fantastic job mastering his mashups, and the mix of confetti, hip hop, and classic rock songs made it one of the highlights of the festival.
The Crowd: I was dancing with a 300 pound woman dressed as a tooth fairy and couldn’t have been happier. On a more annoying note, there were 50 “dancers” on stage “getting their freak on,” which is standard for a GirlTalk show (sans wooks).
Other details: Everyone in the crew was reluctant to go to Girl Talk, but I forced everyone to attend. Why? Because while we were having fun, we still lacked a set that was a straight up dance party- if you have never been to a girl talk show that’s exactly what it is- a straight up dance party. Everyone thanked me later (I am the CEO of shows (http://swaager.com/author/dylanswaager-com), afterall).
Ghostland Observatory (Written by Behrang Harsini)
In My Opinion: Ghostland Observatory has become a can’t miss act whenever they perform. Front man Aaron Behrens is one of the most charismatic and high energy people in music. He had the crowd going crazy from beginning to end.
Stage Production: “Fire ze Lasers!” Whenever people have conversations about what they loved about Ghostland it is all about their visual production. We talked with several showgoers and they were all blown away by the laser set-up. We completely agree.
Favorite Detail: The highlight of the set was “Heavy Heart.” Such a great song and it was on point. Can’t wait to see them again at Red Rocks 6/15!
Michal Menert (Written by Dylan Windburn)
Details: While a 5am Saturday morning set seemed like a tough task, the festival flew by and before we knew it, Savoy’s set was over and it was time. The show was amazing- Menert has an organic, melodic, feel good sound that was accompanied by the addition of some lasers to complement the production. I was EXTREMELY impressed by the sound production- for sure the best mastering I heard all weekend.
The Crowd: People came out in droves to see Menert’s set that ended being my favorite of the entire weekend. By the time we entered the forest of the Satellite Stage and the place was packed. Again, Colorado love was abound and it sounds cheesy, but it was truly a magical time.
Other Details: Michal raps! I never knew the dude had such flow. He also spoke to the crowd numerous times to thank us for coming and to remind us what a lovely thing Wakarusa is. After interacting with him in person at the RV and hearing him speak on stage, you can tell this guy is truly grateful for his place in music and in life.
By the end of Menert's set, it was near 6:30 a.m. and the sun was up and shining. Energy was far gone and the R.V. was calling our names from afar. We hurried back to our air conditioned lodging and slept soundly with the thought of The Lumineers, Big Gigantic, Fitz and The Tantrums, Primus and more to come on Day 3!