Reviews, thoughts, suggestions and just plain ol' banter on random topics and issues. Oh, yea I also talk A LOT about music, artists, bands, and festivals.
Euphoria Music festival returned for its 3rd year in a new and improved location at Carson Creek Ranch in Austin, Texas. This is a definite upgrade from last year’s location in New Braunfels, Texas at the Whitewater Amphitheater. The festival has raised the bar this year by providing a full camping experience throughout the 40 acres of land that borders the Colorado River and is just minutes from downtown Austin.
Though still young, this two-day festival this year was a particularly refreshing experience due to its live performances, unique stage design, cutting edge visuals and artist workshops. Even more impressive was the diverse range of artists and interactive experiential installations.
Beats Antique gave a notable performance on the festivals main Euphoria Stage with a full on instrumental performance that not only included live drums, violin and trumpet but a belly dance performance by the bands incredibly talented Zoe Jakes. This fusion and electronica band is unique in its performance style, as it tells the story of the bands travels throughout the world in the form of carnival attractions.
Wearing top hats and feathery boas, Boombox also that stood out on Friday. Their bass-funky performance only enhances their 70-esque-stage presence. The entire crowd danced along to their groovy hybrid funky guitar jams at the end of the night.
There is no denying that The Crystal Method has created some of the best dance tracks in the electronic music history. Saturday night’s performance was a testament to this duos talent. Their solid foundation of hip-pop, pop and soul mixed with their electronic production had the crowd going through their entire performance. Legendary trance artist Gareth Emery delivered a beautiful euphoric performance that was welcomed change of pace by the crowd.
It is important to emphasize that Euphoria Music Festival provides fans with a unique experience that sets it apart from the array of festivals currently popping out everywhere. From the moment you walk into the festival grounds the crowd is welcoming, courteous and respectful of one another. The location this year adds major value, as there was plenty of room for everyone to enjoy the performances. In addition, the stages seemed to be assigned according to the individual style of each artist assigned to perform.
Overall, this festival has a promising future if it continues to focus on these important qualities that most festivals seem to loose as they grow in popularity.
Lights All Night returned for its 4th festival in Dallas this year with a record 43,000 ravers gathering, a large change from its first year where a mere 1,700 people attended. After a change of venue from last year at Fair Park, the festival returned to its previous venue inside the Dallas Convention Center. This year the festival took some steps in the right direction towards improvement yet there were a few disappointing changes.
Sounds of heavy bass and drums could be heard as soon as you entered the venue. The artists were sprawled across two main stages this year, The Mothership & Boom Box Stage. Both of these stages proved to be impressive with laser shows, pyro techniques, and impressive 3-D mapping projections. A third stage was assigned as the Silent Disco with local DJ’s performing.
Above & Beyond ‘s performance with beautiful trance sounds at the Boom Box stage proved to be an amazing break from the heavy bass and dubstep sounds that overtook the festival. They choose to communicate with the crowd through a display of typed out messages and lyrics projected on the screen. Icona Pop provided the crowds with energetic show proving themselves in a male dominated event. A-trak’s performance in addition was a nice change of pace, mixing sounds from the 80’s and upbeat tunes. Not to mention his signature scratching techniques. Dirty Phonics were a new crowd favorite producing a mix of great sound between heavy bass and techno/house. Major Lazer and Kaskade brought down the crowd and closed the night off on Saturday.
Photo credit: Brittany Ruckus Rucker
ABOVE & BEYOND
One major issue that was circulating throughout the crowds both nights was the bar area and bartenders. The 21+ bar area was set up in the very back of the stages, and the bartenders hired were not experienced to handle the large crowds. This resulted in an average of 40 minutes wait for one drink. Additionally, the interactive media and entertainment provided last year seemed to have been completely removed this year. This is a major setback on the festivals part, as it set it apart from a large majority of EDM festivals that it competed with. Notable improvements seen this year were the festival’s return to its original venue. After last year’s fiasco of freezing temperatures mixed with performances hosted outside on Fair Park the return was welcomed from the majority of LAN veterans who have attended in previous years. The stages were also a major improvement from previous years, in design, layout, and execution with props. If LAN organizers are able to combine all its previous years improved changes and keep them for next year. This Texas based festival with small and humble beginnings could potentially place itself on the map as the next favorite EDM destination for fans.
I’m not quite sure where I’m going.
I’m not quite sure where I’m headed.
Are we bound to continue making the same mistakes over and over?
And why is it that we silence the tiny voice inside ourselves that is awakened and enlightened when we experience what we love most? Why are we so quick to brush it off and disregard it as simple moment in passing? Shouldn’t we be doing everything possible to fuel it? To keep it burning, to keep it bright and powerful?
Why are we so afraid of going after the things we want the most? Instead we often chose to go after what we simply are indifferent to or just ok with. Are we so afraid of failure that we rather reach for what is easily accesible because it offers us a mere sense of security and conformity? Does failure have such a power over us that it restrains us from ever reaching that eternal light within ourselves?
Sometimes I catch a brief moment of that light. That feeling, it rises from somewhere within I didn’t even know existed and a voice screams at me. In that moment it is so clear what I should be doing, where I should be headed and what I should be working towards It has been there all along, waiting for me to just reach for it. To work for it. In that moment I know that even if I don’t ever reach it, it will all be worth it because I would fail trying to do something that is worthwhile. Trying to achieve what I want most in life. In that moment I understand that it’s not whether we succeed in our goals or our dreams. Rather it’s if we fought every step of the way, if we woke up every morning living and breathing for them. Because at the end of the day isn’t that the purpose of our journey? The struggles, the fights, the pains, the lessons and the loss? Isn’t this what makes us better after all? At the end of the day, isn’t this a reward in itself.
Then this moment of clarity, evades from me, escapes from me. I forget it once again, or maybe it’s because the burning light and screaming voice have become dark and quiet again. I can go on ignoring it. Fooling myself into thinking that it’s not right or what I really want.
Joan Brandwyn: Do you think I'll wake up one morning and regret not being a lawyer?
Katherine Watson: Yes, I'm afraid that you will.
Joan Brandwyn: Not as much as I'd regret not having a family, not being there to raise them. I know exactly what I'm doing and it doesn't make me any less smart. This must seem terrible to you.
Katherine Watson: I didn't say that.
Joan Brandwyn: Sure you did. You always do. You stand in class and tell us to look beyond the image, but you don't. To you a housewife is someone who sold her soul for a center hall colonial. She has no depth, no intellect, no interests. You're the one who said I could do anything I wanted. This is what I want.
Mitch Albom, For One More Day (via lordchiefrocka)