Panic and Loathing in Las Vegas

Musical Moves

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Not all things go as planned. I thought I’d be seeing Widespread Panic at Red Rocks this year, but unfortunately the stars did not align. But luckily they aligned in another way: Vegas. I was blessed to not only spend a week with the three most important people whom I had just moved too far from, but my summer tour wishes had come true too.

 

Vegas is a trip. It’s hot. But not like South Carolina hot where you sweat your ass completely off, but dry heat where you just feel as though your skin is going to burn off. I have yet to decide which one is better. There is lights and people and alcohol everywhere. One thing I could get real used to their open container policy. Reminded me of being back in Barcelona. If that was implemented across the country, we’d have a lot more happy people, I tell ya. You’d also have too many poor people, since you basically have to sell your organs on the black market to be able to afford to a drink in Sin City.

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I was so excited to see the boys, especially with my number one Panic partner, my brother. I have only been to one WSP show without him. He’s also a trooper because I made him wear matching black and white Mikey “Ace of Spades” shirts with me. We looked like some wook couple who had just eloped before the show. These shows were extra special and different than all the rest because of the sit-ins from the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Nothing like Panic with some horns. What also made it different was the setup of the venue. One had to waltz through the casino to get to the stage area. This is a general theme in Vegas though. One cannot get anywhere without walking through a casino first. Since there was no lot, everyone just enjoyed their pre-show brews in the lobby. I feel for the normal humans trying to enjoy a simple summer getaway that had their hotel bombarded by tie dye drenched dread heads.

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Obviously everyone knows I’ve been chasing this one song (Coconuts), and they’ve played it with DDBB in the past. Honestly, I’ll just jump ahead. I was filled with false hope that I’d finally get to hear what I was chasing. I was wrong. Here I am, still chasing….

The musical highlight of this run for me at to be the Mountain Jam after Last Straw. We we’re both like wait…. Are the playing The Allman Brother’s right now? Not to mention you can never go wrong with a second set Protein > Sewing set closer. Panic Vegas, all in all 10/10 would for sure again.

 

Check the streams for yourself:

Breathe

Musical Moves

keller

As many may know, I took a bold leap of faith and landed in Nashville, TN. Being here I continuously get the obvious question of “So why Nashville?” Truly, I don’t know.  I felt a pull from the universe.  I also felt a pull from being suddenly spit out of college and on my way to being swallowed by adult life. It was bold. For the first time in my life I felt I had a strong support where I was.  Strong friends, an unbreakable family, a job where I had built community.  Why was I feeling compelled to leave all of this behind? After the storm I had been thrown into in the prior months, why was I wanting to inevitably go back to being uncomfortable in my surroundings? Not to mention, after traveling the world, it seems as though I’d be longing for familiarity, even for just a moment.  But it only lit the fire that fueled adventure even more.

 

The second I arrived in Music City, I sifted through all my favorite artists’ upcoming tours in order to discover shows in my new home. Everyone knows how I feel about a certain quirky character, Keller Williams. Lockn’ is near and dear to my heart.  It is a festival who created a family.  It is a festival that enlightened me on the Grateful Dead.  It is a festival that made me fall deeper in love with my sweet, sweet Widespread Panic.  It also introduced me to Keller.  I was woken on Sunday, being dragged to “church”. Grateful Gospel to be exact.  This story has been told before, but Keller brought me immense amounts of joy and clarity that easy, breezy Sunday morning.

 

There is this venue I’ve seen mentions of here and there. I see so many breath-taking photos of venues and festival sites scattered all throughout the world every day.  I begin to lose track of my bucket lists of places I hope to see music. I didn’t know where it was or who played there, but its 333 feet below the Earth. What a mood just that alone sets.

 

So, as I’m doing my research, I make my way to Keller. And where do I find myself? Back in the sphere of this venue. Wow, Keller in that special? No way. And I was right, no way.  Those tickets had been long gone.  The time leading up to this show I was really just longing for comfort.  The comfort of live music.  The comfort of nature.  The comfort of the crowd I was used to.  I needed my hippy people, with their dreads hanging against their tie dye festival tees.

 

Coming here I left so many beautiful souls behind. The ones that would jump at an opportunity for this.  But luckily I’ve found some new ones in the process.  I was given the chance to see Keller again and cross Cumberland Caverns off my bucket list.

 

As soon as we arrived, I immediately felt I was back in a place of comfort, long before the music had ever begun.

 

Spent hours hanging in a hammock underneath the shadows of trees, conversing, listening to laughter, and personal speakers streaming Railroad Earth and String Cheese in the back ground.

 

Tennessee is hot as hell. I mean it almost gives “Famously Hot” Columbia a run for its money. So naturally I wore minimal clothing. As I make my way toward to entrance to venture down below the Earth, I see the entire migrating crowd with all bundled up, arms filled with jackets a blankets.  Uh oh.

Quickly, I found out it’s always a crisp, cool 50 degrees down there. No worries though, nothing a good ole liquor blanket can’t fix. Until I found out no boozin’ allowed in the cavern.

Zach Deputy open up the show. I’ve seen his name at the bottom of lineups, but it was my first time seeing him. He plays in the way that Keller plays his solo shows, with looping. And damn does that boy have some pipes. His voice and vibe was soulful, funky, and down to earth. He set the tone.

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Then comes Keller. He is never a disappointment. He stands there bear-footed, guitar pickin’, exuding pure joy. He started out with a ten minute jam, leading right into Breathe. Shortly after, there was surge and a light flicker. All power was lost of a moment, but all power to his complex looping equipment was lost for more than a moment. This caused Keller to be put right on this toes. You could see on his face that he was less than thrilled. Even making a joke, Deputy’s equipment was interfering with his causing this issue. He had to go solely acoustic. But I couldn’t be happier that this happened because it lead to my most memorable moment in the show. He started with Loser by Beck > Loser by JGB > back into Beck. Luckily, his guys worked it out and he was able to get back into this original plan and swing of things. This was my first time seeing him solo. It was awesome. So much talent to be able to recreate a song how he does.

 

The night rounded-out with Keller and Zach Deputy laying down a few tunes together. It was such a unique experience from the venue to the tunes. It put me at peace and gave me just a bit of what I had been missing.

Lover of the Light

Musical Moves, Uncategorized

Waking up a text the weekend of my birthday saying, “Would you want to go to Mumford and Sons?”

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The answer to that question is a total no brainer.  I have seen most of my favorite bands at least once.  Most I have seen time and time ago.  But the magic and glory of Mumford and Sons has never touched my presence.  So, its apparent there was no hesitation in my answer.  Not to mention it was with my number one woadie.

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To call this moment an early birthday present is an understatement.  Magical and glorious do not even being to describe their sound live.  You can listen to a track on your iPod all you want, but hearing it live truly blew me away.  I thought I felt their music before, but that was only the beginning before this experience.

There has been much and much controversy over the various anti-LGBT laws in the South.  Artists left and right are cancelling shows in opposition to this hatred in form of segregation.  Mumford and Sons had an entirely different, yet more effective approach.  Instead of cancelling, leaving fans disappointed and shit out of luck, they decided to donate all proceeds to an LGBT charity.  What a powerful move, by a powerful band.

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People can say what they want. “They went mainstream.  Their new album sucks”  But I am going to have to more than shoot all the haters down.  Each member changed out instruments several times.  I mean hell, the singer even played drums while continuing to carry on the lyrics at times.  Talent, they do not lack.  Also lyrically, every single song is so strong, so poetic.  Being able to hear all those words dance into my mind was something crazy.  So many times I could hear myself say, “remember this one” or “write this down, don’t forget it”

Overall, beautiful night, beautiful people.  Another check off on my bucket list.

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DAUGHTER

Musical Moves

My dad, he loves music just like me. Even though it may be different, we also share a ton of the same. Growing up, he had me listening to ACDC, Def Leppard, Guns n Roses, ZZ Top, and even took me to see one of our favorites, Aerosmith, when i was in just the fourth grade.


Anyone whose knows my dad knows he is youthful and the biggest ball of fun. Pretty sure people would rather hangout with him than me. He can make a friend whereever he goes. We also share so many similar traits. We are two peas in a pod, or one of a kind.

This great man took me to see Pearl Jam in 2008. I loved PJ then and continue to love them now.

PJ decided to make a return appearance to Columbia and CLA. And what do you know, it was only days after my 22nd birthday. What a birthday present that was to see one of my favorite bands with my favorite man.

Boy did Eddie rock it out that night!  I feel like many bands are trying to keep up with the changing times and trends by having these huge jumbo screens and extragent light shows, but not Pearl Jam. They kept the it simple. They made the concert ALL about the tunes.

Highlight of the night was when they played “Rockin’ in the Free World” a Neil Young cover. My dad had been waiting all night to here it and pure joy radiated from the crowd as they sang along.

They played over three hours and had no opening act. What more can a fan ask for. One thing I do wish is that they would’ve played daughter while I was with my daddy. We didn’t get to hear it back in ’08 and it failed to make an appearance in ’16.

Just means more Pearl Jam shows in the future for me and Big Mike.

PS I love you, Daddy.

 

***this post is from April 2016, but never went through. I found it in in my drafts and had to share********8

SCI feels like home

Musical Moves

sci

I remember a years ago people talking about this band with the stupidest name.  My exact response was “The String Cheese, what? Must be weird”.

Opps, now here I am.  Rounding out 2015, I have been to two SCI festivals and seen approximately 18 cheese sets and started hula hooping.  I get it now (clearly), and I deeply apologize for my judgments.  I love that Colorado vibe that they give off.  They can go from bluegrass, to classic jam-band style, to some heavy electronic infused jams.  They’re versatile.  They created a place where everyone at a festival comes to begin their evening.  Its home base, or a safe haven.  That is what I learned in the 2015 festival season.  I am now a fan because they create a family.

The last of my California spring break, was Santa Barbara.  I love Santa Barbara.  I feel at peace when I am there.  As far as a jam-band scene I do not see it being a popular, present thing there.

When I saw SCI was playing at Arlington Theater while I was in town, I knew I had to be there.  So I dragged my love along for the ride.  I was apprehensive about what the crowd would be like since I had just seen Papadosio in San Diego and it wasn’t what I was used to.

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When I walked in I couldn’t shake the smile off my face because it was the exact crowd I was used to. I just remember being slightly tipsy and yelling at Matt “Yes these are my people.  These are my hippy people.”  He couldn’t help but laugh and call me crazy.

Previously, I had only seen the cheese at festivals, never on tour.  It was such a neat, cool thing to witness.  The venue was insane.  You were inside (obviously, its a theater) but there was all these southwest style buildings along the side, so it made you look like you were outside in a little village market place.  It was crazy cool.

Their lighting set up was beautiful.  My favorite moment was hearing “Song in my Head” and the visuals to match were captivating.  I also won’t forget Bill was wearing the headiest Broncos shirt I’d ever seen.

My night ended too short, but I am happy to got to experience it, especially with my best friend by my side.

LONG LIVE THE CHEESE.

Click here to peep the Set List

 

 

FLAME

Musical Moves, Uncategorized

sdddd

My angel of a friend and I embarked on a quick road trip to San Diego while spring breaking in Southern California.  We had been listening non-stop to Odesza leading up to our trip, in the hopes of making it to CRSSD Fest to catch their closing set.

In the car on the way there, while going over our options, we put on some Papadosio and collectively decided their show at the House of Blues was the move.

We enjoyed some pre-show sushi, cocktails, and laughs before heading to the venue.  I was the only one of our crew familiar with the band, but you would’ve never known that by the way everyone was boogying.  That night was a long strange trip.  It was as though the four of us who had never even met had always been friends.  To see the happiness on my friend’s face to be in the same place with people so special to her from such different parts of her like was an uplifting sight.

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It is always interesting to go to a show outside of your region.  I’m used to the southeast.  I know what kind of crowd I’m going to get and the sort of people I will meet.  San Diego was a much, much different Dosio crowd.  Normally it is pinheads, dreadheads and hippy chicks.  But here, right in front of me was seemingly put together drunk dudes from Illinos, talking like they knew jam bands but never head of Widespread Panic so pshh.  Then everyone else was just grunge with lip rings dangling from their face.  At the same time they probably looked at our little group, like what?

“All I knew” was the song that stood out to me the most.  Its riffs are and lyrics are so captivating and beautiful.  The song encompasses why I love Papadosio.  They are always spreading positivity, and this tune radiates that.

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The moment that I will never forget for all of my life though was when Codie looked at me and said “This song, do you know this song”.  Luckily I did so I said “Yes”.  She responded with “This song, remember it.  Keep it in your brain.  And whenever I ask about it tomorrow tell me what it is.”  It is “The Sum” and I got you anytime you ask for it.

I just want to end this post by saying “FLAME”.  That night was flame.  Shout out to Poppy the world’s slowest uber driver for taking us back to Normal Heights in a space ship.

sd

Same Rowdy Crowd is Back Again

Musical Moves

sssss

When the boys all the way from Athens, Georgia opened with Heroes, I knew this was not going to be a weekend run to miss.  I know they say “never miss a Sunday show”, but never miss a hometown show either.

There is few feelings like seeing your favorite band, in the same venue your dance recital was held for 15 years.  I think dancing is what sprouted my love of music.  I remember running around those halls in my tap shoes for years.  The Township is an extra special place for me, which makes seeing WSP up on that stage feel even more like home.

Night one standout moment had to be Diner > Porch > Bust it Big.   I mean that sequence was utter flame.

I could’ve done without a “Street Dogs” encore, but luckily that was followed by “It Stoned Me”  The boys rendition of the Van Morrison original never gets old.  It is the jam you just grab your buddies next to you and belt at the top of your lungs.

Speaking of “Street Dogs”, thanks to the red hot mama who looked at me in the midst of my complaining while exiting the auditorium and said “you get what you get, and you don’t pitch a fit”.  You keep me humble, and I thank you. (LOL)

Nothing like some late night Bar None cheese fries to end the night and remind you that you’re home in Columbia, The City of Dreams.

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Back at it again the next day for round two.  Valentine’s Day, Sunday show.  No question of if it was going to be a heater or not.  Drank a few too many $8 beers to remember my exact favorite moments, but we were Jimmy Side so my enthusiasm was through the roof.  With a first set containing Rebirtha, Shut up and Drive, and Airplane.  It was off to a good start in my book.

“Driving Song” sandwich never disappoints and a little “Sharon” action at the end brings nothing but smiles.

Every time I see these guys play, I love them, their message and their music more and more.  Township shows will always be some of my fondest memories

Missed out or simply want to relive it? Links to both nights are below:

 Sunday Show

Saturday Show

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Step into the Mothership

Musical Moves

Basslights, thank you for allowing me to cross another item off my bucket list. Everyone says Hampton is a special place, and it truly is. It’s so much different from a festival. It is like a gathering or convention for bassheads and plf from near and far. Its a place for everyone to come together and reflect on the year that they’ve had. Its the Christmas you spend with your music fam.  Everyone is together reflecting on their year together.  All those good moments they’ve shared, all for one last moment until the new year starts.

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Hampton Collesuim is so beautiful on its own.  The outside is just magnificent.  It comes alive at night, as it glows with an array of colors.  The floor is just massive.  Its that tight grimy crowd up front, and as it flows back, all the flow artists and hoopers congest the area.  As your up in the seats you can just see the entire crowd head banging and dancing in unison, as a single moving bass body.

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Lorin opened with Boombox, something that came out right when I was heavy into his music.  Just starting out the weekend hearing “there’s nothing in life that I can’t achieve” just boosted you up.  It was a good reminder.  Sometimes we bogged down in school, work, or personal issues and forget that our dreams can be more than dreams if we put in the effort to make them come true.  People see this music as womp womp, or lacking talent and musicality.  Regardless he’s putting a positive message out there that is tapping into the younger generation which is something they may not be hearing anywhere else.  He gives you house and lows.  Times to be still and times to head bang it out.

Being into this kind of music, is about being yourself.  Its about dressing how you want and being friends with who you want despite what others think of you.  Its about letting loose and letting go.

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It was great to end the first night with those damn Pretty Lights.  I was close to tears seeing Derek up there, happy and healthy.  He truly cared and truly put his soul into it.  When someone you look up to for their creative spirit and talent whose music has guided you through all kinds of times, struggle how he was is difficult.  With new music on the way and new found happiness, you’ll be seeing a lot of more of him this year.  The night two set he played was probably one of the best sets I’ve ever seen.  This night he put not just his soul but his heart into it.  When he played Hot like Sauce, I was overcome by all kinds of sorry.  I try live so closely by that opening verse, that I have it forever marked on my body as a daily reminder.

THANK YOU — to all the beautiful people I was gracious enough to share this experience with.  I will never forgot how I felt standing in that room surrounded by so many like minded people and so many awesome friends.

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Your Bobby is a Wonderland

Musical Moves

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I never really got the Grateful Dead.  It’s an obsession amongst many.  To love jam bands, I feel like you must (at the very least) appreciate the Grateful Dead.  They are the roots, or the fore fathers, I suppose.

During Billy and the Kids at Lockn, I finally “got” it.  I wanted to know all their music.  I watched and listened to sets, and I ached to see more of something, although it no longer exists in its original form.

And then comes Dead and Company.  John Mayer takes on the part of Jerry Garcia.  I can’t begin to imagine what it would feel like to play with the likes of Bob, Mickey, and Bill to start, let alone be asked to fill said role.

I love John Mayer.  I own every album, except Continuum.  I saw him live back in high school and most are unaware of what an incredible guitar player he really is.  Most were skeptical.  I was interested about how it would work, but I was all about it at the same time.

I wanted to go to the show with an open mind.  I didn’t watch the Madison Square Garden stream, or couch tour the prior dates.

I went to the Greensboro, NC show near the beginning of the tour.  Although there is still a vast amount of critics, if you look at it as something separate, and do not compare it to the Grateful Dead, to me it’s impossible not to love and enjoy.

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You can’t deny that Bill and Mickey have immeasurable chemistry.  Their setup is mind blowing.  There is nothing else out there like it.

The set list they brought was off the charts.  All i wanted was Scarlet Begonias anddddd I got it, plus much more.

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This show made me want to go back in time.  It was cool.  There was Dead Lot set up, a shakedown street.  People were selling beer, tie dyes, and certain other things.  If only I could have seen it at the full height of this counter culture they helped to build.

They are still so new and have a long way to go to fall into the groove, but I think they will get there.  I’m almost certain this won’t be the one and only Dead and Co. tour.  As much as deadheads like to talk shit about Mayer and Oteil, they are still going to the shows and will continue to.  Whatever amount of Dead they can still cling to and follow, they will.

 

Halloween went a little something like this…

Musical Moves

Wow, Hula.  That was unexpected.  I’m going to start off by saying festival wise: best fest ive been to, ever.  Yea there was some special people missing, and I’ve seen some of my all time favorite sets at other festivals, but damn Suwannee knows how to put on a festival.  With such a large increase in the number of attendees, I was worried about the organization of it all.

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We got in and set up in less than an hour.  Their “free for all” camping style makes it so easy to have all the space you want, as well as easy to link up with your people.  It was so magical to wake up every morning to the Spanish moss hanging over head and dew drenching the air.

hula campp

Festivals for me have become such a family affair.  I went with my Charleston peeps and of course my Columbia people were sprinkled all around.  It is such a communal thing to walk around and see so many familiar faces.  Through life you meet friends, through festivals you make family.

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I hate comparing, because I love to look at each moment as its own separate circle of time.  Hula was very close to Electric Forest venue wise, but more intimate, more spiritual, closer knit.  I can see it growing into that over the next few years.  Everyone will be saying “Hula Fam” and “going home to Suwannee”.  I think it largely has to do with the vibe String Cheese Incident creates through their festivals.  Even the set up was similar with the forest area up against spirit lake and the layout of the stages.  At times when I was getting lost in the music, I had to snap out it and be like “am I at forest or Hula??”  Was having flash backs of some damn good times.

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First night: Pretty Lights.  Derrick, thank you.  Wow blown away.  His set had mixed reviews amongst the attendees.  It was more down tempo than most expected, but it’s PL, that is how a lot of his stuff can be.  He also played a few unreleased tracks.  I gotta give it up for Lazer shark, you are a gawt damn magician.  You make “pretty lights” visually come to life.

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Cheese is cheese.  I’ve seen probably close to twenty SCI sets this festival season.  I never got it, until I saw them live.  They’re are sooooo versatile.  Which is why they get their own festivals and three sets a day, everyday.  They go from bluegrass, to heavy bass rock, to full blown jam band.  What a truly amazing thing to be a part of.  Cheese is family time.  That’s when everyone comes together in the middle of the day and boogies down.  Girls are hooping, friends are having cuddle puddles on tapestries.  Best vibes.

SCI Ghoal Train Halloween set.  The boys threw a massive funky, disco.  So much fun to hear all those 1970s throw back tunes.

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(not my photo, shout out Josh Timmerman)

Best set from Saturday hands down had to be Odesza.  Odesza has become as close to my heart as it gets.  Their music is special to me.  I almost don’t have words for that set.  It could not have been better.  Harrison and Clayton have such a killer set up.  The live element they bring into it takes electronic music to a whole new level.

Sunday was Grizday.  Griz threw down midday, but what’s new.  He is at the top of his game right now.  I can only hope he keeps climbing higher and higher.  With the addition of the live guitarist, if he did a full band tour in the next couple of years, he would sky rocket.  Best part of his set was when he dropped “Dancing in September”.  Pure joy radiated from everyone.

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Ended Sunday with Tauk, my boys.  I’ve “tauked” about them a million times on here, I know.  And it still remains the same.  Watch out.  These dudes are on the some up.  Once again, can’t take my eyes of Isaac.  If you haven’t learned how to Tauk about it, you better.

There is so much more I would say about it, but in essence, Hulaween, I will be back.  You revived my soul.  It was nothing but happiness.  Beautiful grounds, beautiful music, and even more beautiful people.  The art installations, to the live painters, to the rest of the incredible acts I didn’t even touch on.  Thank you to everyone who touched my heart that weekend.  New friends I made, and old ones I was reconnected with.  I have not a negative thing to say about it.  Not one.  Except Primus sucks 😉

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Want to relieve some of the action? Check out Tauk’s closing Sunday night set below

Tauk Hula 2015