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FESTIVALS // Wakarusa :: Day 2 :: Friday, June 1st, 2012


While the sun decided not to grace the sky with its presence early in the morning on day two, this makeshift town was still up and bustling with full force.  As the dirt begins to cake in and the sunburns eventually spread from shoulders to faces, the masses sit through the morning, eager to occupy their day with all of the wonderful music to come.  During the day, the crowd spreads a bit thinner when many  make their way down to the river or onto the water slide to cool down a bit while other wait patiently around their camps, waiting for the first big act of the day.

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For many that couldn’t last all night, the day began in the mid afternoon with Colorado’s own VibeSquaD on the Satellite Stage to get the party going.  This is when everything becomes a bit tricky… After picking up the energy a bit with March Forth Marching Band on the Main Stage, Wakarusa made everybody’s choice a bit more difficult.  With Rubblebucket, Royal Family Ball, Lyrics Born, and Devil Makes Three spread about the festival simultaneously, it was time to get a read on your group’s vibe and act accordingly, probably resulting in a lot of jumping around to appease as many people as possible.

The Motet continued to make Colorado proud as they packed another tent with dancers on the evening of day two, and Brooklyn-based Break Science kept the Colorado love going as they threw down in the name of Pretty Lights Music.  This is when Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros took the main stage, and while I was only able to make the end of their set, I got an interesting vibe from the crowd.  I was happy enough, showing up just in time to hear “Home” and a few other hits, but people around me seemed oddly confused.  While the end of the set seemed to come together nicely, it seems that something may have been a bit off about their show that evening, and I truly wish I had shown up early to see what the questioning looks around me were all about.

It was time for everybody to get their dancing shoes on.  Some worked their way over to Railroad Earth‘s second set to get a bit loosened up, but for me it was time to get ready for the Avett Brothers.  For any feel good bluegrass lovers out there, this was the place to be.  Filled with reminiscent dedications to Doc Watson, crowd pleasing singalongs, and so much energy that even the cellist was literally jumping up and down with his instrument (adding the perfect punk rock flair to this light folk set), the Avett Brothers put on a show that left every person with a smile on their face and a warm spot in their heart.  And then the dance party started.

Whether you headed off to Balkan Beat Box, Umphrey’s McGee, Girl Talk, or Tribal Seeds, you were going to be dancing your heart out, guaranteed.  I spent most of my time back and forth between Umphrey’s McGee who kept the energy raging in the Revival Tent and Balkan Beat Box who were among the most impressive acts at the festival.  Ori Kaplan (past member of Gogol Bordello) gets the crowd going with his live instrument/electronic blend that brings out a Middle Eastern groove that is absolutely impossible to take standing still.

As MiM0SA and Ghostland Observatory took the stage, the energy got bumped up to extreme when lasers and bass took over the neighboring stages.  Though I’ve seen better out of MiM0SA, I can’t expect him to always have the energy of some of his best shows I’ve seen.  Overall, these two tents kept everybody going as they braced for a long night of dancing.  Finally, the crowd moved over to the Satellite Stage for Love and Light, Michael Menert, and Clandestine to bring in the morning.  The crowd was looking a bit more haggard this time as they headed back to their camp, but there were still two more days of music and everybody needed to prepare for what was sure to be another full day.

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