Sonic Bloom grew to new heights in 2012, continuing to establish itself as Colorado’s bass central and selling around 3,500 tickets.
There was a lot of hauling gear and exploring to do on Thursday, but I made sure to check in periodically with the night’s entertainment at the Main Stage. Boulder homies DYNOHUNTER are really making their name known for themselves with a familiar sound, and another local, The Malah, are a talented group and were one of the few acts to bring substantial jamtronica vibes this weekend. I don’t know if I should be surprised the lineup preferred more bass-heavy like Future Simple Project, but clearly there was a little something for everyone. You could hear Bonobo’s uplifting set through the entire campgrounds and it put everyone in a great mood before it was time to click on the headlamp in search of tequila and rogue DJ sets, forest friends and pitch-black carne (probably the best way to learn, FYI).
It’s hard to avoid going hard until sunrise on the first day, so I was thankful that Sonic Bloom wasn’t too hasty in starting the day’s music until 3. And with only two (pretty mediocre) food stands available, there was little to tempt you away from your campsite unless it was to take a dip in the frigid and refreshing creek. I was more than happy to cook my own food and lounge around in a spider web of hammocks, with plenty of friends and time to recharge before another long night.
More Colorado locals kicked it off on the Main Stage with The Acidophiles starting up some bass chakra alignment (see what I did there?) and a very impressive turnout for an excellent set by Bedrockk. Then it was time to check out the dome for heavier fare from Coult45 and a fantastic and hypnotizing set from someone who has already won me over, Thriftworks.
Filastine was definitely worth the trip to the Main Stage, a pixie cellist standing in contrast with Frey Filastine’s shopping-cart vagabond style. A lengthy technical failure meant Karsh Kale and Janover pushed back the Main Stage times, and it was a blessing in disguise since it meant I could see more of their beautiful set after crossing back over to the Main Stage for an extended time. The first time I saw Eskmo was at Sonic Bloom in 2010 and I think “floored” is the proper word. To be honest, I had yet to be really blown away by his sets ever since, but even though he was “sick as a dog” he absolutely nailed it this time around. Talk about flashbacks…
Phadroid dialed down the intensity but maintained the heavy psychedelia before Papadosio played the token jamtronica set of the day. They both brought something unique and had the crowd going, but I felt like I was just biding my time before Ana Sia tore the roof off with a blistering set. I suppose there is no roof at an outdoor festival but you can’t deny she has an unwaivering ability to throw a fat dance party.
PANTyRAID was the high point of crunk entertainment, throwing down a few of my favorite, trippier deep cuts such as “Like This” tucked into a rambunctious set. But my favorite hours by far were after 3 a.m. Akara and Random Rab intimidating high for the quality of the after-hours entertainment. Everyone agreed Rab is not an act to miss (with one of my friends bluntly saying she will only go to a fest if Rab is playing a sunrise set).