One hour of sleep in a hammock is like getting four on the ground. It felt like I had just laid down before the sounds of clinking camp stoves and the Allman Brothers filled the air and it was time to wakey-wakey to some eggs and bake-y.
The only way to beat the aches and pains of yesterday were to rise up again and go for a walk around the grounds. I wanted to briefly check in with my homie Michael Garfield but stayed when I realized this was no ordinary set. He led a vow renewal ceremony for the Bonzani family, and all in attendance were witness to an epic moment of beauty and love. Bless the Bonzani’s, they rock.
I wasn’t stoked to leave the shade of the dome but Robotic Pirate Monkey actually did very well in helping to beat the afternoon heat, packing out the early Main Stage area with a few new tracks and just the right amount of crunk.
I remember seeing the Fungineers at Sonic Bloom in 2007 and being twisted as two puppets told nursery rhymes and beatboxed. It was interesting but didn’t go over very well. I am a total fan of the Fungineers now, I could not stop laughing as this purple llama Muppet dropped the bass and said things like “Everybody make a weird noise! Bokkabokka da bokka ba-bokk” hahaha.
Michal Menert and Paul Basic repped Pretty Lights Music and brought a ton of energy and signature production to the dome, though it should be said Paul Basic seemed a little too faded for his own good. GRiZ threw down a very impressive and buzzed-about set as well, and checking back with the dome during ill-esha and Prophet Massive was well worth it.
Saturday’s Main Stage headliners were the best of the weekend. After another impressive set from Brendan Angelides (this time as Welder instead of Eskmo) Zilla added a dose of live and kept the enlightened vibes high. Emancipator is always a welcome act in my mind and set a fantastically relaxing tone before things took a turn for the weird.
Tipper owned the weekend, of this there is little doubt. His set was the most adventurous by a thousand miles; Dave Tipper is never one to take the easy road, and his set was defined by pushing just how weird and wonky it could go. At its peak it almost seemed too weird to me, nearly overwhelming. But taking once glance around the crowd I realized they ate it up entirely. Bravo, Mr. Tipper.
Vibesquad had a tough act to follow, but I couldn’t understand why the crowd thinned out the way it did. I absolutely dig everything he’s done with Orphan Alien and the set sounded incredible. The poi crowd went nuts when “Shine” came on, and those who did stay were in for a treat. The energy he carried on stage (it was his birthday, after all!) was replenishing after such a long day.
Even though Heyoka seems totally uncomfortable speaking on a mic, he is totally in his element at Sonic Bloom and was a perfect way to whomp out the last bit of the night’s darkness.
Bird of Prey and Ooah’s significantly more impressive late-night set as Of Porcelain came in as a virtual tie with the previous night’s sets from Random Rab and Akara. There is a definite art to playing late-night sets. Blasting away too hard flusters the mind, but playing too gently won’t keep people awake. Ooah is at his best when he has full control over the sound board, and the soul of Sonic Bloom reveals its true self when the sunlight blossoms over the edge of the mountains.