Electric Forest: Friday 6.28.13

Double JJ Resort
Rothbury, MI

Words By J-man
Photos By Carly Marthis

After about ten hours of comfortable sleep, almost unheard of at most festivals, we awoke to a delightfully overcast day. Some iced coffee and a breakfast burrito was exactly what we needed to jump start our directional move towards heading into the venue. As Carly participated in yoga, I wandered around taking pictures and sending live updates of the festival grounds that had been well manicured following the previous night's mayhem. The forest was endlessly entertaining, even from a seated position of observation. As the hour passed I made my way back towards yoga at the Tripolee stage, making a quick stop to talk to Tim Carbone who was sound checking on the Ranch stage for his afternoon set with Railroad Earth. We made a quick trip back to our site to rinse off and hydrate before once again passing through the venue gates for RRWE. I almost always enjoy Railroad Earth in a festival setting. Their live energy translated so well among the beautiful Michigan trees. Incredible melodies wound tight with the lyrics of Todd Sheaffer and the backing of a world class band. As Railroad played on, we made our way to The Observatory stage for Kyle Hollingsworth's Brewfest. Part of the appeal of a festival like Electric Forest are the activities outside of the music. Kyle's Brewfest drew a decent crowd of folks who listened intently to the panel of brewers, before tasting a couple of sample pours.

As if our ten hours of sleep wasn't enough, we napped in an attempt to play catch up from our travels. The option of a nap was only made possible by the overcast sky and the casual breeze coming off of Lake Michigan. Back in Sherwood forest the evening's nonsense was already in progress and packed with folks looking for some visual stimulation. The production of the woods could not be overstated. As the clock approached 10:30 PM the masses began to shift towards the Ranch Arena stage for the festival's headliner, The String Cheese Incident. Fresh off of their tour opener at Telluride Bluegrass and the Sheridan Opera House, String Cheese kicked off their show with "Lets Go Outside." The first set had its fair share of missed cues, abrupt stops and cheesy song choices, as to be expected that early on in the tour. The "Joyful Sound" opened up to a "Bollymunster" that had the crowd moving before "Rosie" came into the picture to end the first set.

At setbreak, we made our way into the woods for Lotus side-project, Luke The Knife. Luke Miller commanded the attention of the spaced out crowd with tasteful laptop work and sampling. What appeared to be an unfortunate time slot up against SCI, turned out to be the perfect opportunity for Luke as the main set break option. The forest was packed and peaking with well done characters and impossible scenarios. Lights bounced from tree to tree, with each corner of our visual range being filled by flickering, flashing, or movement of some sort. The distant call of "Karl" came from youngsters who thought they were a part of a joke that in fact sailed years ago. Above and beyond all of the epicness of the forest, it will always be plagued with the foolish call of "Karl."

Back at the Ranch stage the second set began with fan favorite, "Ms. Brown's Teahouse." A couple of segways lead to a relatively uneventful "Drums" that resolved to an extended "Rollover." "Rivertrance" went into U2's "Mysterious Ways" for an awkward time before transitioning back into "Rivertrance" to close the second set. The band exited the stage and returned for "Freedom Jazz Song" into "Just One Story." The show wasn't particularly strong, but it was early in the tour and weekend. There was ample time to work out a few kinks and to cut loose.

Set One: Let's Go Outside, Song In My Head > Can't Stop Now, MLT > I Wish > On the Road, Joyful Sound > Bollymunster, Rosie

Set Two: Miss Brown's Teahouse, Best Feeling, Shantytown > Way Back Home > Drums > Rollover, Rivertrance > Mysterious Ways > Rivertrance

Encore: Freedom Jazz Dance > Just One Story

Around 2:30 AM we made our way past the vendors, through the festival gates and back to our corner of the campground. We sat in our chairs and observed all of the madness that was happening around us. Fireworks launched into the air, dubstep blasted in the distance at a campsite of kids who may not have left their camp for the duration of the weekend. Just down the way a girl yelled in an annoying fashion through a megaphone. It was at this point where I began to reflect on the age of those in attendance. For the first time in a long time, I felt like the "old man." At the intersection in front of our camp a young man stopped random passing individuals to seek a solution to the most precarious of problems. By some odd luck he had managed to lose his cell phone, his shoes, his friends and the ability to locate his campsite. I scratch my head in disbelief while climbing into the tent. The chaos continued as we slipped into slumber.

Carly's Photo Gallery



Popular posts from this blog

Buckethead: Gimmick or Guitar God?

Billy Strings 4.18.19

Livetronica Sampler 3.22.11

Joe Russo's Almost Dead 6.1.24

PREVIEW: Yarmony Music Festival 6.28 - 6.29.24