Wakarusa: 2013 | Day 1 on Mulberry Mountain

Walkarusa. Mudarusa. Funarusa. There are lots of alternative names for Wakarusa here on Mulberry Mountain. Although most of them aren’t very clever we use the names anyway. So far, it’s been more Mudarusa than anything. But I’ve only been here a mere day, and I can’t wait to see what this weekend gives us!

My Thursday at Wakarusa started like this: Arrive; find a camping spot; set up tent in the pouring rain; dig an AWESOME trench around our tent in the pouring rain; try to direct our friends to our campsite; change out of sopping wet clothes. After we got set up, we tromped down to the stages…which were closed due to an impending storm. So we walked back to our campsite and waited for the rain to come. It never did.

By now it was about 6 pm and I had seen no music, but we did arrange a super well-draining campsite. (I’m so proud of our little moat!) We traveled to the stages again to find some music. We succeeded, but only mildly. The first band we caught was a bit of the Yonder Mountain String Band set. They tore up the stage and their incredibly dedicated fans had a great time dancing in the mud. Then my fiancé and I went to the Moon Taxi show. This is one of the bands I most wanted to see; I’d listened to some of their tracks when I was researching the bands coming here this year. They’re a very talented alternative rock kind of band (although I’m kind of terrible at categorizing bands), and their show was great. They played a dynamic set with strong musicianship – the transitions between songs were smooth and the rock sound they inhabit was strong but not grating. Unfortunately, the speakers were so loud that I had to stand outside the tent at the very back.

After Moon Taxi I listened to a bit of The Black Crowes – they were excellent. I liked them better than I thought I would, actually. They played a few classics, but based on the part of their set I heard the band played a nice mixture of popular and underground songs, and I also think I heard a cover as I was walking away. After that was ZOOGMA. Of all the electronic/live instrument bands I’ve seen, ZOOGMA puts on one of the best shows. Not only is their sound really solid, but their stage presence and light show is awesome. They have really well-planned shows and they mesh live instrumentation and electronic like a perfectly woven tapestry; ZOOGMA understands not only the technicalities of creating good music and their presentation is seamless.

Closing out my night was BoomBox. As usual, they played the most chill music ever. And somehow, Midnight on the Run seemed even more chilled out than usual. The crowd was dancing to every song and loving it. But as I watched BoomBox do their thing, I wished they were more active onstage. Their light show is wonderful and syncs with the music incredibly well, so I guess I can let that compensate for their lack of physical activity? But regardless of their stage presence, BoomBox’s music always hits my musical sweet tooth. Chill music for life!!!

Unfortunately, because of the massive amount of rain, I didn’t get a lot of photos for fear of ruining my camera. And I couldn’t get too close to the front of any stage, as the mud-gloop-slosh made it both unsteady and incredibly difficult. But today is looking good – there’s not a lot of rain in the forecast and the organizers of Wakarusa have been bringing in rocks and hay to help create fewer mud pits. I wonder if anybody wrestled in them last night…

Until tomorrow, have a happy day and go listen to some music somewhere!

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