Tue, 07/24/2018 - 2:05 pm

Policulture, a Boulder based band, combines conscious lyrics, horns and roots rhythm into an authentic group best described as original mountain reggae music. No doubt that their environment growing up has not only affected their sound, but transcended them into a modern, mindful and inspiring collective.

Formed in 2010, deriving from the grounds of CU Boulder, Policulture now consists of Matt Niederhauser (lead vocals, guitar, melodica), Kyle Jerome (saxophone, vocals, percussion), Christopher Ball (bass guitar, vocals), Casey Theriot (drums), Nick Sumner (keyboards) and Thom Holum (trombone).

Niederhauser and Sumner were both raised in Hawaii and brought a great deal of those deeper reggae roots from one of the reggae capitols of the world to the mainland. Their background helped to dig those roots even deeper for Policulture.
Policulture

Sumner explained, “In terms of calling ourselves mountain reggae though, I think it's more of our collection of backgrounds with reggae we love combined with us living in Colorado. We are influenced by the music popular out here but more importantly the vibe living out here. There's definitely something to be said about the lifestyle living in the mountains.”

Ball talked about how taking time to go out by the river and be outside to breath everything in around them, including the people, really encapsulates their inspiration as both individuals and as a band.

Ball continued, “The excitement over reggae music and being in Colorado is really what helped us dive into this music and become so passionate about it all. We are so influenced by our environment that we make our music in and I think that’s really made Policulture the way it is. The outdoors, nature and beautiful surroundings of Colorado really shows in our music and lyrics. That mountain reggae vibe.”

Ball also took the time to talk about why their sound was perceived as more modern. Although Policulture is based from those old Jamaican or Hawaiian fundamental roots, their sound has developed into new age contemporary music coming from influences of American music, including the East Coast, as well as New Zealand, Germany and South America.
Policulture

Policulture also stressed that this new age feel comes from all the new technologies that are intertwined to modern music, such as the synthesizers and different effects that Policulture completely integrates into their tunes.

Mountains to Cross is Policulture’s newest creation. This is their second full length album and it was recorded in Rochester, NY at Black Dog Studio. Their supporting producer and part-owner of the studio is Matthew Goodwin of Riot City Sounds.

“We wanted to get away from our every-day lives and really take the time to focus on creating and recording the best music we possibly could. We had a lot of the songs written out but we also didn’t want to eliminate any kind of creativity that could happen in the studio,” Ball explained.

Policulture has a good deal of their favorite music stemming from Upstate New York where they find a lot of their favorite bands and influencers such as Giant Panda Guerilla Squad and Easy Star All Stars. Members of these bands also have guest appearances on Mountains to Cross.
 
Policulture on tour this summer

Matt Goodwin, producer of Mountains to Cross, was described by Policulture as being one of the best things that could have happened to them. Coming from an admirable background of reggae music, Goodwin encouraged the most creativity and invested some serious studio time into the band. Policulture took ahold of this opportunity and spent ten days in the studio from roughly noon to 4 am.

“A lot of the songs on the new album are about overcoming hard ships on any platform… where the world is today, beliefs, or our relationships. If there is one word the album is about it is perseverance. The mountains that are inevitable in all of our lives,” Ball said.

When asked about how this material was different from previous recordings Ball talked about how much better musicians they were at this point. From taking lessons, getting better at their own craft, and adding guest artists, Policuture aspires to have people invested in their musical craft more than anything.

“It’s a total democracy in our band, it makes everyone have really unique ideas with everyone chiming in. It makes us very hypercritical about things also. Reggae music being so refined also, with very important lyrics, it allows us to try out a bunch of different ways and challenge each other. All six of us," he elaborated.
 
Policulture

Policulture explained some of the challenges that they faced during their writing and recording period. The pre-producing stage was somewhat difficult to them as a group, not having much experience with at home recording. The band stressed that this whole learning process really helped them to grow and discover the process together.

Ball continued, “Once we got to the studio that was the easy part. All of us sang on the album. The back-ups are epic, and we all contributed to new ideas, lyrics and melodies. Matt was so open to our creativity also, so everything just blossomed during the recording process.”

Policulture’s group was described as resilient throughout the whole process and took on the challenges with positivity and passion. Ball gave a shout to Jerome for taking a main lead in the exquisite vocals that were produced and helping the band with booking their album release tour.

He also stressed that from this new album they have more concentrated and focused practice sessions, “We no longer run through five songs really quickly and then chat about what we want to fix. We will go through two songs specifically and really ask what we liked and didn’t like about what we played. Focused writing and playing is now a huge part of our routine. The time and effort is there.”
 
Policulture

Interestingly enough, Mountains to Cross is not a track on the album but a lyric of a brand-new song on the new release. Their leading track on the new album is called, “What is Right,” and was described as an up-beat, danceable song that frames the vibe of the new album perfectly in terms of melodies and composition.

One of the coolest aspects of Mountains to Cross is the sustainable Kickstarter album campaign associated with the new album.  Raising more than their goal of $10,000, Policulture promised to make their campaign as environmentally conscious as possible.

Talking more on the campaign, Ball explained “As a band, we wanted to make a positive influence any way that we could. Obviously, we need money to do things such as record an album, so we definitely wanted to give back what people were generous enough to give us. Also, being a band is a really great way to do that… It’s our main goal as musicians, to change the world in a positive way.”

This includes eco-friendly merchandise including shirts made of plastic bottles, compostable keychains, reusable cups. Also, each reward came with a member of Policulture returning a volunteer action such as picking up trash, homeless care kits and planting trees. This method completely tied into Policulture’s roots, meaning and overall essence as a band.

Ball dove into what a pre-show ritual looks like for them, “We always want to take the time to talk about a lot of the things we want to go right. Our intro, eye contact, the cover songs, speed of songs and the breaks in between songs and our transitions are our main focus.”

Policulture’s album release show is on July 28th at their hometown venue, The Fox Theatre. The band often reminisces on going to their first reggae show there together their freshman year at CU Boulder and truly wishing to be at that level. Since then, Policulture have headlined numerous times at The Fox and developed quite a fan base.
Policulture's album release party in Boulder @ The Fox Theatre

Holum added his thoughts on their Fox Theatre show, “It is so amazing to have the opportunity to release this music to so many friends and family.  Boulder, and especially the Fox, have had such a profound influence on our growth and development as musicians and individuals, and we literally could not imagine a better place for the release.  It is a powerful experience looking out from the stage and seeing hundreds of people that you love, and know love you.”

Policulture is going to be playing their new album in its entirety but will also be scattering in their classic tunes. They will go on right around 11:00 p.m. following their supporting bands and friends Elegant Plums and Dub Haiku. Guest appearances during Policulture are to be expected and anticipated.

Ball concluded with excitement about the album release show, “To be able to release an album there that we believe is our best material yet is so amazing. Also, to be able to do it with our family members and friends there and being supported by two bands we have known for a really-long time is going to be great. We have been working with the sound engineer and light designer at the fox also for the best production possible for everyone involved.”

Catch Policulture flourishing throughout their album release tour in the Pacific Northwest at the dates listed below; supporting monumental artist such as Soja and Satsang in the process.  

Fri, 08/17/2018 - 3:20 pm

Arise Music Festival’s eighth year was nothing short of passionate, creative and completely unified. There was no service on Sunrise Ranch, but a way deeper connection was found throughout attendees.

The fields began filling early Friday morning with a line of anticipated festival goers waiting to Arise to their fullest potential not only as music fans, but to thrive as a collective throughout the grounds.

The opening ceremony began and the cohesive chanting and drumming strode down through vendor row. Making a brief stop right before entering the concert bowl, the leader of the pact surrounded by a circle of attendees spoke and established tradition, connectivity and offering throughout the land.

Arise Music Festival | photo by Conrad Meyer

Touching briefly on Brazilian tradition and producing a unified chant, people began to feel the power of harmony that Arise brought to the table. The group making their way down to the concert bowl in front of the main stage formed a bigger circle enclosing white goddesses that began their synchronized routine to the organic sound of string, flute and percussion.

Offering water to the sky and conducting a prayer to the land, Arise Music Festival couldn’t have begun on a more integrated front.

After the opening ceremony, Dustin Thomas kicked off music with his soul folk and cognizant lyrics preaching and spreading love to perfectly ignite Arise.

Dustin Thomas | Arise Music Festival

Shook Twins took us throughout the afternoon with their indie folk tunes and even shouted out the CBD that had them feeling nice during their performance. Doing their little jig around the stage and pronouncing their female vocals throughout the ground provided for a very uplifting first set from the Shook Twins.

Leading into the evening on the first official day of the festival, Pepper got the crowd feeling rowdy and ready for the night. Performing classics, “Stormtropper,” “Rent” and “No Control,” everyone was feeling the groove and having a blast. Multiple times Pepper shouted out Slightly Stoopid and how amazing it was being on tour with them.

Nestled between Pepper, Stick Figure and Slightly Stoopid, The Jauntee played two sets in the Salt Stage placed directly next to the main stage.

Stick Figure and Pepper

The Jauntee has hit a couple of smaller festivals this summer but described Arise as being the biggest thus far for them. It being their first Arise they explained how although bigger, it was just as tight knit as the previous festivals they have hit this summer.

Jauntee is located in Boulder and have hit numerous shows throughout the country this summer. They took the time to explain that playing in Colorado and at Arise Music Festival there are more people who are willing to come explore new music; especially the kind that they master which tends to be very improvisational, mastering the art of feeding off from each other musically.

Tyler Adams, keyboardist, commented, “We always try to play for the crowd. Like here at Arise, we definitely will try to go groovier or dance infused, especially at our late-night sets. We stay within our sound but it is easy to feed off the crowd’s energy here.”

ARISE Music Festival  | photo by Conrad Meyer

The Juantee began their performance with “Astral Turtle Dance,” leading into a “When the Love is”> “Space Monkeys” to completely accelerate the crowd nestled in the tent. Ending with an extended “Have You Ever” to trance the crowd.

The Jauntee has a brand new live album premiering September 14th titled, “Always Never Knowing.” There will be presale packages that vary in price that include merchandise, video download, audio download and hard copies of the new album, recorded completely live in the studio. They will celebrate the premiere of the album officially at the Brooklyn Bowl with Leftover Salmon on September 13th, followed by more tour dates.

Stick Figure is also on tour with Slighty Stoopid and Pepper and they all enjoyed hopping on stage with each other throughout the night. Stick Figure played their fan favorite “Fire on The Horizon”> into “Above the Storm.” They also rocked out with Kyle McDonald from Slighty Stoopid performing “Choice is Yours,” and ending with “Smoking Love” to leave the crowd feeling right.

Slighty Stoopid | Arise Music Festival

Immediately after The Jauntee’s second set Slightly Stoopid began as the first official headliner of Arise. To say the crowd was excited and feeling good was an understatement. Doobies ready and dancing shoes on, Slighty Stoopid did what they do best.

Their performance consisted of many classics and Grateful Dead cover, “Franklin’s Tower” followed by Tom Petty cover, “You Don’t Know How It Feels,” later in the set.

Meanwhile during Slightly Stoopid, Zak Hoya Aka Plantrae, took over the Green Tea stage with his earthy beats featuring the viola. Mixing so adequately and seamlessly electronic music and live instrumentation its needless to say he stole the crowd’s affection.

Plantrae | photo by Sam Silkworth

His classical background playing the viola and violin is evident with his proficiency onstage. Zak talked about how every festival he plays is unique and the experience sticks with him. He was headed to Idaho to play with Beats Antique shortly after his set but he expressed he was excited to explore the grounds of Sunrise Ranch.

Zak continued to explain, “Festivals are usually a way higher energy with more people. People are more committed to sets at festivals and super into it. You generally get this wild night time energy and its outside so everything is really open, I for sure felt that at my set tonight.”

Zak incorporated a lot of songs from his new album, “Seeing in the Dark,” to his Friday night set at Arise. He explained that he really enjoyed incorporating the fresh album into his festivals sets and the process has been smooth. His album is available for download on all platforms.

Ott | photo by Sam Silkworth

Ott was one of the most anticipated performances of the weekend and he did not disappoint. The crowd was more than feeling his hallucinogen tracks. The set was heavy and way too easy to dance to.

Whether you stayed at Ott or ventured to another stage, incredible music was still happening throughout the grounds. Start Making Sense: A Talking Heads Tribute and The Wooks provided alternate experiences for attendee’s enjoyment.

The Wooks came from Whimmydiddle Country, John Hartford, and Festival of Bluegrass to their first Arise Music Festival. Winning numerous bluegrass awards, and finishing in the finals in the Telluride Bluegrass competition, The Wooks are way up in the bluegrass front.

ARISE Music Festival | photo by Conrad Meyer

When describing Arise they compared it to the some of the previous festivals they have played thus far. Arthur Hancock, lead guitar, briefly commented, “Arise is much more collective then a standard bluegrass festival. So, it’s cool to be a bluegrass band at a festival that is much broader on the spectrum of genres. Like here it seems genres don’t really matter as much, it’s just all about music.”

The Wooks continued to explain that they love the festival scene because that is where a lot of them really got into music and began their roots. They described the outdoor scenery of Arise as being very inspirational to them and they love how people who have never seen them before have the opportunity to check them out more at festivals.

The band made a point to say that these kinds of transformational events such as Arise don’t happen as much where they are from in Kentucky and they were very happy to be a part of the sustainable culture surrounding them.

ARISE Music Festival | photo by Sam Silkworth

The Wooks closed out Friday night at the Starwater Stage premiering two songs, “Halechewa” and “Little Sandy Queen” off their upcoming album. Roddy Puckett, bass guitar, explained his love for Jerry Garcia and because of his birthday that week they paid tribute by covering “Franklin's Tower” late Friday night.

The Wooks will have new music out that was recorded in Kentucky (for the first time), very soon so be expecting a presale date.

Saturday brought the heat, and the storm. Kicking off music on Saturday was Tubby Love and Amber Lilly who got about half of their set in before the hail came. They did perform a majestic “Road to Zion” cover before getting cut short.

ARISE Music Festival | photo by Conrad Meyer

Minutes after an MC coming on stage to announce the storm brewing and an emergency state the winds initiated. Not phased at all, attendees held on to their tents and took cover. Roars and encouraging shouts rang throughout the grounds as high speed winds, rain and hail bombarded down.

Not more than an hour after all was back to normal and music began. It was evident that everyone confidently and happily braved the storm and got right back to what mattered, the transformational and musical event of the summer.

Dubskin, Colorado natives, brought the reggae tunes to the Green Tea stage setting the vibes for the rest of the day. Followed by Dragondeer and ProbCause, amazing music was ringing throughout Sunrise Ranch.

Arise Music Festival

Living Legends was one of the more diverse acts on the lineup bringing raw hip-hop to the main stage of Arise. Personal connections on high levels were made throughout this performance as the collective performed and earned the respect of the mass crowd in front of them.

The Dustbowl Revival, an 8-piece roots, funk, American soul orchestra performed their very first Arise coming in strong from a show at Cervantes and Strings Fest. They described themselves as being old-school but ever evolving in style, explaining that they don’t ever want to pigeon hole themselves to playing one kind of music.

Their set on Saturday night on the StarWater Stage featured multiple covers by The Band including “Don’t Do It,” “Rag Mama Rag,” and “The Weight.” They also played some funkier tunes to get the crowd moving titled “Call My Name,” and “Honey I Love You.”

Loveland, Colorado | photo by Sam Silkworth

Sitting down with Zach and Liz from The Dustbowl Revival, both sharing lead vocals and slaying the ukulele and guitar, they expressed their love for Arise and how they were feeling all the maxed out “heavy vibes” floating around the festival. Hailing from a craigslist’s ad and coming together from all over the country, the group’s unique story and amazing talent is one to not miss.

Zach explained, “The songs that we play with such a diverse instrumentation, we have the ability to kind of shape shift into different ways of playing. I think that within the last couple of years we have really found our sweet spot and our own sound.”

He continued to describe that even though the group knows how to jam, it is really about the lyrics and the storytelling that is involved with song writing. Liz joined in and said as hard as it can be collaborating with an eight piece that comes from all different backgrounds, the end results are beyond marvelous intertwining sounds. The conversation couldn’t have tied in more with the theme and essence of Arise Music Festival.

Arise Music Festival | photo by Conrad Meyer

Catch them developing and testing out their new music, and slaying the classics on a nationwide tour over the next couple of months; also head to their website for updates and video previews of some new material.

Meanwhile during The Dustbowl Revival, CharlestheFirst, was a heavily electronic option, contrary to the roots music also happening. CharlestheFirst was mind-blowing and a great choice to go check out also.

Thievery Corporation was the headliner on the Eagle Stage on Saturday night, throwing down at their first appearance at Arise. Sitting down with Rob Garza, he talked about the organic sound of that derives from the electronic feel of their collective, and how for their set there was over 10 contributing artists.

Thievery Corporation | photo by Sam Silkworth

Garza spoke at Arise about the origins of their worldly sound, “Thievery Corporation has always been inspired by our record collections. When me and Eric met, we had a bunch of old jazz records, music from India, Jamaica, Brazil. Over the course of doing this for 23 years now we’ve had a chance to travel to most corners of the globe.”

He gave a shout out to the life that music has given him and enabled him to travel different parts of the world to give back. Garza has even started his own form of mezcal, which tequila is derived from, made from wild agave matured in nature rather than barrels, titled “Papa Diablo.”

When asked about the disco and house element that can be found in tracks of Thievery Corporation, Garza shouted out corners of the world such as Turkey and Persia where the disco elements really spoke to them.

Arise Music Festival

Thievery slayed the headlining spot and played a fan favorite, “Labanese Blonde” for an ultimate get down. The collective also performed “Facing East” and “The Heart’s A Lonely Hunter” to get the crowd involved in mind, body and spirit.

Garza communicated how he thought the Arise programming was unique with all the different lifestyle elements, forming a dynamic element to the festival.

Opiuo was a dynamic finish for the main stage that night, going above and beyond electronic dance music. His tracks included “Jelly,” “Sneakers,” and even remixed Pretty Lights, “Done Wrong” and Griz’s “PS GFY.”

Opiuo | photo by Sam Silkworth

For a classic end to the evening, many attendees headed over to Dead Floyd or Con Brio; both projecting psychedelic soul sounds to end a wonderful Saturday night of music at Arise.

Sunday morning tunes began a little later to give the third and fourth day attendees some time to soak up the sun and get some rest preparing for another music-filled day.

Intuit, a combination of numerous genres including reggae, blues, folk and funk, began their performance mid-day. Music destined to “bring us out of our heads and into our hearts,” flooded the concert bowl from this instrumental five piece.

Arise Music Festival | photo by Sam Silkworth

Intentions of love and worldly consciousness was evident throughout the afternoon as Tierro with Bridget Law from Elephant Revival followed Intuit on the main stage.

Tierro was derived from Arabian and Latin scales and was founded by Arise Music Festival producer Tierro Lee who has been generating instrumental music for over 20 years.

Chloe Watkins (Intuit) and Bridget Law were present more than musically throughout Arise. Both are women activists that share the love of music to help change the world. They are helping to produce and play at the tenth annual Sister Winds Festival, located near Fort Collins.

Arise Music Festival | photo by Sam Silkworth

Sister Winds Festivals will be held at the Mishawaka Amphitheatre on August 26th and is created to help celebrate women in music. Providing workshops to encourage healthy relationships and lifestyles with the surrounding people and the earth. This year is headlined by Ayla Nereo, Nina Storey, and Bonnie & Bridget from Elephant Revival.

Everybody was anticipating Kitchen Dweller’s set on Sunday, especially with the sun shining and one of the longest time slots on the bill. To say the crowd was hyped to stomp their foot to some bluegrass mid-day Sunday would be an understatement.

Their set included “Maud Only Knows” and “Up on the Hill Where They Do The Boogie” featuring Vince Herman from Leftover Salmon which the band described as being a very memorable experience. They also expressed how they owe a lot of who they are as a collective to Leftover Salmon.

Vince Herman with The Kitchen Dwellers | photo by Sam Silkworth

They continued their set with a lengthy “Visions of More” with a short Keller Williams' “Freeker by the Speaker” tease and ended with “Mountain” with an entrancing reggae outro.

After their set The Dwellers talked about how Colorado was one of their favorite places to play and how excited they were to be at Arise. The group elaborated on how the conscious and connected environment made it fun to participate in the festivities.

They are hitting the east coast hard in the next couples of months and they also announced that they have an upcoming tour with Pigeons Playing Ping Pong hitting Texas, Arizona and California.

The Kitchen Dwellers | photo by Sam Silkworth

Gasoline Lollipops, Tubby Love & Amber Lily and Bass Pyshics whirled attendees through the rest of the afternoon till Arise natives, Quixotic took over the mainstage.

Quixotic has been around performing at Arise since the very first year. The collective derives from Kansas City, and the origin of the name stands for organized chaos, or an unrealistic or exceedingly idealistic dream, which the group commented as being the perfect description for them.

Booming corporately and internally from a local TedX talk, the band attributes where they are today from that performance.

Quixotic | photo by Sam Silkworth

“We are beyond excited to be here [at Arise]; we have been prepping, rehearsing and we are just so enthusiastic to be here. We love this outdoor, beautiful venue and we are digging all of the stages and set ups.”

Quixotic came out hot, literally, with a ton of fire, aerial and specialty apparatuses that no one else has or have ever seen before. Performing both a DJ set and a live performance, it featured a London based trumpet player along with a violist, vocals and an electric harp.

Don’t forget the specialty projections and laser show, the live band left the crowd astonished from talent on Sunday night. Quixotic also hosted a yoga sanctuary on the grounds over the weekend.

Quixotic | photo by Sam Silkworth

During Quixotic, Roots of Creations Grateful Dub was performing in the Starwater Stage, an initimate tent located at vendor row. Mixing Grateful Dead and reggae beats they performed classics, “Sugaree,” “Ripple,” and “Fire on The Mountain.”

Before Trevor Hall took stage, a “Moment of Unity,” occurred on the main stage. Bringing out all the Arise staff and production team, the crowd and festival was blessed; wishing attendees a good health and a good life from elders of the land.

As quoted from the speaker of the land, “We are moving into a new reality and a new planet earth, that we are creating together. This spark of the universe is becoming conscious in us. Thank you.”

Arise Music Festival | photo by Sam Silkworth

After the crowd took in the words spoken on stage, Trevor Hall was introduced as a leader to guide us to better ways, and began his performance. The crowd was feeling the love and togetherness from the weekend creating an incredible aura throughout the grounds. Trevor performed “Lime Tree” and “Uncle Joe” to swoon attendee on the last evening of Arise.

Dumpstaphunk floored the Green Tea Stage with their funk and jazz gritty groove to keep the people dancing. Close by, Eminence Ensemble finished the StarWater Tent beginning with a strong “Hacer”> “Right Ahead”> “Techno Pho.” They finished up their set and closed out the tent for the festival with a Grateful Dead cover, “Friend of the Devil,” into “Here’s Your Shine.”

An abundance of workshops were available for Arise attendees that were run by teachers, shamans, artists, visionaries, yoga instructors and activists. Just as much as Arise is a music festival, it is a place for learning, healing and yoga.

Arise Music Festival | photo by Sam Silkworth

The yoga workshops were held at the top of GA camping at the yoga sanctuary and focused on practices such as Yoga Fundamentals, Bhakti Flow, Aromatic VinYin, Creative Contemplative Movement, Atha Vinyasa, Poetic Flow and Slow Flow practices. Everyone was welcome from any skill level and often these movements had a fun twist to the practice.

Other workshops often were highly awakening and activism based. These workshops stressed open conversation and breaking out of society standards. Often, they gave tips and different ways to break out of society standards sometimes politically or often personally.

The teachers provided ways to help attendees set goals, strive towards your better self and gave supportive life counsels. The workshops often focused on being your best self and the future of society pertaining to environment and political factors. The encouragement to share your voice and stand up for what is right was evident throughout all the lessons.

Arise Music Festival | photo by Sam Silkworth

The Songwriters in the Round workshops featured artists that were on the lineup that participated in an open-discussion based panels speaking and playing from their hearts. These intimate dialogue sessions featured different artists such as Ayla Nereo, Mike MacDonald, Brett Wilson, Amber Lilly, Ethan Tucker, and Chloe Watkins.

Walking throughout the grounds of Sunrise Ranch, this “Leave No Trace,” standard was held to an impeccable degree. Every corner and throughout most fencing areas there were reminders to recycle and rethink. Although these reminders were consistent and vast throughout the festivals, the looks of the grounds showed that attendees had no plans or interest on spoiling the land surrounding them for the weekend.

The different forms of art throughout the site was equal to as consistent as the recycling reminders and compost bins around. The main art hub was a centerpiece for Arise featuring numerous gifted artists showcasing their work as well as live painting. Right behind the Green Tea Stage and a couple minute walk from the Eagle Stage, the large tent comprising a maze of immaculate ability shined its light on many people.

What a weekend! | photo by Conrad Meyer

Some artists that were featured throughout the art dome were Adrianne Arachne, Wonder Harvest, Jilana McIntyre, Elizabeth Banker, Michelle Anderst, Mpek, Ian Spencer and Chris Surposa. These visionary artists ranged from intricate line drawing, engraved skateboard art, oil painting and colored pencil work to graffiti painting.

There was also a showcase of glass work that highlighted art from Zach Stubbs, Steven Tillman, Steve Cisneros and Green Bean Glass. These ranged from elaborate pipes and smoking rigs, to pendants and jellyfish inspired glass pieces. Creating a platform for a different physical form of art to be showcased was a great move for Arise.

Tsunami Publicity provided the outlets for artists to share their upcoming work and future projects, constructing organized and informative press conferences. This allowed for open conversation between artists and media channels to create the best coverage of this amazing event.

see you next year @ Sunrise Ranch | photo by Sam Silkworth

Paul Bassis, founder and producer of Arise Music Festival, was right when he emphasized that most of us come to Arise already awake. But, what does one do after awakening? Arise. It’s about what we do after we leave this conscious, musically-bound event, that really conveys the message of the festival.

Mon, 02/04/2019 - 4:42 pm

The two rising collectives, The Kitchen Dwellers and Magic Beans, have set off on their first national tour together as “The Kitchen Beans,” and have been throughout the country. The Magic Beans and Kitchen Dwellers have had an escalating friendship for around ten years, playing numerous shows together and shining with their collaborative efforts.

Starting off in a 250-capacity venue in Telluride, Colorado and making their way throughout different ends of the country, The Kitchen Dwellers and Magic Beans landed in Columbus, OH over the weekend for an intimate, high-energy show at the Woodlands Tavern.

Max Davies | Kitchen Dwellers

Max Davies, guitarist, and vocals, talked about touring with the Magic Beans and their longstanding friendship. “Everything is just flowing really well. It’s nice to work with people that you have known for so long and are really comfortable with. We’ve been collaborating every night, learning new covers and learning how to play each other’s songs. We’re all really stoked about it,” he said.

Davies also explained how mixing The Magic Beans funk and jamtronica style with their untraditional bluegrass has been great for producing an eclectic improvisational vibe on tour. He mentioned a highlight of their tour being a full night of “The Band” covers.

You can preview a Kitchen Dwellers’ Reheated, Vol. 1, featuring “The Band” covers here:

 

Davies continued to talk about how impactful and inspiring it’s been seeing their musical peers all reach new goals and rise together in the music scene. The Kitchen Dwellers just announced their first Red Rocks Amphitheatre show with Twiddle and Pigeons Playing Ping Pong set to take place on May 2nd in Morrison, Colorado. The Magic Beans are playing Red Rocks just five days before on April 27th in support of Lotus.

Scott Hatchey | The Magic Beans

Scott Hachey, guitar and vocals for the Magic Beans, commented on how being on the road with The Kitchen Dwellers has been so impactful, ”This tour has been a long time coming. It’s like bringing your family on the road if your family is a bunch of 20 something musical savages. There’s been a lot of good times, hard work, and great music.”

The Kitchen Dwellers opened up the night at the Woodlands Tavern in Columbus, Ohio. The venue had a rustic vibe, with tavern-style wood embellishments, and a full house surrounding the bar on the preceding wall of the concert area. Inside the intimate venue, the Dwellers opened with, “Paul and Silas > Old Dangerfield” giving the crowd the initial energy to spin, twirl and sway from the quick, staccato-style bluegrass.

The Kitchen Dwellers | Columbus, OH

As the crowd gained more energy and the radiantly luminous lights filled up the 150-capacity space, The Kitchen Dwellers returned the pizzazz and hit the crowd with a classic, “Ghost In The Bottle” with an epic “Three Weeks” jam.  

As the set came near the end, The Kitchen Dwellers covered Hunter/Garcia's “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo.“  By now, the tavern’s guests have all done the bluegrass “stomp and spin” and sang along with set the Kitchen Dwellers, as they swing into their last two songs, “Foundation” and “Don’t Do It.”

Chris Duffy | Magic Beans

Magic Beans came out hot in their set getting the crowd to yell along with the “Adonde” opener, completely accelerating the energy in the room. Their smooth transitions and groovy inner-workings laid down the funk as they played “As You Like It,” into a sensual, synth and bass-driven, “Dr. Bubbleman.”  

Casey Russell, keys and vocals, led the collective into the second half of the set with an upbeat and jivey “Luck,” into an “Inventor” closer. The Magic Beans fast-paced energy is always complemented by their quality collaboration and synchronicity efforts. They specialize at surging solos that build up to a stimulating euphoria, completely in unison.

Casey Russell | Woodlands Tavern

The “Kitchen Beans” came together for a closing set covering Doc Watson’s “Columbus Stockade Blues,” and Brandi Carlile’s, “Dying Day,” fully encapsulating the crowd’s attention for the grand finale.

Kitchen Dwellers | Woodlands Tavern

The two bands are heading back West to Colorado where they will end the tour at the Magic Beans, “Snowstalk” event that complements their summer festival, “The Beanstalk” in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

Full Set Lists:

Kitchen Dwellers:

Paul and Silas >
Old Dangerfield
Auggie >
I’m On Fire
Ghost In The Bottle (1)
Broken Cage >
Five Candles (2)(3) >
Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo
Foundation (4)
Don’t Do It

(1) w/ Three Weeks jam
(2) San Jose tease
(3) First Tube jam
(4) 2x2 teases

Magic Beans:

Adonde

As You Like It >

Dr. Bubbleman >

Hip to Be Square

808 jam > GefilteFunk

Luck

Inventor

Sat, 06/08/2019 - 1:02 pm

Michael Franti & Spearhead made their mark this week in Denver as their team curated two events, both downtown Denver and headlining Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre, genuinely capturing the hearts and essence of the Denver community.

Michael Franti & Spearhead's Stay Human tour

Franti has been coming to Denver to play music for over two decades, this time around at the Civic Center, he gifted the public with a Red Rocks pre-party, featuring a free outdoor screening of his film, Stay Human, a full-length documentary featuring songs from their newest album. This gathering also included yoga, food, games and a dedicated section of the space titled, “Activism Row,” for attendees to participate and educate themselves on associated non-profits and current issues that Franti stands for. This event was the perfect leeway into a momentous night for the “Stay Human Tour” with Michael Franti & Spearhead at Red Rocks, with support from Snarky Puppy.

Red Rocks Amphitheatre | Morrison, CO

Like a usual night at Red Rocks, attendees began the party in the lots surrounding the park and amphitheater. The crowd was amped pre-show, sharing stories of the long history of music from Michael Franti & Spearhead, the immense talent that was about to perform on-stage, as well as the length of travel they took to be a part of this spectacular night. It was clear that this night at Red Rocks would be a family affair.

Victoria Canal | Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Victoria Canal opened up the night with powerful vocals that ricocheted throughout the amphitheater, and into the stairs, as attendees made their way up to their seats. Her powerful skill-set was shown through melodic lines giving an R&B feel throughout transitions.  

Victoria Canal | Morrison, CO

Snarky Puppy, a worldly and legendary collective excelling in jazz, funk, and soul music, shifted the crowds attended as all focused in to witness these multiple Grammy-winning artists.

Snarky Puppy | Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Snarky Puppy played all songs but one from their newest album, Immigrance, beginning with extended horns and rhythm swooning the crowd as it transcended into “Coven” > “Bigly Strictness.” 

Snarky Puppy | Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Snarky Puppy’s performance was full of individual solos, accenting each other’s talent with layered levels of musical support. Bobby Sparks, keyboardist, enhanced the crowd with incredible synths, supporting by short staccato beats that turned the collective into a groovy, dynamic jamtronica. They continued through Immigrance songs playing, “While We’re Young,” “Bad Kids to The Block,” and “Xavi.”

Snarky Puppy | Morrison, CO

Snarky Puppy ended the set with the only song not from their newest album, “What About Me?” including powerful brass combinations, high pace bongo and guitar solos, and a double drum jam off.

Snarky Puppy | Red Rocks Amphitheatre

There’s no energy like Snarky Puppy’s to led into an anticipated set. The crowd, delighted with enhancement and animation, patiently waited Michael Franti & Spearhead to take the stage.

Snarky Puppy | June 7th, 2019

Before Franti appeared, an advocate for the overall cause for the night, “Ending Gun Violence,” came on stage, to share with the crowd, how Franti shares his heart and soul with many causes, but tonight’s was important. She shouted to the crowd to “Stay Human” and explained that all the orange t-shirts in the amphitheatre represented human life.

Michael Franti's Stay Human tour | Red Rocks

As she walked off, a visual countdown came on the stage, encouraging the crowd to get up and move, raise their drinks to the air, shake their body, and make some noise. After a slight hiccup in production, a riveting video came on to introduce the “Stay Human” movement and get the crowd in their feels ending with the quote, “My hope is that you always feel free to be who you are.”

Michael Franti & Spearhead

Franti appeared, and a complete shift in energy came from the crowd. Everyone was on their feet for his opening song, “I’m Alive,” as attendees all sang together, “All I wanna do is be with you.” Franti was mobile all night and began his descent into the crowd for a powerful, “Yell Fire,” > “Little Things.”

Michael Franti | Morrison, CO

Franti continued to belt out lyrics and gain even more energy into the crowd. A special moment occurred on stage when he brought Oliver, a six-year-old boy, to sing to the 9,000 person crowd the lyrics of “The Sound of Sunshine,” followed by a back-to-back guitar solo.

Michael Franti | Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Franti then gave a shout out to all of the native Colorado attendees, praising them on their adventurous and spontaneous mindsets concerning music. He then made his way to the middle of reserved seating, dead center of the ampitheatre, for “Summer Won’t Last Long,” > “Only Thing Missing Was You” > “Just to Say I Love You,” while getting the crowd to participate on vocals.

Michael Franti's Stay Human tour

At this time everybody was busting out dance moves and putting their hands in the air, parrelling with Franti’s energy. He brought a guest on stage from Uganda to collaborate and chant, “Baby, don’t fade away from me if you need a friend.”

Michael Franti | Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Throughout the night Franti gave multiple shout outs, this particular one was for all the women in the crowd and the rights that they have to make their own choices, before beginning to play, “You’re Number One.”

Michael Franti | Red Rocks Amphitheatre

“Good Shit Happens Too” followed and was premiered as a new song to the crowd. Franti made his way to the right side of the amphitheatre above the halfway mark and right in the middle of a crowd of fans. He sang right alongside them for classics, “Get Myself to Saturday,” “Shake It,” and “My Lord.”

Victoria Canal with Michael Franti & Spearhead

After a brief encore and another encouraging video, Victoria Canal, showing no defeat, graced the crowd with her beautiful vocals and amazing story, as they transcended into a slow and powerful, “The Flower,” continuing on the nights focus of ending gun violence, and sharing a testimonial of how bullying is an extended part of the violence we are seeing throughout America.

Michael Franti | Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Franti continued on to talk about the devastating statistics of gun violence throughout America, as well as educating the crowd on a new non-profit funding that helps council and provides trauma relief for gun violence victims. He pointed out that students from Columbine and the Parkland shootings were there for support and memorial. With a huge cheer from the crowd, Franti also announced that one dollar from every ticket purchased that night would go to helping this movement and relief group.

Michael Franti | Red Rocks Amphitheatre

With the crowd feeling more motivated to move than ever, Franti finished strong with fan favorites including, “Life is Better With You,” “Stay Human 2,” and “Say Hey (I Love You). For his final song, “When The Sun Begins To Shine,” attendees got the feeling that this was no longer a typical “concert” but another momentous experience at Red Rocks that stood up for a movement, and transcended the hearts of all who attended.

Sun, 07/14/2019 - 4:31 pm

As attendees began to make their way from the parking lot into Red Rocks Amphitheatre for the night, there was an excelled energy running throughout the air. Loyal fans and newcomers were highly anticipating the night full of instrumental jams and pure funk. The disco pre-party that took place in the parking lot was in full swing, transferring that energy into the Amphitheatre as attendees prepared for monumental opening support from Moon Hooch before co-headlining acts Galactic and The Motet.

Moon Hooch | Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Moon Hooch, an explosive Brooklyn-based three-piece, led the raw and talented vibes for the night. Moon Hooch’s background stems from playing acoustic and energetic subway sessions throughout the underground of NYC. These collective pushes and crosses deep bass lines and catchy melodies with pounding rhythms that are celebrated as “electronic house music mixed with brawny saxophone riffs.” Moon Hooch is committed to different lifestyle elements, including environmentalism, veganism, philosophy, and peace into their music as well as their actions. Moon Hooch is hosting a Permaculture Action Day on Saturday after their Red Rocks appearance.

Moon Hooch | Morrison, CO

Coming out hot, as highly expected, this energetic trio was the perfect opening bill for a legendary night at Red Rocks. Their analog dubstep, supported by saxophone and breakbeat drums was the perfect leeway into an energetic instrumental night. Moon Hooch was consistent in bringing heavy synth-filled jams supported by the bass drum. Many different woodwind instruments were rotated between the two front men and at one point, one of the frontmen jammed a traffic cone into one of the saxophones.

Moon Hooch | Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Moon Hooch established their “Cave Music” genre with primal screams into the on-sax microphone by one of the front men. Overall the collective produced a very cathartic flow and great transitions for the beginning of the party at Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

Moon Hooch | Morrison, CO

After a brief intermission, Galactic got the crowd right back on their feet as they entered the stage. Galactic played the previous night at the intimate Belly Up Aspen and came prepared to bring the same energy to a packed Amphitheatre. Galactic is New Orleans based and utilizes a wide variety of instruments to bring the purest form of funk to a crowd.

Red Rocks Amphitheatre | photos by Derek Miles

Their progressive sound that takes a twist on electronic instrumentation and modern rhythms captured the crowd’s heart instantaneously. Galactic began with a heavy drum intro and Ben Ellman coming into the front row to show off his immense skills on the saxophone.

Erica Falls with Galactic | Red Rocks Amphitheatre

During the second song, Erica Falls made her first appearance, completely encapsulating the crowd. Her powerful and fierce vocals rang throughout Red Rocks Amphitheatre bringing a fresh feel of R&B, leading into a wild guitar solo by Jeff Raines. The band occasionally brought the beat to a slower pace to accentuate each artist’s talent and make the crowd feel the underlying funk groove.

Galatic | Morrison, CO

The leading brass players of this collective never failed to stand proud and upfront completely uplifting the Amphitheatre’s energy. Their talent and stigma were a highlight of this night of music at Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

Galactic | Morrison, CO

Erica Falls occasionally slowed down her vocals to let the crowd passionately feel every note. Her spunk and talent really shifted the crowd’s appreciation towards her powerful uproars supported by deep bass undertones. The band created layers to her vocals with extended electronic synth jams, that literally made the crowd yell in excitement, as well as consistent horn duos supported by drums, bass, and keyboard.

Galactic | Morrison, CO

As the set progressed, the energy level rose. Galactic produced short, staccato beats that surfaced an overall melody. Ben Ellman conducted a raging harmonica solo into the infamous “Does It Really Make A Difference,” leading the way into The Motet’s set.

Scramble Campbell doing his thing @ Red Rocks

The Motet came out shortly after into a mist of blue lights, not giving the crowd a chance to lose any energy from the previous sets. This seven piece, Colorado-based collective, fuses “fiery funk, simmering soul and improvisational inventiveness,” to create an unforgettable live music experience. Their talent scope ranges from different levels allowing each individual musician to hold a spot in contributing to their overall sound.

The Motet | Red Rocks Amphitheatre

The Motet had ten people total on stage instantly bringing the electronic funk and major build ups to match the crowd’s energy for an opening “The Fountain” into “Damn!” Lyle Divinsky (Lead Vocalist) was having a dance party on stage all night when he wasn’t blasting out his vocals into the night. Although Lyle represents a lead for The Motet, he gave each member and the overall band more than enough space to show off their talents and overall groove. The band continued through their set with classics, “That Dream,” “Supernova,” “Speed of Light,” and “Whatcha Gonna Bring.”

The Motet | Morrison, CO

Jennifer Hartswick and Natalie Cressman provided their diverse talents supporting The Motet on vocals all night as well as showing their multi-talented skills when playing different brass instruments. At one point, the crowd was all singing along with them shouting “Shining On,” creating a powerful unison effect. The Motet continued to bring the heat through “Joke’s On Me,” and “Get It Right.”

Joey Porter | The Motet

The infamous Joey Porter, was ever so prevalent on the keyboard throughout the night bringing insane melodic synths as well as altering his voice to match the melody and give a discoteca vibe. Porter resembled a lead in the band throughout the night, continuing to awe the crowd at his talent.

The Motet | Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Lyle at one point gave a shout out to all of the Colorado Music Scene, praising attendees for being able to create a space to share creativity and funk in. Following, an intense and powerful double drum solo took place as the crowd changed their rhythm to match the vigorous and dynamic beats supported by immense percussion instruments including the bongos. At this point, The Motet was supported for this drums and percussion breakdown feat. Stanton Moore (Galactic) and Jeff Franca (Thievery Corporation).

The Motet | Morrison, CO

After, the ladies that were stationed in the back came forward with Erica Falls to show off their compelling vocals, supported as always, by the brass talent on stage. The ladies covered “What Have You Done For Me Lately” by Janet Jackson. As they receded, Lyle took back over shouting to the crowd “Everybody wants to get high, right? We are in Colorado!” Which the crowd absolutely loved and continued to cheer him on through “Contagious,” “Death or Devotion,” and “Keep On Don’t Stoppin.”

The Motet | Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Numerous solos took place throughout the night showing the collective’s respective dynamic and influence. Lyle, as well as the whole crowd, never stopped moving throughout this disco, funk, all-out party at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. The Motet closed the night after their encore with “Highly Compatible” and “The Truth.”

Full Motet Setlist:

The Fountain

- Damn!

- That Dream

- Supernova

- Speed Of Light

- Whatcha Gonna Bring

- Joke’s On Me

- Get It Right

- Drums/Percussion breakdown feat. Stanton Moore (Galactic) and Jeff Franca (Thievery Corporation)

- What Have You Done For Me Lately

- Contagious

- Death Or Devotion

- Keep On Don’t Stoppin’

- Closed Mouth Don’t Get Fed

<<<<

- Highly Compatible

- The Truth

Check out more photos from the show.

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 12:49 pm

Ghost Town Drifters, a Denver-based bluegrass five-piece, is comprised of band members Oren Paisner (Mandolin), Scott Vincent (Upright Bass), Alex Tocco (Fiddle), Mike Testagrossa (Dobro) and Tom Mueller (Guitar). Hailing from different parts of the East Coast, this collective found its way to each other through mutual friends, local jam sessions, and previous band experiences, leading the way right to each other.

Ghost Town Drifter’s journey initiated as a pick-up gig with local bluegrass folk who were just looking to jam out. After a while, their player lineup solidified, and they began making ways in the Denver bluegrass scene, propelling themselves into a whirlwind of pickin’ and foot-stompin' throughout the local community. Scott Vincent mentioned how they owed their coming together to the interconnected and decentralized bluegrass scene.

Cervantes Other Side | Denver, CO

The band reminisced on their first performance at Cervantes almost a year ago opening for a Sublime Cover band as well as recently performing as support for The Jeff Austin Band at Cervantes for his last run of Denver shows before he passed away. On Thursday, July 11th, Ghost Town Drifters headlined their first show at Cervantes Other Side and completely shredded to a full house of friends, family, and bluegrass lovers.

Ghost Town Drifters came out with a new CD this week titled, “The Olive Street Sessions,” which they fully incorporating into their set at Cervantes. Oren did mentioned that this album is a little more “tame” than their live performances, but fully encompasses and excels what this band is made up of. All the band members had a significant part in producing this album, all attributing to the lengthy but concrete jams, as well as the raw and unique storytelling aspect of the sessions. Their creative process stems from each member bringing content to the table, and letting the whole collective interpret that content to produce the finalized tunes.

Oren Pasiner | Ghost Town Drifters

Oren Paisner, band manager, and lead mandolin player, commented on this historic night in their music careers, “This gig is really meaningful to us, we’ve all spent a lot of time at Cervantes for these Thursday shows. I’ve been coming here since 2014 seeing great acts and tons and tons of great bluegrass bands. It’s crazy that no matter who is playing here on a Thursday, a bunch of people show up, regardless. Just to dance to this music and get down. I’ve previously been outcasted for listening to this “out there” and “weird” music, but here, being able to see this scene taking off is crazy. This is a huge deal for us to come back exactly a year later from opening for some band to headlining tonight.”

Alex Tocco and Oren Paisner have known each other for years, jamming together since the age of fifteen. Alex Tocco is previously from The Dirty Grass Players, he spoke on the transition and newly acquired role in the Ghost Town Drifters, “I decided to make the move out to Colorado to join Oren’s band, and it has been a wild ride ever since. With him being one of the first people I ever jammed with in the first place, for him to offer me a spot in the band was awesome. I see a lot of room for growth and opportunity in this project, so I’m happy to see where I can let my abilities as a fiddle player grow in this band, as well as helping everybody else grow as well as a band altogether. I’m looking forward to being a part of the Colorado music scene here.”

Ghost Town Drifters | Denver, CO

Oren mentioned special moments hanging out in the greenroom with Jeff Austin and Bill Nershi. He have a shout out to Cervantes for consistently putting them on with national acts and being able to curate those experiences.

Their headlining show at Cervantes was a night to remember. The night began on the outer patio area with support from that Damn Sasquatch and The Deer Creek Sharp Shooters, both improvisational bluegrass bands that lifted the crowd’s energy to led into the night.

Ghost Town Drifters | Cervantes Other Side

Ghost Town Drifters came on promptly at ten on the Main Stage of Cervantes Other Side. As the vibe picked up, dedicated fans and newcomers began to do the classic bluegrass twirl and really get moving. The collective was shredding scales and picking through melodies as they went through their first songs curating a lengthy, “Beyond the Cosmic Mesa” > “Lonesome Fiddle” > “Beyond the Cosmic Mesa.”

The energy only continued to excel throughout the night. Ghost Town Drifters were consistently balancing energies, yet taking turns to respectfully show off their individual talents and stigma.

Ghost Town Drifters

Oren was ripping out full vocals, bringing a physical feeling of fullness to Cervantes. They continued on playing, “Drifting Away,” and “Through The Canyon,” while Scott led us into a hearty “Trucker Speed.” (Fred Eaglesmith) Vocal support was shown throughout the whole lineup of Ghost Town Drifters.

Alex Tocco was soft on the fiddle throughout most melodies, waiting for the perfect time to showcase the fiddle’s power and his immense talent. The lights began to transcend and share energy with the crowd as they played through, “Best of Me Yet,” “Grass Time,” and “Free of Gravity.”

Ghost Town Drifters | July 11th, 2019

Ghost Town Drifters brought the crowd into a space bluegrass wormhole, manipulating their strings for a trippy sound effect through, “Running” > “Southern Flavor” > “Grains.” The collective occasionally slowed down the jams to accentuate and accent a specific melody, which often led to perpetuating solos.

Ghost Town Drifters finished off their first headlining show at Cervantes Other Side with Alex Tocco’s piece, “Hammers,” into “Space Rail,” and “Exile.”

Ghost Town Drifters | Denver, Colorado

Be on the lookout for future shows in the local Denver area as well as surrounding states as the band branches out. Be sure to check out their latest release as well, “Olive Street Sessions,” just released this week.

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 5:37 pm

Attendees gathered gracefully for the 7th Annual ARISE Music Festival at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, Colorado to set intentions, relish in world-renowned teaching, and dance their hearts away to some of the best national musical acts and pioneers in our beloved music scene. With over 450 programmed acts, Arise Festival covered a lot of ground in bringing top-notch entertainment and education to their guests. This gathering was full of abundance for attendees, as well as the staff and land residents at Sunrise Ranch, who play a vital role in throwing the sacred event that is, Arise Music Festival.

Paul Bassis, Arise Founder & Producer, talked about the ethos of the festival really coming down to the guiding principle, “Always do what’s best for the fest.” He elaborated that when producing this festival throughout the years, this principle has been crucial in providing for a successful Arise Music Festival every year.

ARISE crew getting ready for another big year

Bassis continued, “Arise is this place. You can do a lot of things, a lot of different places. But you can’t do this, anywhere else but here. Because This Valley is profoundly special. There are a lot of beautiful places in other places. But only this place is this place. And there is a vibe that is intact here and I knew it since I first stepped in this valley. And everyone else can feel it as well. This vibe that is intact has a huge part to do with the loving and respectful community that has been here for over 80 years. That vibe is elevated by all of the people that come here.”

He explained further thoughts behind the original intention behind the idea of Arise, “It is an honor to live up to the intention that we brought to this when we first began this endeavor. This intention got elevated as we collaborated with the Sunrise Community Ranch here.”

ARISE staff - Sunrise Ranch

David Karchere is a resident and prominent community member at Sunrise Ranch. He talked about the day that Bassis brought the Arise idea to the spiritual community at Sunrise Ranch. “We were looking for a way to share what we were experiencing in this valley, and as a community, with the world. It was a crazy idea that was actually good enough to do. Now it has come to this beautiful gathering.”

He continued, “This Valley didn’t question you when you arrived. The Valley just welcomed you here, that’s how This Valley is. It holds us, just like The Whole Earth holds us. My community here is the same. We are just here to hold you and love and to keep you safe. Give a vibe that you can connect with. Creating space for people to come here to shine their lights.”

Sunrise Ranch - photo by Justin Bilancieri

The opening ceremony was held in the main concert bowl in front of The Eagle Stage early on Friday afternoon. The performers were prepared with a synchronized dance routine that symbolized calling in the divine masculinity and femininity to hold a space for healing and offering as we kicked off Arise together as a collective. The leader of the ceremony announced to attendees that being stewards of kindness to each other and helping to take care of each other, and the land, is what truly makes this gathering so special. The performance constituted as medicine and radiated unity and harmony, through the blessing of balance, on the sunshine-filled first day of Arise.

There was only a couple hours of the day that you couldn’t find a musical performance or a workshop taking place on Sunrise Ranch. Even as attendees were still entering the grounds on Friday morning, the full festivities had kicked off throughout the grounds. At the Yoga Sanctuary, located right on the top of a beautifully-settled hill overlooking all of Sunrise Ranch, Talaya Thomas led “Breathe. Move. Pray.” with soft and settling music by Akoa.

Yoga @ ARISE

One of the more unique aspects of programming for Arise Festival at the Yoga Sanctuary was that each practice was accompanied by live music performed at the stage under the tent. Different practices throughout the day also included,” Soar Like An Eagle Bhakti Flow,” led by Steph Schwartz with music by Miraja, “Presence and Belonging” by Marti Nikko with music by DJ Drez, and “Sew Self Love,” led by Elle Beau accompanied by Hidden Groove DJ set. DJ Drez also performed a headlining set at the StarWater Stage at the sun began to set on Sunrise Ranch.

Simultaneously, numerous opening ceremonies were held throughout different stages including the StarWater Opening Ceremony at The Pirate Stage and the Opening Fire Ceremony at the Wisdom Village, led by a native to the land, Grandfather Little Thunder, Aumrak, and Ahva.

Opening Ceremony @ ARISE - photo by Justin Bilncieri

Meanwhile in the Big Sunrise Dome, a new amenity for hosting workshops this year at Arise, the first Global Harmony Playshop began with Leah and Chloe from Rising Appalachia. They warmed up the attendees with vocal and relaxation practices to get people loosened up for further instruction. Leah and Chloe were present throughout the whole weekend at Arise; they are activists in the music scene, as well as world-travelers that translate their experiences into folk-song.

The Workshop Tent, which was filled to the brim with attendees all weekend, was hosting speakers all throughout the day on Friday, including “Quantum Flower Power,” by Sara Jane Taylor, “Permaculture in Principle and Practice,” by Stone Hunter, Avery Ellis and Patrick Padden, and “Behind the Artist and Painting Techniques,” by the legendary MPEK.

ARISE Music Festival - photo by Michael Emanuele

The Healing Village was home for many attendees over the weekend as they sat and took in all the wisdom that resonated throughout the space. Friday’s workshops at The Healing Village consisted of “Herbs for Creative Expression,” by Sarah Truitt, “Techniques of Ecstasy,” by Joy Vita Verde, and “Embodied Warrior,” by John Michael Wasmer. Numerous sound journeys, ecstatic dance practices, and improvisational jams happened throughout the day as well.

Music began at the Main Stage with Bella Duro, followed by Tenth Mountain Division who rang their lyrical and melodic tunes throughout the festival grounds, as well as featuring covers from The Doors “Break On Through  and Eric Clapton's’ classic “Way Home.” At one point, members of Leftover Salmon came on the stage as well. Tenth Mountain Division commented about their time at Arise, “We really enjoyed our time at Arise this year. It's an awesome festival that features a wide variety of music really bringing together many fans of various genres and scenes here in Colorado.”

ARISE Music Festival

John Craigie followed as attendees prepared for Beats Antiques to take the stage.

Beats Antique | photo by D Maddy

Beats Antique graced the stage with their elegant performers, completely captivating the crowd's attention, with an opening dance piece titled “Grand Bizarre.” Beats Antique played numerous unreleased tracks throughout their set including “Flying Machines,” “Aerial,” “Lullaby,” and “Grace Kelly.” Most pieces were accompanied by ecstatic dance routines that make up the heart and soul of Beats Antique. The collective encored with “Beauty Beats” into “Killer Bee.”

Tipper, fan-favorite of the weekend, came out strong and heavy for his first set on The Eagle Stage at Arise Music Festival. With stimulating visuals and his unique and raw live scratching, the whole crowd was cohesively bobbing to the sounds in unison.

Tom Petty tribute  photo by Emily Elizabeth photography

Meanwhile at the Terrapin Care Stage, a legendary Tom Petty Tribute feat. Jay Cobb Anderson and John Craigie began.

Following, Leftover Salmon began their first acoustic set playing classics, “Steam Powered,” “Analog,” and “Bossa Nova.” Their second electric set that followed featured hits “House of Cards,” “Southern Belle,” ending with a jammed out “Boogie.” Bridget Law also came on stage to sit in with the collective.

Vince Herman | Leftover Salmon - photo by D Maddy

DeadPhish Orchestra took over the StarWater stage for a singalong session that included the Grateful Dead’s’ “Casey Jones,” “Terrapin Station,” and “I Know You Rider,” featuring Andy Thorn on the banjo. They also covered Phish’s “Possum,” with Arthur Lee on guitar.

The Salt Stage hosted more electronic acts leading into the night, including Sortof Vague, Marvel Years and Defunk. Defunk hosted a party for all in attendance and played his newly released song, “Waiting.” Defunk commented on his newly released tunes, “Waiting was a chance for me to test out new territory by touching on a more melodic, more operatic approach. I really wanted to create something that would evoke strong emotions through the synths and melodies."

ARISE Music Festival - photo by Somertime Photography

Saturday morning was led by a “Guided Sunrise Painting” and “Singing Up The Sun,” at the Wisdom Village. Yoga initiated for the day shortly after, with a “Music and Yoga Sharam” in the early hours of the morning. Workshops began to ignite throughout the grounds, and attendees began making their way to the food vendors for some healthy and local food to start their day.

An ideal Saturday at Sunrise Ranch for Arise would begin with renewing your energy and heading to the vast amount of workshops that are offered throughout the day, whether it be “Breathe Yourself Awake,” by Rainbeau Mars, “Get Off Your Grass and Create Edible Lawn,” by Brigitte Mars and Bethy Lovelight, or “Conscious Music, Conscious Lives,” by Bethy Lovelight at the Workshop Tent.

ARISE Music Festival -photo by Michael Emanuele

A whole other level of education was being presented every minute of the day at the Wisdom Village. This space hosted people from all over the world and really connected attendees to those indigenous, conscious roots that make up who we are. These different workshops included everything from sound attunement, creating sacred energy, activating land projects, and spiritual healing, to different traditional medicine dances.

At yet another sacred space on the grounds of Arise, there was also continual workshops being conducted. The Healing Village hosted different workshops to educate on different forms of reiki, ritual movement, sound healing, and intimacy all throughout the day. These spaces that were created help to transcend all the Arise attendees to their fullest potential, as well as creating a safe space for community gatherings to be held.

ARISE Music Festival

Music on Saturday began with More Than Physics on the Starwater Stage. The Main Stage ignited for the day with a Rhythm Sanctuary featuring Porangui, into Mikey Pauker. Tubby Love & Amber Lilly reached their heartfelt lyrics and amazing energy into the crowd, making for a memorable Saturday evening.

Tipper graced us again for a Saturday night “Journey Set,” that turned into the hard and heavy Tipper that attendees had seen live the previous night. The crowd completely consumed all of the energy that Dave Tipper was giving off and it turned into the ultimate throw down, forever blessing fans with his unique, raw and live scratching powers.

The Main Squeeze | photo by Rowdy Roots

The Main Squeeze brought the funk to attendees and kept the crowd’s energy at a maximum high from Tipper’s set beforehand. The Main Squeeze brought their powerful vocals as well as the immense instrumental talent to the Terrapin Care Stage playing, “Dr. Funk > WDWG,” and “Only Time > It Ain’t Me.” They ended with a strong “I’ll Take Another,” feeding off the liveliness of the crowd.

The Main Squeeze commented on their time at Arise, “We loved the collaborative nature that Arise encourages including our improv. set with Ghost Tapes and all the other sit-ins we saw throughout the weekend. The crowd for our set was also incredible and we appreciate them reflecting energy and enthusiasm back to us for a beautiful crowd/band relationship.  We hope to be back many years to come!”

Clozee - photo by Dark Matter Photography

Clozee came on the Eagle Stage shortly after and delivered one of the most iconic sets of the weekend. Clozee’s set was heavier than usual, and she used live editing on her tracks to mesmerize the crowd. At a later point, Clozee pronounced that Arise was one of her favorite sets of the year, and gave a shout out to Android Jones for absolutely killing the visuals at her set.

Two sets of Voodoo Dead is precisely what the crowd needed to root down and let Saturday night begin. Aqueous was sandwiched in between the two sets of Voodoo Dead and performed their heavy-jamprovational rock series that loyal fans and newcomers loved. The night also ended with a rare Frameworks Live Band set at the Salt Stage.

Steve Kimock with Jackie Greene

As another “Singing Up The Sun” session ignited around the sacred fire place, the last day of Arise simultaneously begun. Sunday provided for a cool day with great cloud coverage for attendees to sleep in and get the rest they needed.

When looking at the printed schedule, the Children’s Village at Arise Musical Festival had the most continuous programming. Arise is a family-based event where artists, programmers, and directors have been able to share the experiences of these community-focused gatherings with generations to come. A large grassy lot behind the Big Sunrise Dome housed the Children’s Village containing another smaller dome with a stage in the center, multiple play areas, and creative spaces for weaving, painting, juggling, rainbow parades and the annual Rainbow Lightning Talent Show. During the first annual ARISE RAP Sessions hosted by Blooming Footprint, many long-time Arise staff and musicians commented on how impactful it is seeing their child be on the grounds of Arise to participate in all that is happening at Sunrise Ranch.

ARISE Music Festival - photo by Michael Emanuele

The Art Gallery on-site was also a form of showcasing that Arise excelled in this year. Annie Phillips, Art Gallery Director, has experience in creating large-scale art projects and installations and did not disappoint when curating this year’s Arise gallery. Phillips selects from over 250 applications and bases acceptance throughout a range of skill levels, mediums, cultures, ethos, and geolocations.

Whitney Holburn is a local and progressive Denver-based artist that showcased her work at this year’s Arise Festival. Holburn had several pieces featured at the Artist Gallery, as well as live painting all weekend directly in front of the main stage. Holburn commented on her Arise experience,” This was my first year being able to participate and bring my art to Arise!  I’m so blessed to be a part of this growing and supportive art community in Denver, Colorado; it was really lovely to be there with familiar faces.  It was also my first real, local festival, and it was nothing short of amazing. Arise Festival and being able to participate means a lot to me, and what I’m doing in my career now.  I’ve been working so hard the last year and a half since I have moved to Colorado to get my art out there, and to be asked to be a featured artist at such a prestigious festival is surreal.”

art gallery @ ARISE

Whitney Holburn is throwing a solo show at Grassroots Colorado on September 6th at 5 p.m. She will be premiering a merch collaboration with Grassroots featuring hats and joggers with her artwork. Live music at the event will feature BreakNasty, Phlo, and Mr. Truman.

As all the Yogis came to their final day of practice at Arise Festival, they shifted throughout numerous sessions including “The Love Movement,” by R.R. Shakti with music by Buddha Bomb, “Live Your Purpose,” by Patrick Harrington with music by More Than Physics, and a “Closing Kirtan Jam,” with Katie Wise and Bhakti Explosion, before the Yoga Sanctuary turned into a late-night stage. Meanwhile, at the Big Sunrise Dome, the ARISE Pick sessions were happening with members of Railroad Earth, Meadow Mountain, and Bridget Law.

TIERRO BAND with Bridget Law - photo by Michael Emanuele

Bridget Law (formerly of Elephant Revival) was an artist at large at Arise this year and has been attending the festival since the beginning. Bridget participates in numerous workshops, songwriting panels, and musical sets during the weekend on Sunrise Ranch. Bridget Law & Friends was a special set that took place Sunday afternoon at The Salt Stage.

Bridget elaborated about what Arise means to her, “Arise is so much more than a music festival. It is almost like a summit of expression, with so many colors — one of the most colorful expressions of humanity that I've ever witnessed. And we get to witness that every year and I just love that. Especially in Colorado, the consciousness in Colorado and the people here who love the mountains. It’s a wonderful place for collaboration here. I played with three of my friend’s band’s last night. You show up here, and you bring your brightest colors, and we will create the most beautiful rainbow we can.”

Bridget Law | photo by Alan Crandall

Satsang came on the main stage for a meaningful and liberal set playing his top-hits, “Grow,” into a “Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls“ sandwich. He also performed “Between,” and welcomed Tubby Love on stage, creating a graceful lead into the last night of Arise.

Lunar Fire showed feminine pride while performing at this year’s Arise. They projected their tribal and distinct musical chanting into the crowd while continuing to awe everyone with their synchronized dances and costume attire.

Railroad Earth - photo by Murray

Railroad Earth, a highly anticipated set for the weekend, came on the Eagle Stage to provide two full sets to the Arise crowd. Matt Slocum sat in on keyboard with Mike Robinson on the pedal steel, guitar, and banjo for the entire show. Also, accompanying Railroad Earth, Bridget Law sat in for “Fisherman’s Blues,” all the instrumentalists on stage assisted in ultimately raising the crowd’s energy as they explored their improvisational, yet traditional, form of bluegrass.

Carey Harmon, the drummer of Railroad Earth, commented on their love for Arise, “Cheers to everyone at Arise! From the team that made it happen to the community that reflects it back at them, you all made us feel a part of your family for the day, and we appreciate it. Sunrise Ranch is full of love and committed to doing it sustainably. Congratulations and keep it happening. Leave no trace!”

Todd Sheaffer | RRE | photo by Michael Emanuele

Railroad Earth’s first set featured, “Stillwater Getaway > Only By The Light” as well as a long and intricate and closing “Raven’s Child,” into “Spring-Heeled Jack.” Their set second began with “Bird in a House,” and transcended into “Farewell to Isinglass > Captain Nowhere,” into the classic Mighty River.”

Tubby Love & Amber Lilly graced the crowd with their second performance for the weekend as the sun began to set on the Terrapin Care Stage. Goopsteppa threw down in the StarWater Stage Tent playing a new track co-made with Atyya to initiate the crowd’s intimacy. He also played “Heavyweight,” and “Sour,” letting the crowd sink into the deep wubs of sounds.

Rising Applachia | photo by Michael Emanuele

Before Rising Appalachia took the stage, the annual Moment of Unity took place on the Eagle Stage. All of the crucial Arise staff and natives on the land came on stage to bless the crowd and draw people together to practice gratitude and thankfulness as we all leave to go our separate ways and make different impacts throughout the world.

Rising Appalachia begin their North America Tour at Arise Festival, where the guests from their latest album, “Leylines,” were present on stage to bring their hints of traditional folk music. This Rising Appalachia six-piece will be present throughout all of the dates of their current tour.

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Read A Full Inside Out Perspective Interview with Rising Appalachia Here

Rising Appalachia | ARISE Music Festival

GW: Can you elaborate on the background of your latest album release, “Leylines?”

RA: “It is more of a sort of long-term study of all the different roots of southern folk music. And so the origin of a lot of southern music is both in the traditions that have crossed the Atlantic from Africa, West Africa, traditions that crossed over from Ireland and the British. Mixing different music and different folk songs is really like blending it in to make a lot of the origin of Appalachian music. So this album is the first album where we brought in a west African player, an amazing player named Aroona Diarra. Also, an amazing Irish player, Duncan Nickel, who does hold those traditions, which is something we've done with all of our albums. We always wanted to tell the story of the roots of music, which we study all kinds of different music. But this is I think the most nuanced kind of weaving of all these different styles.

GW: What other kinds of influences or specifics led to the creation of the sacred spaces you hold throughout “Leylines?”

RA: A lot of the lyrics are stories from the journey pieces of what we've learned from a different audience members. We've had an amazing, I had an amazing men come to one of our shows years ago, and he had been diagnosed with cancer and seeing one of our shows live was his last wish. And he came like days before he passed, and a whole part of the song “Novels of Acquaintance” was really for his story. And for so many of the stories of people that come to our shows sick and they're coming, you know, to find some meaning in the music. So there are so many places where the stories come out from our experience and then are put into the songs. Resilient is a session on a story. It had to do with our time at Standing Rock and had to do with the elections, and you know, our own sense of deep anxiety and disappointment in our country and the hope that that actually we can as a people be resilient and continue to stand strong. You know that for sure. And all the songs have their own storytelling component, but that one means a lot to us.

Rising Applachia | ARISE Music Festival

GW: What is it like being a woman activist in the music industry?

RA: My existence as women in the music industry is already sort of a statement. And I don't think that that's enough. Or even by design at all. It's just we're, we run our own business, and we're two women, and we're sisters, and we are the songwriters, and we are at the top of all the production decisions, and where you do all a direction for the videos, and we just have our hands in everything, and it's a wonderful way to run a business and run a career. And there's no reason that that would be shocking. You know, it's just so often we'll walk into a venue, and the stagehands will be like, okay, you're the singers, where's the manager or whatever. And we're like, well actually we're also the managers. So there's, I think there's still a wave of stereotypes about who's doing what in the world. And it's, it's also a choice. We choose to run things really gracefully and diplomatically. We don't want to sort of force our system into the dominant square system of the music industry or really of our lives. You know, we try and also really have a feminine touch in how we lead. I love it.

GW: How have you seen that translate to more modern times?

RA: Yeah, I think that's really important. I think if folk music is all about holding onto old traditions, then it gets brittle and that's very much not what we want to do. We want to make music that that tells some of the stories of its foundation and its roots and also feels very alive and relevant for us. That's a lot in our lyrics. You know, and also in our, what we study, the music we listened to, and we are as deeply influenced by the era of political hip hop as we are by any era of folk music because that's also a contemporary story storytelling, you know, and it's all, everyone considers all these genres really separate. But there are storytelling genres. So I think it's really important that the music moves and bends and flexes. And I also hold a lot of appreciation for people that are just students of traditional music.

Rising Applachia | photo by Michael Emanuele

GW: How would you say that your story writing process has changed or even the recording process or recording process has changed a lot?

RA: We brought in a producer, which we'd never done before, his name is Joe Henry. He was a really amazing wizard, and we were very nervous about it at first. We've never let anybody in the studio with us before. I mean we don't do our own engineering, but we lead the engineering process, and this was the first time we brought in an outside. It was really stressful at first. You know, we really questioned if we were selling out honestly, and if we hadn't made the right move, it's good to keep that question in mind. Keeps you real. We were nervous until the last second. And then as soon as you walked in the studio, you know, he's this wonderful character. He holds a lot of the old school kind of New Orleans vibe. They're dapper, very poetic and he just, he made it so that we could get out of our own way. We had sort of an outside ear that could make the final calls, and we could really just focus on the creative moment. And it was an amazing, awesome. Yeah.

GW: Traveling is such a crucial part of your guy’s storytelling. How do you adjust to different environments and playing all throughout the word?

RA: You know, we are kind of chameleons in our style of music. So, we are hired from everything from a giant electronic music festival to a tiny like herbal medicine gathering. And bluegrass festival one day and the next day, you know, we're at the burning man, and it's a really kind of fun part of our job. Although it is also a little disorienting and we don't have a genre, we don't have a scene.

Transitions are hard for all of us in all of our lives, and we are in transition daily between different climates and different energetics. And we have to adjust based on what is expected of us off the stage. So the transitions can be tricky, but at the same time, we've spent a lot of energy trying to be good at reading an audience and definitely steer it. It's crucial and a fun.

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As the night drew later, Maddy O’Neal brought the heat and the house vibes to the Salt Stage. For one of the first times, she invited a turntablist, drummer, violinist, and guitar on stage with her for a “Maddy O’Neal Live Band” preview.  She commented on her time at Arise, “I think this is one of my favorite festivals that I’ve played. It’s always a good audience to be able to test out new tracks too; they are very receptive and open. So that is exactly what I am going to do here.”

ARISE Music Festival 2019

Cycles closed out the Saltwater Stage with their strong instrumental tone, beginning their set with Madonna’ cover, “Ray Of Light,” into their original, “Hang It Up On The Wall.” They played numerous Disclosure covers and ended the set with a Lil Nas X cover, “Old Town Road.”

ARISE Music Festival 2019

Tucker McClung, bass and vocalist of Cycles, commented on their Arise experience, “Our set at Arise was a culmination of our Summer Tour and the perfect way to end it. It was the last Cycles show of the tour, the last set at Arise and couldn't have been more serendipitous and awesome for us!"

ARISE Music Festival 2019

As the night of music began to end, Evanoff, Denver-based trio, finished off the Salt Stage successfully. They began their set with an unnamed and unreleased tune, coming fully into “Dahlia” and “Hot Like Sauce,” featuring Hook St. Horns. They covered Tipper’s “Dreamsters” and ended with “Whomp Rat.”

ARISE Music Festival 2019

Evanoff commented on playing Arise, “We were so excited to return to Arise. Just two years ago, our set was cut short fifteen minutes in due to lightning, so this was our redemption set. It was an honor to join so many of our favorite artists and muses on that lineup. Honestly, outside of all of the great people that we met and awesome music we saw, our favorite part of the festival, was the sense of community and how the lack of cell phone service allowed everyone to be more present. We overheard a lot of excellent types of conversations this weekend, with people who were just meeting at the moment and enjoying each other. It was a blast closing out this awesome festival, and we are happy to have made some new friends and fans. The energy of the crowd during our set it was unreal. It was truly amazing to have the hooker street horns on with us. We love those guys so much as people and have them on stage with us was really a blessing they made the night super fun. All of the staff at Arise was incredible. It’s a slice of musical heaven.”

Mon, 08/26/2019 - 6:43 pm

Dark Star Orchestra is coming to Colorado to perform two sold-out shows at the Boulder Theater, on September 6th and 7th, followed by their annual show at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre on September 8th. This three-night run in Colorado continually re-establishes the beloved sense and faith of the Grateful Dead throughout the Colorado music scene.

Dark Star Orchestra | Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Having surpassed their 20th Anniversary and approaching 3000 shows, Dark Star Orchestra continues to thrive off of the Dead’s extensive catalog, as well as weaving their own beloved style throughout each song. Each show they perform based off of an exact setlist from the Grateful Dead, using their 20 plus years of show experience to showcase their individual instrumental talents, as well as their evolving harmony as a collective. 

Dark Star Orchestra | Boulder Theater

Throughout continual improvisational assets, encapsulating the crowd with familiar novelties, and fully embracing the original sound of the Grateful Dead, Dark Star Orchestra will consistently perform a quality show to their growing fanbase. The band has past featured guest performances from six original Grateful Dead members including Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, Donna Jean Godchaux-MacKay, Vince Welnick, Tom Constanten and even toured with longtime Dead soundman, Dan Healy. This three-night run throughout the Greater Denver Area will no doubt be a monumental gathering in Colorado. 

Hot Tuna will open up at Red Rocks this year!

The first two nights of the run are hosted at the legendary Boulder Theater, located right off of Pearl Street in Downtown Boulder. This historic venue accompanied by such good graces of music will light up Boulder for the weekend with that familiar flare of the Grateful Dead. Their Boulder-run is followed by one night at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre where Dark Star Orchestra will be recreating the Grateful Dead's set on 9/8/83, also from Red Rocks, with extraordinary guests Electric Hot Tuna.

Sat, 08/31/2019 - 11:33 am

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead took over Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre last Thursday, August 29th, igniting a monumental weekend of music throughout the Greater Denver Area. Attendees began their night socializing and connecting to fellow Deadheads in the lots, as others had their finger up looking for their miracles for this legendary sold-out show at Red Rocks.

Joe Russo's drum kit

As attendees made their way up The Rocks, their first sight was Joe Russo’s drum kit centered in the middle of the stage, looking sharp and ready for a wild night of music. The weather was perfect, and the Amphitheatre held much excitement for the performance that was about to begin. The music began promptly at 8 p.m. as the sun became purple and pink, setting down on the park.

Joe Russo's Almost Dead | Red Rocks Amphitheatre

JRAD began their set slow and prestigious as they tuned in for a night full of heavy and open jams, igniting the beginning of the set with a lengthy cover of The Beatles' “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road,” into “Foolish Heart.” The crowd was instantly connected to the traditional and instrumental tone of the band, backed with heavy keys, a wailing saxophone and Joe Russo leading the way.

Joe Russo | Morrison, CO

The familiar tone of “Shakedown Street” began and the crowd really began to move their bodies for the first time, as they sang along to the words. There were heavy saxophone solos scattered throughout the night and the brass instrumentation really put a nice zest on the overall sound of music for the night. After the “Shakedown” grooves accompanied by a lovely flute melody, the band teased Phish’s “First Tube,” exciting nearly half of the crowd that were to be in attendance of Phish at Dicks Sporting Goods Park for the weekend.

Stuart Bogie | Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Yellow lights transcended on the crowd while simultaneously the beats and melody of the band got heavier, as they transitioned into “Terrapin Station.” With more hints of saxophone and powerful vocals, the crowd sang together, “I’ll get up and fly away, fly away,” for a meaningful and intense “Wharf Rat.” The set ended with an extended “Hell in a Bucket.”

Joe Russo's Almost Dead | Red Rocks Amphitheatre

A slow, instrumental build led us into set two at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre transitioning into “Bird Song,” > “I Feel Like A Stranger,” with heavy keys throughout both songs. Next, JRAD played a fifteen-minute JGB “Cats Under The Stars,” showing off each band members individual talent as well as playing whole-heartedly and distinguishable as a collective. Guitar highlights were leading the way as they came back to “Bird Song.”

Drew Dreiwitz | JRAD

The set continued with a Bob Dylan cover, “Momma,” into another cover by Jane's Addiction, “Mountain Song.” Benevento was consistently keeping the energy up by playing lively and staccato notes throughout the whole set. Followed by Joe Russo's lead and ecstatic brass & bass, it allowed for there to be hints of all genres of music throughout the night but also led by the familiarity of the Grateful Dead.

Tom Hamilton | Red Rocks Amphitheater

The set ended with the whole amphitheater singing along to “I Know You Rider.” Joe Russo’s Almost Dead came back on stage to encore with “Brokedown Palace,” a heartfelt ballad in honor of Neal Casal, who passed away earlier that week.

Marco Benevento | JRAD

This six-piece collective that made up Joe Russo’s Almost Dead for the night was demonstrating their individual instrumental talents yet respectively feeding off of each other’s energies, as well as the crowds, for the whole night. Consistent build-ups and extended solo’s allowed for complete musical freedom, supported by the Grateful Dead’s songs, on this evening at the legendary Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre. This night of music in Colorado is followed by three nights of Phish at Dicks Sporting Goods Park.

Scott Metzger with Stuart Bogie

Check out more photos from the show.

Mon, 09/09/2019 - 11:04 am

After a brief storm and rain delay, the night featuring Electric Hot Tuna and Dark Star Orchestra began at the legendary Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre. Whether fans were preparing for the third night in a monumental three-night Colorado run following two sold-out shows at the Boulder Theater, or just coming in to not miss this Sunday show, the excitement was pouring throughout the venue as Deadheads made their way up the stairs.

Jack & Jorma | Red Rocks

The show began almost precisely an hour after the scheduled time from the rain and lightning delay. Electric Hot Tuna came out strong to push the energy to the crowd, igniting the night. Electric Hot Tuna’s prominent guitar shreds rang throughout the amphitheater, giving fans a taste of their heavy rock influence, supported by lengthy jams. Jorma and Jack continued to face each other throughout the night, testing each other’s jams and balancing out the energy of their talent.

Hot Tuna | Morrison, CO

With much anticipation, Dark Star Orchestra came next to a large applause from the audience. Rob Barraco, the keyboardist, thanked Electric Hot Tuna for contributing many years of fantastic music to the scene and even reminisced on a memory of them playing until the sun came up at a gig.

Rob Barraco | DSO

As DSO tuned their instruments and started testing out their sounds for the night, the energy was building throughout the crowd. The crowd was full of people of all ages, and their tie-dye shirts were littered throughout the seating area. This event was deemed extremely family-friendly, and you could see different generations that have shared the same love of the Grateful Dead for years.

Dark Star Orchestra | Morrison, CO

DSO came out hot with a “Shakedown Street” opener, shining proud purple and green lights on the crowd. The twang and spunk of DSO’s sounds for this “Shakedown” opener fully embodied the Grateful Dead spirit. The band continued throughout the piece harmonizing and layering the familiar lyrics.

DSO | Red Rocks Amphitheatre

After an erupted applause from that high-energy opener, Barraco led the band with his keys into “Mama Tried.” This song was extremely up-tempo, and it seemed as if the whole amphitheater was in unison. DSO continued with spunky and melodic jams leading into “Big River” > “Ramble on Rose.”

Jeff Mattson | Morrison, CO

Passionate guitar riffs lead us into the next series of “Hell in a Bucket,” into “Brown Eyed Woman.” Jeff Mattson’s powerful and intense vocals rang throughout the night, shouting familiar lyrics that everyone could relate to.

Rob Eaton | Red Rocks

They next transitioned into “Looks Like Rain,” what seemed like an ode to the earlier storm that cooled down the venue and made for clear skies at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre. The moon was also extremely present on this beautiful night on The Rocks, placed directly over the left side of the amphitheater.

Red Rocks Amphitheatre

DSO closed out the set with funky “Deal” accompanied by the most extended and most powerful jam of the night.

Dark Star Orchestra | Red Rocks

After a brief intermission, DSO came out strong with an upbeat and fiery “Scarlet Begonias,” instantly regaining the crowd attention and energy. The lighting production for the night was mesmerizing and featured circular lights that expanded throughout the night. As the sky got darker, the circular lights expanded throughout the rocks and onto the crowd.

Skip Vangelas | Red Rocks

After a lengthy second-set opener, they transitioned into “Fire On The Mountain,” a familiar tune that resonated with a lot of the crowd. Red lights ricocheted and shone throughout the night, matching the tone of the lyrics that were being belted out.

Dino English | DSO

DSO continued to gain energy as the setlist excelled into “Estimated Prophet,” as the crowd simultaneously echoed the lyrics throughout the night. Next came an extended “Terrapin Station,” leading into a deep and dark “Drums” > “Space.” This period of the night allowed the crowd to explore the depths of the sounds that DSO was producing, as well as indulge in the spacey and transcending light production.

Rob Koritz | DSO

Coming back to what seemed like a defined reality, DSO played “Throwing Stones,” into “Black Peter,” being sure to not lose any energy along the way. The surrealism and precision of sound of the Grateful Dead that DSO captures leave the crowd in awe every time. The exactness of this sound continued as they closed with a high-energy “Good Lovin’” into “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.”

Dark Star Orchestra | Red Rocks

This Dark Star Orchestra set recreated the Grateful Dead’s Red Rocks set from 9/8/83. This sold-out show at Red Rocks completely embodied the Grateful Dead’s spirit and sound. The Colorado community that continues to relish in this spirit will never fail to keep representing the love and tradition that makes up the Grateful Dead. Attendees left the amphitheater relishing in the community and happiness that was poured in this re-creation.

Red Rocks Amphitheatre | 9/8/19

Check out more photos from the show.

Thu, 09/26/2019 - 3:57 pm

Tash Sultana, a newfound global sensation, just performed her grandest North American headlining show to date at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre. Tash’s performance featured her immense instrumental talent and world-class looping and electronic skills. This show at Red Rocks was live recorded to be further featured in a behind-the-scenes look at Tash’s musical career. Last night’s stop of the “Flow State Word Tour,” is backed by the supported album, and features future stops in California, South Africa, New Zealand and ending in her home-country Australia.

Red Rocks Amphitheatre

The night began with the extended line of cars reaching down to the highway from the top of the Amphitheatre. Thousands of fans came together in the fall weather and brisk wind to crowd together to see Tash Sultana, some for the first time, and others who sported merchandise from previous stops on tour. The rows and seats were overflowing as Tash’s Sold Out Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre show began.

The Tesky Brothers | Red Rocks Amphitheatre

The Tesky Brothers ignited the night with their high-energy performance, capitalizing on their latest album, and highlighting songs, from “Run Home Slow.” Their smooth vocals and tranquil rhythms pointed the way to a night of monumental music.

Tash Sultana | Morrison, CO

When all the lights blackened and Tash Sultana’s silhouette appeared on stage, light scales of her caressing the guitar began. She began with soft vocals, flashing a bright smile to the crowd and singing lyrics “Love, I’m Coming Home To You.” Soon enough her powerful vocals were ringing throughout the Amphitheatre, exciting all the fans that traveled so far to see her.

Tash Sultana | September 25th, 2019

Tash continued with a funky groove and deep basslines. Tash was mobile throughout the whole night, continually crossing the stage and coming back to the centerpiece that was risen in the middle of the stage. Her light-up rainbow and flamingo were the perfect iridescent glow to draw attendee’s attention to center-stage. Her layering and looping of tracks continued to build into a far-out and sensational melody.

Tash Sultana | Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Glitter lights shone throughout the crowd as Tash respectfully showed off her multi-instrumental skills, keeping the crowd entertained and swaying to the rhythm. Both Tash's and the crowds’ energy were flourishing simultaneously throughout the night, completely intertwining smiles, energy, and talent as the music continued.

Tash Sultana | Morrison, CO

Tash led into the next song heavily playing the trumpet, shooting brass notes throughout the Amphitheatre, as the crowd resonated with the sound. She added layers of keys and percussion to finalize the harmony, all while continuing a progressive beat on the electronic drum pad. She continued with a heavy rock guitar solo with electric undertones.

Tash Sultana | Red Rocks Amphitheatre

At one point, Tash got down on her knees for a shredding guitar solo then threw the guitar on the ground and ran to the rest of her instruments to continue the instrumental electronic looping. The sequence ending with iridescent and vibey melodies for attendees to relish in all the feels of the night.

Tash Sultana | Morrison, CO

As the music continued, it seemed as if each note was adding on to a whole bigger picture of sound for the night. Everything was perfectly placed and matched to the crowd’s energy.

Tash Sultana | Morrison, CO

Tash then played crowd favorite, “Mystic” leading with the trumpet and excelling intensity as the song continued. The lights and noise occasionally erupted into a full-on disco party throughout the night, shining colors of the rainbow all throughout the crowd. As energy was building, Tash even ran into the crowd to play right next to fans on the ride side of the Amphitheatre.

Tash Sultana | Red Rocks

Sensual grooves continued throughout the night as we reached the half-way point of the show. Tash came forward and spoke to the audience for the first time, asking how they were doing, explaining that this was all live-recorded and even shared a personal memoir to inspire the crowd to chase their dreams. Tash mentioned how she noticed at all shows across the world; this was becoming a safe place for all genders, ages, sexuality, and race.

Tash Sultana | Red Rocks

The second part of the night continued with an acoustic and gentler style, letting the crowd go on a wild sensual sound exploration. Tash even showcased her beat-boxing skills, leaving the crowd in awe. Tash ended the set with crowd favorite “Jungle” and encored with a beautiful version of “Blackbird” to capitalize on a fantastic night at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre.

Tash Sultana

The overall uniqueness and power that came through Tash Sultana’s femininity and voice left the crowd with respect and awe as they saw a movement sequencing through this progressive sound and culture. 

Tash Sultana | Morrison, CO

Check out more photos from the show.

Mon, 10/14/2019 - 6:18 pm

Rising Appalachia and Ayla Nereo are taking over the Ogden Theatre this Sunday, October 20th for a night filled with blissful folk music and serene feminine energy. Both Rising Appalachia and Ayla Nereo embody a progressive and enlightened voice that is setting standards on forward-thinking, yet impressively melodic and instrumental music, to come for generations. Although acoustically different, these two collectives are sure to bring a euphoric experience to any venue in the country.

Ayla Nereo is a performer who is looking to weave light into this world through her conscious lyrics and powerful vocals. Over the past year, Ayla has sold-out multiple dates throughout the U.S leading into her full-length album breakout titled “By The Light Of The Dark Moon,” along with a successful and almost sold-out Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre appearance with Nahko & Medicine For The People and Trevor Hall.

"By The Light Of The Dark Moon"

Ayla Nereo’s musical performances have been deemed as “soul music” throughout her loyal fanbase.  Her on-stage performance consists of her dancing her heart out, accompanied by her bassist and drummer supporting her compelling vocal skills and conscious lyrics. Ayla performs consistent electronic looping during her performance that mashes together her effectual vocals, self-produced beats as well as the live instrumentation on-stage. As well as her musical execution being full of love for planetary healing, environmental activism and the love all of the creatures, she also takes listeners on an electric journey of sound.

Ayla’s music is beginning to take a global appeal and spreading to different corners of the world as fans and supporters are hearing the environmental activism and progressive movements in the undertones of her melodies. Ayla’s music and energy will take her on an upcoming European tour to wider her audience and spread love even further than before.

Her latest album “By The Light Of The Dark Moon,” has been a spread of comfort, hope and realism to fans throughout the world. The album takes you throughout an array of musical collaborations and showcases traditional idegenious music. Ayla’s music will take you through a state of awe and wonder as you relish in her sacred storytelling and pure and raw energy transfers.

Rising Appalachia

Rising Appalachia has been a staple and icon in the folk-music scene for over a decade. Their progressive and strong storytelling skills have excelled them through a successful music career alongside making a different throughout environmental and progressive activism. These women have pathed a path for many to follow in the act of all things good and pure in the world including beautiful music. Rising Appalachia freshest album came out last May titled, “Leylines,” supported by a cross-country tour featuring all six members who contributed to the album.

These two eclectic forces, Rising Appalachia and Ayla Nereo, are coming together this Sunday for a prestigious night at The Ogden Theatre. Come together for a conscious gathering leading into another week in the Denver music scene.

Thu, 10/17/2019 - 5:14 pm

Papadosio is heading to Denver this Friday, October, 18th and 19th at the newly remodeled Summit Music Hall in the heart of Downtown. Their progressive rock influence transfused with their improvisational and electric sound will call for a hearty two-night run this upcoming weekend in Denver. The Papadosio team is still thriving off of an incredible performance at The Caverns in Tennessee as well as their exemplary music festival in Slippery Rock, PA, titled Resonance Music Festival.

Papadosio played at Belly Up Aspen on Wednesday night to kick off their fall tour in Colorado. The intimacy is running deep throughout this series of shows and continually building energy to excel throughout the rest of the tour. Papadosio is known for their eclectic and spacey interweaving of melodic sounds and will continue to showcase their distinct sound, along with continuing the journey of creating new beats, throughout compatible albums and new tracks. Papadosio has a sense of long-lasting tradition through their fans as well as the recognized continuation of their evolution of sound.

The Summit Theatre is an intimate space and exposed music venue that suberly showcases the talent that crosses its stage. Resembling an open-ended box, this venue pressures attendees to feel the unsealed energy in the air and divulge in the acoustic nature of the space. Papadosio is an impeccable collective to fill out the 1,100 capacity venue.

Papadosio recently premiered a high-definition video of “The Catalyst” performed at The Caverns in Tennessee. This video will take you on a journey of sound as Papadosio explores the depths of chromatical scales as well as combining electronic and synth elements that make up their distinct style. This video will showcase the energy that is present at all of their live performances as well as show you how their collective capitalizes on intimacy and craftsmanship. Every Papadosio show features a new experience and creation of sequences that all line up to the balance of sound.

Papadosio is continuing their tour throughout the East Coast after these Colorado shows and circling back to two nights at The Sheridan Opera House in Telluride, Colorado for the closing shows near the new year. List of full tour dates here:

Tour Dates:

10/18/19 - Summit Music Hall - Denver, CO

10/19/19 - Summit Music Hall - Denver, CO

10/31/19 - Headliners Music Hall - Louisville, KY

11/01/19 - Egyptian Room - Indianapolis, IN

11/02/19 - House of Blues - Cleveland, OH

11/08/19 - Basement East - Nashville, TN

11/09/19 - Basement East - Nashville, TN

11/15/19 - Empire Control Room & Garage - Austin, TX

11/16/19 - Deep Ellum Art Co. - Dallas, TX

11/22/19 - Visulite Theatre - Charlotte, NC

11/23/19 - Visulite Theatre - Charlotte, NC

11/29/19 - Magic Stick - Detroit, MI

11/30/19 - Magic Stick - Detroit, MI

12/06/19 - Shady Park Tempe - Tempe, AZ

12/07/19 - Shady Park Tempe - Tempe, AZ

12/13/19 - Meow Wolf - Santa Fe, NM

12/14/19 - Meow Wolf - Santa Fe, NM

12/27/19 - Isis Music Hall - Asheville, NC

12/28/19 - Isis Music Hall - Asheville, NC

12/30/19 - The Bluestone - Columbus, OH

12/31/19 - The Bluestone - Columbus, OH

01/08/20 - Belly Up - Aspen, CO

01/10/20 - Sheridan Opera House - Telluride, CO

01/11/20 - Sheridan Opera House - Telluride, CO