Electric Forest Festival, Rothbury, MI 6/28-7/1
Day three opened with Santigold who played nearly all of her popular hit songs. “Brooklyn,” “L.E.S. Artistes,” “Creator,” “say Aha” and “Starstruck,” were the crowd favorite tracks of this show, most of which are from her debut self-titled studio album.
SCI’s Saturday evening set had no special guests, instead the band decided to stick to their own original material, appeasing the masses with their expected groovy jams. “Rosie,” “Black & White,” “Sirens,” “Rivertrance,” and “Shine” were just a few of the songs played, each with extended jamming. “Ring of Fire” segued into “Johnny Cash” made for a breathtaking encore.
Closing out Saturday, Sound Tribe came out to party and blast everyone off into the atmosphere. Playing “Be Nice,” “Moonsocket,” “When The Dust Settles,” and “T.W.E.L.V.E.” STS9 performed an overwhelming show complete with an ornately extravagant light production.
Sunday began with Papadosio at the Sherwood Court stage, who started their set with “Paddles for Oceans.” The festival crowd might have been Papadosio’s biggest crowd yet and the early gathering of fans were dancing their asses off to “Unparalyzer,” and a reworked version of “Fuse.”
The Travelin’ McCourys featuring Keller Williams jammed out in true bluegrass fashion, featuring a brand spankin’ new track off of the new album Pick, “Price Tag,” originally a pop song made famous by Jessie J. “Pumped Up Kicks,” by Foster the People, and Keller’s most popular “Freaker by the Speaker,” were two of the more enjoyable tracks since the lyrics are extremely well-known and famous and almost everyone was crooning the lyrics.
Following Keller and the McCourys set, a few of the McCourys were invited on stage with The String Cheese Incident. Ronnie, Jason, Rob and Keller joined SCI for a Sunday evening bluegrass set. They played popular Keller Williams originals “Porta Potty” and “Best Feeling.” Also, after a short set break intermission, Big Gigantic’s Dominic Lali added his sexy saxophone sound to the Cheese for the second set opener, “JellyFish” and the encore tracks “Freedom Jazz Dance” and “Could You Be Loved.” Overall, String Cheese Incident collabs were groundbreaking. It has become apparent that artists did not come to Electric Forest to just play one set and leave; instead they came to hang out with their friends and play music onstage with each other.
Bassnectar and Big Gigantic finished out the festival strong with impressive sets and elaborate light shows from each. They both played all of their newest and most popular material. Also, both of these sets contained an onslaught of glowsticks hailing down like confetti from the skies, a spectacle from any vantage point.
Bassnectar opened with “Massive Attack” and continued with “Ugly,” “Laughter Crescendo,” “Ping Pong,” “Voodoo,” and “Vavavoom.” During Lorin’s “Pennywise Tribute,” and the encore song, Motörhead’s “Ace of Spades” fans were bellowing along to the lyrics. Lorin Ashton’s set was nothing short of explosive; his loud kicking beats drove fans into a dance frenzy.
Big G followed on the Sherwood Court stage and after all of their unexpected collaborations, festival attendees finally got to hear their much-awaited original tracks and popular remixes. Aloe Blacc’s “I Need a Dolla,” is one of their best remixes and has become a staple in their live performances, as well as Kanye’s “Get ‘Em High,” and their own “It’s Goin’ Down.” The set also contained a new song “Power” which was undeniably powerful. Additionally, Griz came on stage for a quick shout out and to dance during “Lucid Dreams.”
Finally, there was a secret exclusive set sponsored by the Work Exchange Team that featured Cherub with guest appearances by Two Fresh, Big G’s Jeremy Salkin and String Cheese’s Jason Hann on drums. This surprise after party continued until 4 a.m. leaving fans begging for more.