Tag Archives: Festival Pier

Fans Get Slightly Stoopid on 420 at Red Rocks

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If we were to try to sum up Red Rock Amphitheater in Colorado in a single word it would simply be “breathtaking”. Our most recent trip to the magnificent outdoor venue took place on April 20th for a sold-out show with Slightly Stoopid (featuring Karl Denson), Cypress Hill, and Tribal Seeds.

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We arrived at the venue fresh from the airport and the genuine personalities of the Denver crowd quickly became apparent. We met locals who
welcomed us into their tailgate, thrilled that we had made this trek to the Rocks. Everyone we came across had the same happy reaction as they tried to describe what we were about to experience that night.

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The climb up the mountain to the Red Rocks entrance is an event in itself. The hike made us acutely aware of our physical prowess and hearing the bass echoing from the amphitheater all the way from the parking lot kept our feet moving.

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We eventually made our way into the venue and explored during Tribal Seed’s late afternoon set. We felt like little kids at Disneyland, adventuring around to see the attractions. There was a great variety of food and drink vendors dispersed throughout the venue to discover. In case you were wondering, the nachos were on point.

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We posted up at different vantage points as we made our way through the crowd. Whether you were watching the band jamming om the stage, the light projections onto the rocks beside you, or turning around to glance at the rising crowd above, every angle offered a remarkable view.

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The view from the top of the venue is equally amazing as the one from the photo pit. From the top, the structure of the amphitheater can be fully visualized, as well as the beautiful Denver skyline behind the stage. The thousands of people surrounding you feel microscopic compared to the canyon rock reaching towards the sky beside you.

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The acoustics in the amphitheater are simply unparalleled. It sounds like you are beside the artists in their studio; the connection to their music was heightened as we were able to literally feel the sound pulsating on us. This is what music is supposed to sound like.

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Cypress Hill still knows how to put on one hell of a live performance. They played back-dropped by a beautiful sunset as the crowd participated in constant sing-alongs to Cypress Hill’s classics. DJ Muggs and Bobo Correa performed a wild scratch and bongo solo that sent crisp echos into the mountains. It was great to get our hip-hop fix as they rapped into nighttime.

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Finally, a smoking skull was projected on the rocks and the Slightly Stoopid crew rolled up on stage in a hot-boxed van. It was, after all, 4/20.

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Miles Doughty screamed “COLORADOOOO” into the mic about 100 times that night, but the first time sent shivers
down our spines as his voice echoed all around us.

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C-Money fist pumped with his trumpet in between songs and the serenading saxophone was continuously harmonizing with the band, keeping our heads bobbing to the rhythm.

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The atmosphere in the crowd was obviously appropriate for the “holiday”, in a state that recently legalized marijuana. A fog of smoke rose constantly from the audience, sitting above everyone’s heads like ghostly halos.

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It was a magical experience all around and one we will not soon forget. For those in Philadelphia looking to get Slightly Stoopid, their “Kicking Up Dust” summer tour will be rolling into Philly on August 10th to play the Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing with Atmosphere and The Budos Band. Tickets are on sale now.

Be sure to “like” Independent Philly on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

[Photo credit: Mike Martinoli]

You can view an expanded photo gallery below (click thumbnails to enlarge):

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Pennsylvania Experiences Life in Color

Independent Philly hit the road with Life in Color (formerly Dayglow) for three days packed full of world-class DJs, stellar performance artists, and of course crazy fans going hard in the paint.

Our time on tour kicked off on Thursday, September 20th in Wilkes-Barre, PA where fans in the Mohegan Sun Arena were treated to the sweet beats of Brass Knuckles, and headliner, Arty.

Brass Knuckles (the trio of Danny D’Brito, Tony Livadas and Anthony Pisano) incorporates live bass-playing on top of their DJ sound giving them a unique flair and wunderkind Arty simply threw down a great set. On top of that the new performance artists on this tour, highlighted by trampoline artists, fuzed wonderfully with the returning acts, including magician Sheldon Blake.

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT 200+ PHOTOS FROM WILKES-BARRE

The next night the party moved to the Sovereign Center in Reading, PA where bus loads of kids from Penn State (Berks) joined in the fun. Philadelphia’s SRG (Art of Electronica) opened the night with a tech-house set on the decks and was followed by Brass Knuckles and headliner, Tommy Trash.

The crowd was larger on the second night which only added to the madness. Brass Knuckles was again a great warm up for the headliner and Tommy Trash really got the place moving with his set as well.

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT 230+ PHOTOS FROM READING, PA

The third night of our Life in Color run brought us back to our home city of Philadelphia where a sold out crowd of almost 7000 people packed into the Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing. Production was kicked up for the large crowd including the use of a high pressured fire-hose that shot paint over 60 feet out into the crowd.

The show once again featured SRG and Brass Knuckles who were followed by David Solano and headliner, Dirty South.

The show started out bright and sunny at 6pm but within a few hours an absolute downpour began to fall. Fans were not deterred as they raged out soaked in rain and paint for the next few hours.

When the party ended at 11pm, fans moved to the official after party at Lit Ultra Bar which featured a DJ set from Pierce Fulton.

CLICK HERE TO SEE 250+ PHOTOS FROM PHILADELPHIA

Interview with Jesse Miller of Lotus

It’s hard to pigeon hole Lotus into a genre of music. Are they Rock, Electronic, Post-Rock, Jamband, Electro? All of the above? What we do know is that they put on one hell of a live show! Before they rock a crowd at FDR Park this Saturday, we spoke with Jesse Miller, the man behind the bass and sampler, to get some inside info on what we can expect this weekend, and beyond, from Lotus.

Independent Philly: Who came up with the band name “Lotus”?

Jesse Miller: The other guys were playing together for a little bit before I was with them and the story is that they started out when they were just out of college and they booked a gig really soon and had to come up with a name really quick. Someone put Lotus out there and it just stuck.

IP: It’s been almost exactly a year since you released your last album, have you been working on any new music since then?

JM: Yeah, a ton of new music. We actually got about, I would say, three new albums in the works.

IP: Do you have any set release date for any of them?

JM: No, they are in various stages. One is almost done, we just need to work out a few details on the masters. The next one we’re going to be mixing in, in the next couple months, to come out early next year. And then there’s a lot of additional things that we’re working on as well. We’re not exactly sure what those will be quite yet.

IP: You guys have been known to throw lots of themed shows in the past. Is there one that really sticks out as being your favorite?

JM: The David Bowie one we did for Halloween a few years back was really fun. It was really fun just to get into the details of his music and learning it. Just going through someone’s music in that close of detail when you’re trying to learn it, you suss out pretty quickly what’s going on, and that was definitely fun to dive into. And then the costume designer for the show just did a really great job and made some great costumes. So yeah, that was one of my favorites of the themed shows.

IP: Is there a dream themed show that you’d like to do that you haven’t done before?

JM: I’ve been trying to sell the band on a Kraftwerk themed show for years, but I think I’m the only one who’s really a huge Kraftwerk fan.

IP: You have a show coming up this Saturday in FDR Park (with MiMOSA, Ghostland Observatory, Michal Menart, and Sonic Spank). What can fans expect from a live Lotus show if there’s never seen you perform before?

JM: It’s usually a very dance oriented show but we do like to mix it up and we do have a pretty large catalog, so we try to get a good mix of older material, newer material, and keep a little dance in, but we might bring it down here or there. I’ve always felt that Lotus crowds are really invested in the set and they pay really close attention and they’re really feeling the music. So, I’d hope there’s not a lot of passive listeners out there. At least that’s not what I see from stage. People are really getting into it and spending some energy, and sending some energy back our way.

IP: Do you have a favorite memory of a past show in Philadelphia?

JM: Last New Year’s was a really fun show. We set up down at the Festival Pier and just kind of built our own venue around that tent that’s there, and you know, having a sold out show there, that’s down on the river, and ringing in the new year was really special. The crowd was great and we all had a really good time. And there were fireworks right over the bridge there at midnight so that was just icing on the cake.

IP: You spend a lot of time in Philadelphia. Are there any up and coming bands or producers that you don’t think are getting enough attention right now?

JM: One group that I’ve been doing some stuff with, some friends of mine down here in Fishtown, are called Damn Right, and we’ve played a few shows together and they’ve opened up for Lotus a few times. I think they have a new EP coming out in either October or November. I actually saw them play on Sunday at a festival right after our set and I think they’re making some pretty great music. And some other friends of mine who are doing great things is Grimace Federation and I’m always pumped to see them live.

IP: Tell us something that would surprise or even shock our readers…

IP: Well I don’t know if everybody really knows that we’re actually split between Philadelphia and Denver. Half our band and crew live in Denver and half here, so we’re across a couple time zones.

Independent Philly will be on hand to cover the show (presented by Deathwaltz Media) on Saturday! If you’d like to join us, you can purchase advanced tickets here.

ID Festival 2012: New Venue, New Sounds, Same Old Good Time

We rolled into the venue at around 430pm due to an overload of traffic on I-76. It seemed as though everyone was heading to Identity Festival at Festival Pier on Penn’s Landing on July 29, 2012.

Although the weather was just a tad below scorching, Noisia had no problem getting the crowd roaring and singing along as the duo dropped the ever-popular “Raise Your Weapon” as their opener on the Rockstar Energy Stage.

As Noisia ended, many people headed into the tent where the venue had laid out its vendor tents/tables and people could cool off and collect themselves (or grab a brew from the central bar inside).

Twenty-two year old producer/remixer/DJ, Arty, was nothing short of phenomenal. Although dropping more Electro House than the original genre that brought him into the scene (Trance) fans were still extremely pleased. In the words of many, “He killed it.”

Next, we positioned ourselves right behind the pair known as Showtek. The Dutch hard dance act teamed up to unleash havoc on the fans using straight CDs (no DJ software) while his hype-man brother blasted a handheld cryo-gun into the crowd. Even though show goers expected more hard-style tracks from the group, Showtek did not have a problem getting them moving.

We then traveled back over to the main stage sponsored by iHome, to prepare ourselves for music prodigy, eighteen-year-old Madeon. The electro pop producer knows how to please. Using DJ tricks including holding drops until the next beat, and using his electrifying remixes, this youngster knows how to throw down.

Back at the Rockstar stage, headliner Excision was about to begin. We noticed an overload of bouncers in front of the crowd between them and the stage. We asked what the deal was because there hadn’t been nearly as many during previous acts. It turns out, Excision had asked for 8 bouncers to hold down the fans, and they decided to throw 12 in there. This confused us, but maybe it was the heart pounding, bone shaking bass, Excision’s signature sound, rattling our brains.

We’ve never heard music that loud in our lives; even earplugs could barely withstand it. Out of nowhere, the heavy bass music producer dropped a hardstyle tune in the mix, forcing the ground to shake even more due to the style of dance fans use for this specific genre of EDM.

Security was super tight during Eric Prydz, but that didn’t stop us from getting close to his side during his multi-genre set. As the night ended on Festival Pier, Prydz held down the fort, dropping all sorts of tunes to keep the fans happy. He really has come a long way since his single “Call on me,” getting more ‘filthy’ as the scene likes to say. It was joy all around and certainly a beautiful experience to end the day.

Then it was off to LiT Ultra Bar for the after party. Decibels Vol. 3 was presented by Art of Electronica and the show featured David Vaux, SRG, Love City DJs, & Dubsef.

[story by Mik Polli, photo credit: Steve Garfinkel]

You can view a full photo gallery of ID Fest 2012 below:

Kaskade, Sex Cult, & Decibels: We Make The Rounds

Thursday, June 28th was packed with shows in Philadelphia and Independent Philly was all over the place to catch as many of them as possible.

The evening started early (630pm) at the Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing where America’s #1 DJ (2011) Kaskade rolled into town with his “Freaks of Nature” tour (with support from Kap Slap, Fareoh, and Alvin Risk).

Kaskade brought all of the freaks out of the woodwork for this one as thousands of fans rolled into the Festival Pier, decked out in a wide array of crazy gear.

When the all-ages event wrapped up at 11pm, our next stop was The Barbary for the debut of a new monthly party called Sex Cult. The 18+ party, headlined by Designer Drugs, also featured support from Aaron Ruxbin, Skitsnygg, and PLS DNT STP.

There was a nice sized crowd on hand rocking out on the dance floor downstairs and the music was definitely on point.

At 1am it was time to make more moves and head to LiT Ultra Bar for Decibels 2. Our third EDM event of the night featured some excellent local talent on the decks. Johnny V, LoveCityDJs, and Dubsef all took their turn throwing down for the crowd (many of whom had come from the Kaskade show). The dance floor was packed and everyone was dancing and having a great time (ourselves included).

We’d fully intended to make a fourth stop at the Actual Records late-night after-party for Sex Cult, but sometimes at 330am, you just have to call it quits. We hear it was bonkers though (as per usual).

You can view a crazy mashed up photo album of all three events (as well as a video of LoveCityDJs at LiT) below:

The 5th Annual Roots Picnic, Now a Two-Day Affair

The annual Roots Picnic concert celebrated its fifth anniversary this year. 2012 marked the first time that the show was expanded to two days, Saturday, June 2nd, and Sunday, June 3rd. Both days took place at the Festival Pier on Penns Landing and featured two stages.

We’ll give you a separate break down of each day (complete with its own photo gallery and recap) below. Simply click the link for each day to get the full details on what went down at this year’s event.

For ROOTS PICNIC 2012 (DAY 1) click here

For ROOTS PICNIC 2012 (DAY 2) click here

Philly’s Festival Pier Gets Loaded

The weather was gorgeous on Saturday, May 12th in Philadelphia: 80 degrees with abundant sunshine. For EDM fans, it was the perfect day to flock to the Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing to get Loaded.

Loaded Festival, presented by Steez Promo and Live Nation, was a nine-hour auditory onslaught, chock full of local and international talent spread across two stages.

The gates opened at 2pm with locals Suga Shay kicking things off on the Pier Stage and LoveCityDJs in the Tent Stage. It didn’t take long for small, excited crowds to build at both stages.

From there it was two more locals, Dubsef on the Pier Stage, and Rob Paine in the Tent Stage, that kept the vibe going.

Fans continued to file into the venue, buying up beers and getting their day-load on as event MC Khadafi Dub kept the hype building.

Dressed in everything from skimpy outfits to full costumes, they danced, hula-hooped, and even moshed along to the sick beats provided by the DJs.

The afternoon progressed on the Main Stage with sets by KDrew and School Boy, and in the Tent with AK1200 and Brown & Gammon.

Although the energy level and vibe of the event was already quite high, things were taken to another level at 530pm when Mt. Eden hit the Main Stage. Their infectious energy and live MCing whipped the crowd into a frenzy.

J Rabbit took over an hour later and kept things rocking as he was joined on stage by go-go dancers.

Meanwhile, the Tent was a hot mess but that didn’t stop fans from getting down to the likes of Pierce Fulton and Lucky Date.

Downlink was scheduled up next on the Main Stage but a double dose of bad luck (a missed flight and a fried laptop) prevented him from filling his slot. His fans weren’t completely left hanging as he was squeezed into the Tent a little later and played some tunes from a laptop he borrowed from Lucky Date (who played the third to last set in the Tent).

Dirtyloud, who were supposed to play the Tent, took Downlink’s spot on the Main Stage and played until 830pm.

At that point, things on the Main Stage got downright LOUD. Flux Pavilion took to the decks and unloaded some insane eardrum blowing Dubstep on the crowd just after sunset.

The evening concluded with two more heavy hitters, Wolfgang Gartner in the Tent, and Rusko on the Main Stage.

Despite the red hot temperature in the Tent, Wolfgang Gartner killed it. His set was easily one of the best (if not the best) of Loaded Festival.

In typical Rusko fashion, the UK Dubstep DJ danced around like a man possessed as he unleashed bass-drop after dirty bass-drop on the crowd.

When the event ended around 11pm, many fans headed to the Theater of the Living Arts on South Street for the official after party that featured a second set from Mt. Eden.

You can view several videos and a full photo gallery below: