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Revisting The Electric Forest (Essay and Gallery)
Sunday :: 07.01.12 :: Highlights
MiMOSA | Tripolee
Just as the sun started to set for the last time at Electric Forest, DJ Mimosa took the Tripolee stage next to the entrance and the Ferris wheel. Tigran began his career producing at the tender age of 17, and has taken the EDM scene by storm. As he constantly defies expectations, his unique sound incorporates a lot of trap mixes. The San Francisco native got the relatively young crowd going with original track ‘Dirty Money’ and a remix of Waka Flocka Flame’s ‘Hard In The Paint’. The absolute highlight of his performance, however, was an intense remix to the infamous ‘Sandstorm’.
Bassnectar | Ranch Area
Whether you love or hate dubstep, it’s hard to deny that Bassnectar puts on a spectacular show. His incredibly visually stimulating screens, eclectic catalogue of songs and intense energy provide an experience one should try at least once before ruling out this DJ/producer just because he’s gained a lot of popularity for teenagers. Bassnectar fans poured into the Ranch Area and the field was as packed as I had seen all weekend. Lorin Ashton of Santa Cruz, California, got his start in the late 90’s and has evolved into one of the biggest freeform and dubstep artists in the country. His music is amorphous and ever-changing, and his influences range the spectrum. It was clearly evident this evening that one of those influences is hard/punk rock as he performed his ‘Pennywise Tribute’ and a new tune using a Motorhead song. His performance was stellar and the crowd’s energy was at an all time high for the weekend.
Big Gigantic | Sherwood Court
The fact that Bassnectar went over his 12:30am time slot by about 15-20 minutes only delayed what we all knew was coming and it was finally that time, the last set of the weekend. This sometimes haunting task was put on the shoulders of Big Gigantic. After Bassnectar left the stage Domic Lalli’s sax was clearly audible through the Sherwood Forest and it was evident that the party was not over just yet. Big Gigantic closed out the festival on the Sherwood Court to a massive crowd that brought each and every person with any energy left out to give it their all and Big G did not disappoint. Raised up in their new LED cone set ups the duo of Domic Lalli and Jermy Salken kept the energy sky high throughout their hour and a half set. With popular mainstays such as “Lucid Dreams” and “Sky High,” new favorites like “Nocturnal” and “It’s Goin’ Down” and a remix of Kanye West’s “Get ‘Em High”, everyone in the massive Sherwood Court concert bowl, along the edges of the Sherwood Forest and beyond were grooving to this duos exotic, entrancing style of music and that will keep you engaged while sane at the same time. Big G did an excellent job of closing out the festival with their intense energy and groovy tunes. Bravo boys!
There is so much that can and should be said about the Double JJ Ranch, Electric Forest Festival and the Sherwood Forest, but I have no doubt Brian Hockensmith’s stellar photos will give you better visual insight into what went down during the magical, yet unseasonably hot last weekend of June in Michigan. Without a doubt when someone asks me about the festivals I have attended this summer the first thing out of my mouth has something to do with the breath taking Sherwood Forest. Andy Carroll, the mastermind behind String Cheese’s lights, was the main art director and designer of the Sherwood Forest and has gone above and beyond all expectations. I was utterly blown away each time I walked through the magical creation, speechless until I could gather my thoughts.
While many still yearn for the old Rothbury Festival and more jamband oriented line ups of the 2008 and 2009 incarnations I think Madison House and Insomniac Events are starting to get the idea that jambands and heavy electronic can mix if carefully picked and placed in ways that all can enjoy. The festival was a unique, awe-inspiring experience, and I cannot wait till next year. See you all in the Sherwood Forest in 2013!
All images by B.Hockensmith Photography