Headstash's ROOTWIRE Review Guide
- By Evan Gorman and John Manion
- Published on August 10, 2011
2011 Lineup: Papadosio (3 nights), Emancipator, Invisible Allies, Bluetech, Killowatts, The Werks, The Malah, Zoogma, Ultraviolet Hippopotamus, D.V.S., RoeVy, Up Until Now, Govinda, Damn Right!, Octopus Nebula, Jimkata, The Twin Cats, EP3, The Coop, Silo Effect, Eumatik, Skeetones, Deaf Scene, Nala, Earthcry, Arpetrio, Catch Curtis, Strange Arrangement, Steez, Headstash, Sonic Spank, Jahman Brahman, Third Nature, Sweet Earth, Jones 4 Revival, Pharoah, Loosely, E.G.T., 1st Street Hear, Shankbones, Kyu-Bik, Six Dollar Suit, The Greens, Nick Noyes, M.R.U., Infinite Geometry, Armozel, Labyrinth Aquarium, Embryonic Fluid, Bitch Please, Benigma Rahbee, The Lorax, Tree aFugate, FlipNasty, Ginja Moloko, Kaleidoscope, Jukebox, Garganta, pH Factor
Festival Website: http://rootwirefestival.com/
The sun was shining and the days were beautiful for the most part. For some, the heat was a little overwhelming, but as long as you stayed hydrated the heat only caused a few sweaty bodies and no serious problems. It rained twice – once very slightly on Friday night and heavily during the day on Sunday.
Evan Gorman's Five Highlights
Papadosio's atypical sets. The live PA set was a two-hour, non-stop improv jam with guitarist Anthony Thogmartin mixing and DJing the live band as they played. This was unlike any Papadosio performance I’ve ever seen.
|Up Until Now - Photo Credit: Alan Van Toai|
Earthcry. Thogmartin’s solo DJ set was a fascinating insight into the origin of Papadosio's original music. His mixes blended beautiful instruments into wonderfully structured songs to showcase the individual creativity of the band's primary songwriter. The most interesting part was Thogmartin’s skilled use of a monome for his live mixing.
Third Nature.This up-and-coming trio from Lakeville, CT took the crowd by storm with their Medeski-meets-New Deal style of livetronica. Beautiful vocal harmonies complemented their ethereal and melodic segments, which would quickly give way to seamless transitions into heavy, thumping grooves.
Their blending of genres, coupled with their frequent juxtapositions of lighter segments with severe intensity, classical inspired piano and beautiful vocal harmonies made this group one of the best performances at the festival. This is a group to look for in the future.
RoeVy.This Ohio based DJ group has one of the best stage performances I've ever seen. Their hilarious costumes and communication through their robot themed computerized voices gave them intense and dark personas.
Their builds went so high, drawing the audience up with anticipation, only to drop like a ton of bricks into a rave-like dance party.
Damn Right!.Baltimore's Damn Right! creates an amazingly full sound for a livetronica trio. The synth bass and break beat drums create a rhythm section with force and incessant energy, while the keyboards drive a funky melody to further keep the audience moving.
Their show after Papadosio's second set on Saturday was perfectly placed. This is another group elevating and pushing the future of livetronica that is not to be missed.
John Manion's Five Highlights
Papadosio.Thursday night we witnessed their amazing talent and musicianship through their 100 percent improv set in the Dance Tent. I have to give a lot of credit to Daniel Hiudt for being on top of his game with the lighting production for two hours of pure improv.
|Photo Credit: Alan VanToai|
RoeVy. These guys are scary. They put on a show crazy enough to make a sober man hallucinate. Between their all-black get-up with laser eyes, their perfect mix of trancey dubstep and their mindboggling projections, I would say these guys solidified themselves as one of the best DJ acts out there. There wasn't a single person at this show that wasn't getting down.
Zoogma. These guys tore down the main stage Sunday night to end the raging festivities. Their high energy, in-your-face livetronica jams melted faces.
After they finished their set, the crowd pleaded for an encore and it was granted. Thankfully, when the Zoogma dust finally settled, everyone left standing had the Papadosio acoustic set to calm them back down otherwise we might have seen a riot in Logan.
|Photo Credit: Alan VanToai|
"Stepping Into The Fire." This documentary was screened at the end of the festival and is about an amazing ancestral medicine from South America called Ayahuasca known for its mental, physical and energetic healing properties.
The film takes you through the same journey that Papadosio actually went
through earlier this year in Peru.
Seeing the movie really connected everything that went on at Rootwire all weekend between the artists, the music, the speakers, the installations and the fans. It was easy to see where Rootwire's inspiration came from. Watch the trailer for "Stepping Into The Fire" on the documentary’s website.
Evan Gorman: The downpour on Sunday really put a damper on the Dopapod set.
John Manion: The only real downer of the festival was the combination of the heat and the shower situation. Although the showers were free – which was awesome – there were only six of them and they broke down due to a water pressure issue a few times throughout the weekend.
Eumatik. Great three-piece between Dopapod and Zoogma.
The Opening Ceremony. Ehren Cruz's powerful opening ceremony set the tone for the whole festival. It was the perfect recognition of love and transcendence that defines Papadosio's greater message and was reflected by every person in attendance.
John Manion's Surprises
The atmosphere. I expected the music to be amazing, but the art and the vibes absolutely exceeded my expectation.
Dopapod's tenacity. They could not be phased. Probably five minutes into their set on the Main Stage it started to pour. The synth and pedals were drenched, but this only enticed them to play better. The crowd responded by forming a huge circle and performing a rain dance in the mud.
The atmosphere was unlike any other festival I’ve ever been to. It was intimate and everyone was so kind and generous all weekend. There was overwhelming love coming from everyone.
The crowd was all ages and from all parts of the country, keeping the vibe tame and respectful.
Every display, every decoration, and every installation was marked by jaw dropping talent and creativity.
They also had telescopes set up at night for the "By the Light of the Stars" installation, which was a guided tour of the stars, the moon and Jupiter. Very cool stuff.
“I'm gonna have to jiggle my own balls, because there is no bass to do it for me.” – A random Silent Disco attendee, commenting on the lack of actual bass speakers.
"This festival is great, but they're missing one thing... You see there's this band... I don't know if they could fit them in the budget, but there's this band..." – A Deadhead talking about the Dead.
Check out coverage from all your favorite festivals in our 2011 Festival Guide.
What did you think of Rootwire 2011? Highlights, lowlights and surprises. Let us know in the comments below.