Wednesday Mountain Sprout - After a long day of waiting out in the sun to be given our wristbands, it was great to sit at camp and enjoy a few beers and bowls with our neighbors. We walked around for a while, checking out all of the sights and listening to Dirtfoot play from the Backwoods Stage. I hadn't slept at all the night before, so I was about to turn in when I heard Mountain Sprout start their set. The sound of Blayne Thiebaux's fiddle literally pulled me out of my sleeping bag and we made it down to the Backwoods stage to see one of my favorite sets of the weekend. Such amazing energy and musicianship, all while being shitfaced drunk.
Thursday Totojojo - Pretty cool little uplifting rock band. Nothing to rave about, but it was a really pleasant way to 'officially' kick off Waka.
These United States - This was my first proper listen of these guys, and they quackin' ROCK. I will definitely be digging into their catalog after seeing that performance. I kind of wish I had been able to make their second set that night.
North Mississippi Allstars - Something about blues duos in the daytime, man. It should almost be mandatory for a festival. It was during this set that I realized how hard it must be to get a crowd going in such heat. Props to NMAS duo for doing so.
Minus The Bear - These guys pretty much blew it out of the water. I was really surprised by the amount of die-hards in the tent during this set. It seemed like everyone knew the words and the energy amongst the crowd was insane. I was a fairly casual fan going in, knowing I really wanted to check them out, and they completely destroyed it.
Buckethead - Such a relief/pleasant surprise to see him perform with a band this time out. The set was unreal. Those riffs are just so chunky and fierce, I can't help but dance my ass off to them. This may sound weird but one of the coolest things about Buckethead to me is his posture while he plays. He looks like a praying mantis just slaying the guitar.
Eliot Lipp Live - I really had a blast, and this was pretty much my only Satellite Stage experience. They had it going on down there this year, removing the tent top and really decorating the woods with lights and canopies. It was awesome how they had visuals going on the sides of the stage too...there were points where they mixed shots of Lipp and the drummer (I think from Two Fresh) and shots of the crowd, and they looked super cool mixed together. Lipp was outstanding, playing some funky ass hip-hop cuts and throwing some hard Leno down in appropriate times.
Umphrey's McGee - Potentially could have stolen the festival, had the sound not been so quacked. You couldn't hear Jake at all during the first couple of songs, so everything sounded really weird and thin. Once it all got going, it was an incredible show. The new song, 'Puppet String' actually had people going off really hard, which is a very good sign for that song. It was great and had a lot of that funky old-school Umph love. All In Time > Baba O'Riley > All In Time closer. Need I say more?
Lotus - I happily avoided getting Shpongled to rock it out with Lotus. I feel these sorts of sets (ones up against something heavily favored) are almost always special. Those that were in that tent were giving Lotus everything back at them, and we all had a really beautiful time. It was a straight dance party from start to finish. I love how Lotus is really adept at both bringing sampled flavors and just ripping through jams. Makes for some really amazing times.
Friday Cornmeal - The plan was to see Mountain Sprout again before this, but we were lagging and only made it for their last song. Cornmeal has gotten so much filthier in the two years since I've seen them! Some major Cheese vibes coming from that stage. Allie RIPS the fiddle and they are great at really mixing up those dust-cloud inducing bluegrass numbers and slowing it down for some more paced jams.
Split Lip Rayfield - This set was particularly fun because our Kansas neighbors and myself and my buddy had made pretty good friends with each other and Split Lip is their hometown band. We all had a really good time and it was great to see their favorite band with them.
JJ Grey & Mofro - Gotta love JJ's long-winded stories about his grandma getting down to steamy, blues sex songs. Another set that is just asking to be blasted from a mainstage sound system in the heat of the afternoon. Steamy dance moves were displayed.
Inflect - I'm pretty sure it was him or An-Ten-Nae. We were just killing time before STS9 and no one had the motivation to see Sharon Jones. It was pretty dope, nothing special. Another great opportunity to see what they'd done with the Satellite Stage and watch some live painting.
STS9 - This was a really heavy set but the way it flowed and the energy of the band/crowd really made up for it for me. The new stuff sounded really reworked to me and they gave us a couple of bust-outs that really worked well in the flow of the set. This weekend helped open my eyes to the new direction of the band: it's not something I necessarily prefer over what I know they've been capable of, but it's where they are now and it's time to accept them for that. Great set for me, for that personal reason alone. Great set for everyone else because of how hard it went off, I'm sure.
My Morning Jacket - Best set of the weekend. This was my first time hearing any songs off of Circuital and they just made me happier than words can say. I did my best all weekend to educate people there who didn't know about them (a shocking amount of folks), so hopefully they gained some new fans. Either way, they proved why they're where they are. The set was amongst my favorite Jacket sets; it flowed so well and spirits were incredibly high amongst the people I was around. A lot of faces melted.
Bassnectar - His visuals were absolutely insane. This was also the first night that I got to chill and check out the Quixotic performance after the headliner. They have, aside from the obvious visual spectacle, really awesome music! We were getting down in between MMJ and Bassnectar, and then once Bassnectar came on, Leno got wild. Probably the most packed set of the weekend in my eyes.
Dark Star Orchestra - I guess everyone was getting their womp on that night. I walked into the tent midway through their second set and immediately got a spot on the rail, right in the center. I almost cried during the 'Brokedown Palace' closer. I can't say enough how appreciative I am of those guys, giving us the option to let those beautiful songs back into our souls from a different perspective.
Saturday Rebelution - These guys are really getting good. Everything is really concise and tight, and the songwriting is very good. The songs are super catchy and have a feel of true reggae. I'm saying this as a person who is terribly hard on 'white-boy reggae'.
Galactic - Nasty, of course. It was super hot so I don't really remember specifics other than how funky and dancy the set was. (You could say that about basically any Galactic set, I know.)
Mumford & Sons - Gotta say that they were so much better at Coachella. I'm a type of person that judges the show on complete experience, and this drained, praying for the sun to set, crowd was much more subdued than my last experience with them. They honestly came across as thin and kind of boring this time...granted, Waka doesn't have quite the sound system Coachella has, but...
The Budos Band - Wooooow. I went into this kind of expecting it to be a sleeper set of the weekend, but they blew my mind. The crowd in the tent was very thin, but everyone in there was going harder than they had all weekend. This set was such a blast and the band looked like they were right there with us, as far as how much fun they were having.
Thievery Corporation - Major dance party, of course. The gripe would be the mix was too low. It wasn't too big of a deal because it was evenly mixed, but it would have been nice to have it really throbbing the mountain. I think the crowd's energy suffered slightly due to this.
STS9 - I was pretty beat by this point, so I just hung back and watched the live painters work. The set itself wasn't my cup of tea, but they had some nice bust-outs and as they played Surreality>Eb, I wandered to the big circle outside the Revival Tent and watched some people spin fire.
Last Edit: Jun 6, 2011 13:57:18 GMT -5 by Zappatical - Back to Top
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Post by FuzzyWarbles on Jun 6, 2011 23:41:32 GMT -5
The waterfall was the best! Except for the hike back up the trail. Damn, why did I start back smoking cigs? And Ha Ha Tonka killed it at the Backwoods Stage Thursday night. I've never heard them sound better. I thought one girl was going to have an orgasm during the acapella version of Hangman.
Anyone do vip? How was it? Worth it? Me and my boyfriend are doing waka next summer and we're leaning towards vip. So any kind of info from anyone who did vip would be great! Thank you!
It looks like if you like to be up close, drink beer, camp in the shade, and be in a wook free zone then vip is where its at. we have a group of 8 down for wakarusa 2012 vip just from what we have read on the waka forum and seen on youtube.