Arise Playlist is Here: Our Favorite Picks of the Weekend
It has now been a few days since Arise Music Festival in Loveland, Colorado wrapped up and we are so excited to share some of our favorite artists of the weekend with you. Arise had a diverse lineup of musicians, artists, performers, workshops, food and events to choose from. Paul Bassis, co-founder of Arise, frequently reiterated that the festival was created to be so much more than a platform for music; as he put it, “Arise is a movement of people and everyone who attends is a part of that movement. It is a collaborative effort and the music becomes the core, like a fire we can all gather around.” Over the course of the seven years Arise has been in operation, it has become the largest camping festival in Colorado and the lineup gets stronger every year. Here are some of the artists we talked to while at the festival and a few tracks from each of them.
Lucid Vision was my first set of Arise and it was a doozy, to say the least. Salt Stage was an intimate tent right next to mainstage and although it was significantly smaller, it ended up being where a majority of my favorite shows were put on. Covered by a large tarp, the stage gave way to vibrant visuals whether it was day or night and also provided an escape from the intense heat. As I weaved through the crowd, it was clear from people’s reactions that they were ready to dance the weekend away. Lucid Vision, aka Dalton Kieta, was such a treat to watch because he used the stage to give the audience an engaging performance. Proving he has many tricks up his sleeve, Dalton shredded away on his guitar while DJing simultaneously. I love when he even threw his guitar behind his back, proving not only can he multi-task but play blindly and his nimble fingers wouldn’t miss a beat. Kieta had a busy weekend. Besides his incredible solo set, he went head to head with Mikey Thunder on Saturday night during the silent disco. Lucid Vision played Arise three years ago, and he told us this time about his goals to come back one day to play the main stage. We think he is well on his way. The time since his last Arise has been spent honing in his pursuits and appreciating the frequent struggles that go along with growing as an artist on the road to fame and fortune; However, the latter is not his biggest priority. Dalton wanted to stress to fans and readers alike, “It is so important to recognize appreciation for the experience of the journey, not just the destination.” You can listen to Lucid Vision on Spotify and find unreleased music on his Soundcloud.
A Denver based band, making their second appearance at Arise after what they described as a perfect experience back in 2016. Their first set at Arise came almost a year before they released their self-titled debut album in October of 2017. Since the release of Ghost Tapes, the group has gained widespread recognition for their unrelenting strive towards creating music in a genre underneath a “soul umbrella”. Will Carman and Nick Moulds started Ghost Tapes with the intention of taking a different approach than they had in the past. This project was influenced by a love and appreciation for 90’s production of old school soul and hip-hop such as Destiny’s Child, as well as 70’s funk. As time went on, the other members of the band naturally fell into place; they discovered their singer, Ishka Phoenix, at an open mic night in Denver and she has been with them ever since. “Although we had a template to guide us in discovering what would become our own sound and style, we didn’t shy away from letting new things come naturally,'' said Nick Moulds, guitarist of Ghost Tapes . As they are all such talented musicians, they have not let their past projects or influences get in the way of creating their unique niche of “modern soul,” which means maintaining the instrumental side to the music. Ghost Tapes 3pm set at Arise was inspiring and widely received by an audience that was taken aback by how powerful their group dynamic was. Theirs was another favorite at the Salt Stage, which was a shade haven during the peak heat hours on Saturday afternoon.
Poranguí resides in the hills of Sedona, Arizona, but he is a true citizen of the world. His music incorporates tribal and indigenous influences along with the wealth of wisdom he’s gathered from cultures all over the globe: “To me, all music is prayer. That’s part of the magic, and part of what drives me, is figuring out how we can better bridge the present moment into the next moment…and better connect people because that’s where the healing is.” It is his self-recognized mission to use music to remind humanity of our responsibility to each other and to the earth. And though his mission is critical and momentous, he carries a lightness in himself that can be felt on and off stage. During his set, we found moments of pure, exuberant abandon juxtaposed by meditative reflection. And guess what? It’s almost 100% analog, live instrumentation. His wife Ashley even contributes guided meditation to accompany his music. Salt Stage was once again packed full, and for a noon set on the last day of the festival, it was even more impressive. He and his team had a busy weekend at Arise, with Poranguí leading a rhythm sanctuary set focused on ecstatic dance, his own all original set, and a body percussion and voice activation workshop! He even found time to sit down for an in-depth interview with us at SharedViews Media Group, Look for more from that conversation ahead of Poranguí’s upcoming Boulder theater show in October. Info can be found here at the event page.
A Denver based triad is on the rise this summer, ending what was an East coast tour at Arise. They were one of the last bands standing at the festival, closing out the weekend alongside one of our other featured artists, Evanoff. Just two days before their appearance at Arise, Cycles was in Ohio for Werk Out Music and Arts Festival. No doubt these guys pulled out all their stops in order to drive the near twenty hours from Thornville, Ohio to Loveland, Colorado and maintain energy for their late night set! As they explained it to me, tours are always tiring but they all get along so well so it makes it better to have people you can rely on and bear the journey with. Cycles set at Arise was at Starwater Stage, a covered and visually encompassing stage with ample room to dance. They came out ready to rock and roll, constantly sneaking in psychedelic wave spells and hard splashes of funk. One thing about this band is that your hips will truly never get stuck in one succinct rhythm because tempos are ever changing throughout their set. Seeing this show, it became clear why all their albums have been recorded live thus far. So in sync with one another, live albums make sense when they have the ability to flawlessly execute their music. As Cycles goes from their Summer tour into a busy Fall season, they are moved by all the support they have witnessed along their journey. As I spoke with Tucker McClung, he explained that, “Everyone on the road has been so supportive and willing to help. If you scratch someone’s back, they will scratch yours.”
This woman has been making BIG moves in the Denver music scene and way beyond. She is one of the friendliest and most badass women I have had the pleasure of meeting. She was another of my favorite artists who performed on the Salt Stage, playing the second to last slot on Sunday night. Although she is known for being a solo act, her set at Arise incorporated an entourage of artists/friends. Afterwards, I spoke with Maddy about her set and she explained how playing with a band is so much fun because it gives her a space to try new things. Arise was Maddy’s first time playing with this particular group of musicians and as she put it, “they brought life to her songs in a novel way”; consisting of Brisco Jones (The Dirty Gems), Kevin Donahue (Sunsquabi), and Colby Buckler (Emancipator Ensemble). “I didn’t know what to expect being one of the last sets of the festival but it worked out really well, especially going on right after the closing ceremony. Another cool thing, that many people in the crowd may not have been aware of, was that she played two brand new songs that will be coming off her upcoming EP which is expected to come out sometime in October. As she put it, “I like to try new material in my hometown because people are more receptive to it.” Now that Arise is over, Maddy O’Neal isn’t planning on taking any kind of hiatus. She is back for more this upcoming weekend to open for Break Science at the Aggie Theatre, then playing a free show opening up for Lettuce in Steamboat Springs. If that wasn’t enough, check her schedule for this fall where she will be doing 3 back to back tours with the likes of Sunsquabi, as well as STS9! Though we did not get a chance to sit down with him this time, we added a track consisting of Maddy and Homemade Spaceship, or Rob Revere, who had an absolutely electric set at Arise as well!
The last set at Arise and truly one of my favorites of the entire weekend. Evanoff is a three man band based out of Denver, originally from Boulder, CO, however, they stepped it up a notch for their Arise performance and brought out the, “Hooker Street Horns” who added an insane brass accompaniment to their already powerful jams. Arise marked their debut performance of all playing together, despite the fact that all six of these guys live together. When I asked them how they felt about being one of two closing bands, Jake Hall and Brennan Forrester mentioned that at first they were slightly worried people would be tired and might not show up, however, their concerns were quickly washed away. The crowds’ response was pretty outrageous and it seemed that everyone had saved the last bit of their energy to go all out for that last show. “Everything was moving so fast, this has probably been one of my favorite tours we have gone on so far,” said Jake Hall. Similarly to Cycles, Arise was the last leg of Evanoff’s summer tour which spanned from the East Coast all the way down to Austin, Texas. As I sat with them, they explained how successful their tour had been and how it left them with a feeling of success. Even in smaller venues, they described how it felt as if more and more people were recognizing their efforts over the past two years. Undoubtedly, the best is yet to come for these guys. Moving forward, Evanoff is working to consistently put out music and release new content for fans as they continuously grow and expand as a band. Just a month ago they released their most recent track entitled Dreamin. With more singles soon to be released, keep your eye out for a full live album, hopefully to be dropped before the end of the year!