July 19th, Forecastle Festival- Day 2

Day two commenced with a mad dash to find the elusive tent where the interview with Nashville’s Goodbye June was to be held. With a minute to spare the tent was found, and the interview proceeded smoothly. They’re a great group of guys; all three genuine rockers! On stage they bring an old school Lynard Skynard feel (their long unruly hair only adds to this) constantly head banging to their southern rock jams. Their popular single “Out Of Your Mind” doesn’t do them justice. I almost didn’t recognize the song when they played it live! It’s a mellower song on the record, but when played live it takes a whole new shape. All three of the guys jamed out on guitar for a solo that deserved a hell of an applause. These guys definitely come alive in front of a crowd.


The second interview was with Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano of  the lovely duo, Johnnyswim. I’m a big fan of these two, and being star struck can be a serious problem of mine (I know, maybe I’m not in the right profession?), nevertheless the pair, also husband and wife, welcomed our conversation with an ease that only two beautiful souls could bring upon a complete stranger. We spoke without interruption about everything from his 4-year pursuit for alone time with his stunning wife to the first time they saw a crowd sing every word to their album. Talking with them was an absolute blast, and when Abner mentioned they first met in my favorite Nashville coffee shop, Cafe CoCo, I just about melted. I think they enjoyed talking to me too for at the end Abner asked what song I wanted to hear most with which I quickly responded “Pay Dearly”, the only bluesy song on the album. Later in the evening I arrived a few minutes early to Johnnyswim’s set to claim my front and center spot. No way was I going to show my support from the back! The highlight of my day (weekend) came soon after the duo began when Amanda and the band cleared the stage as Abner strummed the first chord of the song I requested. His performance was passionate, sincere, and even without a band behind him he filled the entire stage. I was beyond ecstatic.


Now lets back up a little bit! At 4:15 Lord Huron took to the stage with their hipster/cowboy get up. I’ve only ever heard their most popular song “Time To Run”, and I was pleasantly surprised with the pop rock band. The amount of talent on stage was astounding. Their bass player doubled as a keyboardist, the front man played the drums, and everyone on stage sang. There was the perfect fusion of folk with a bit of new wave trippyness from the vocal distortions to create a largely entertaining hour long set.


I then caught a bit of an electronic set from Kygo. I walked up right as he was playing his remix of BANKS’ “Warm Water”, which was all I needed to hear to recognize this guy knows how to make a killer remix. Up next was the always exquisite Band Of Horses. On the main stage Band of Horses played to one of the larger audiences of the weekend, and with good reason. The band’s recent shift towards the swinging country vibe, with the help of front man Ben Bridwell playing the pedal steel guitar, has made their concert more upbeat and danceable. Even their older songs like “Ode to the LRC” seemed to be a little lighter than their previous shows. They ended the set with “The Funeral” as the crowd sang along adoringly to every word, and just like that- it was time for Jack White


At 9:30 sharp the man himself, Jack White, took to the stage. Everyone was thinking the same thing… this was going to be a show to remember. He played for over two hours, well past Forecastle’s curfew, and definitely didn’t turn down the volume for anyone trying to catch up on sleep. His drummer rarely sat down, and the violinist/vocalist, Lillie Mae Risch, kept all eyes on her every time she opened her mouth. With the aid of an intense blue light shrouding the stage, White and Risch made the whole night feel like a Tim Burton movie, and after a fifteen song set, Jack White still wasn’t done, not even close. He began the encore with The White Stripe’s classic “Icky Thump” only to somehow weave Jay-Z’s “99 Problems” brilliantly into the ending. The crowd went insane, and somewhere out there Jay-Z sat on his throne looking on as the hardest rocker of our generation paid his respect to hip-hop. Seven songs later, the night finally came to an end with “Seven Nation Army”. Oh, and he smashed his guitar into a million pieces. It was epic.


Written By: Rachel Oldham

Photos By: Casey Close

May 23, Summer Camp Music Festival

We woke up bright and early to leave Traverse City to make the drive down to SCAMP. We had a bit of a caravan, my two best friends from home tagged along with us! The drive actually seemed short compared to the 20+ hour drive to Alabama and back!

Zoe Jakes of Beats Antique, photo by Madi Lawton

Zoe Jakes of Beats Antique, photo by Madi Lawton


The worst part about the drive was my friends got pulled over for being to close to the car ahead of them and got COMPLETELY searched by the K-9 units! They didn't have anything illegal on them, so they were fine and free to go, but talk about a serious invasion of privacy. The cops here are desperate to catch people with drugs.


We finally got to the festival, and then waited another 20 minutes to park, which was super fun. Then we got to make the trek into the festival grounds to find our campsite! It was a bit of a walk, but not too bad! People are camped out EVERYWHERE here, in the field, in the woods, and everywhere inbetween, completely packed tent-to-tent.

Selfie with Zoe Jakes of Beats Antique

Selfie with Zoe Jakes of Beats Antique


We ended up camping in the field, right by the Moonshine stage! Prime location for sure. Our neighbors are super friendly too! They're from Nashville and Chicago!


After we set up camp we made our way to the first few sets of the night, Bro Safari, Robotic Pirate Monkey, and Beats Antique! Beats threw and absolutely mesmerizing set, and Zoe Jakes was spot on so cool changing costumes a total of 6 times throughout the performance!

The Entrance to SCAMP at sunset

The Entrance to SCAMP at sunset


We were pretty exhausted from traveling, so we called it a night after we saw EOTO. Since it was a really nice night we decided to hike into the woods and camp! Best decision ever. Way more comfortable than sleeping on the ground. Walking through the woods at scamp at night also has a very cool vibe, almost like you're walking through a circus. It was definitely a great way to start the weekend!



Peace and Love,


Madi and Kylie





May 17th, Hang Out Festival

Hangout Festival day 3 consisted of some kick ass sets and running around in the sweltering heat. To start off our fun-filled day, we got ourselves stuck in a ditch. But hey, at least it was free parking! it only took us plus 5 random guys to get it out later that night.

Selfie with the Electric Sons!

Selfie with the Electric Sons!

Our schedule looked like this: First, shoot Teegan and Sarah at the chevy tent,Then to the Red Bull stage to get pictures of the Electric Sons, then RUN back to the media tent and Interview The Wans, then book it to the Boom Boom tent to catch some shots of Tommy Trash who by the way threw down a fantastic set, and then to the photo pit to shoot Modest Mouse, followed by running across the beach to shoot The Flaming Lips, Then back to the other side of the beach to shoot the killers, and lastly to the Boom Boom tent to shoot Pretty Lights. Our day was pretty busy and we definitely got our daily dose of exercise by running from stage to stage The interview with The Wans was great, they are a hilarious group of guys.

In the Pit for Modest Mouse!

In the Pit for Modest Mouse!

Tommy Trash threw the f*ck down at his set. His face was constantly hidden by his hair with his non-stop head nodding; the crowd was incredibly rowdy, how could you not be while watching Tommy Trash? I think I speak for everyone when I say I was definitely looking forward to Modest Mouse, and they did not disappoint. They were fantastic.

Selfie with the Wans

Selfie with the Wans


The big disappointment of the day was getting informed that Chance the Rapper had backed out, but apparently he was feeling ill so we'll give him a break. Feel better Chance.


The Flaming lips brought some freakiness to The Hangout Festival and that's exactly what it needed. There were massive balloon ducks being bounced all over the crowd and ridiculous costumes on stage.

At last we were able to stop running for a minute before The Killers went on. We used our spare time to get some well need massages.

The Jetta got stuck!

The Jetta got stuck!

 

The final two sets of the day were the Killers, who killed it as expected, And Pretty Lights. Derek played one of his best sets in a long time and it was a fantastic way to end our saturday. The cherry on top of it all was viewing a beautiful fireworks show as we were walking back to the car.

 

Indeed, another Successful day!

 

Peace and Love,

 

Madi and Kylie

May 16, Hang Out Festival

Hangout fest has redeemed itself! Friday was an absolute blast. The staff was

super nice and really helpful and all the sets were awesome! It was a good day

for us.


There is just so much to write about!


I'll start with the over all venue; Hangout Festival is located on Gulf Shores

beach, they closed down an entire street for it! There's 6 stages and an

incredible lineup. Some of the best parts about the festival are the access to the

beach, the VIP pool area, and the carnival rides at night when they're all lit up.

View of the Main Stage from the VIP area

View of the Main Stage from the VIP area


We got to festival a little bit late, which is understandable considering that we

were abruptly awaken by a park ranger that morning… Our lack of promptness

made us miss HeROBUST's set but we were lucky enough to casually run into

him backstage afterward and even got a selfie with him (we have this thing

where every time we meet a musician we take a selfie with them)! Let me just

say that he is the chillest dude ever and was super friendly.

Selfie with heROBUST

Selfie with heROBUST


The biggest struggle we had that day was finding the media tent… We literally

ran around the whole festival asking every staff member we could find where it

was before we actually found it. (note to other festivals: Be sure that the staff

knows where the media tent is). Also, the Gulf Shore locals who were charging

$20 or more for parking in their yards, that is absurd! Luckily we found a free

spot to park!


RAC killed it. Which was expected. They opened with Lana del Rey's "Blue

Jeans" remix (which Madi freaked out about, it's her favorite song.)

Wiz Khalifa was a bit overwhelming, only because the crowd was nuts. It took us

almost 10 minutes to get from one side of the crowd to another. But then again,

it's Wiz Khalifa, and i'd expect nothing less. It was kind of crazy being in the pit

for it, we were standing next to photographers from MTV, Rolling Stone,

American Songwriter, and Getty Images…. then there was tiny little us. It was an

insanely humbling experience.


Childish Gambino was absolutely incredible! His energy never stopped and he

connected with the crowd unbelievably. I'd definitely recommend seeing him

perform. One of the best parts of his performances was his freestyle rap. We

were lucky enough to be able to watch his set from back stage. We also ran into

heRobust again and chilled with him for a minute.


One of the funniest moment of the first day at Hang Out was when some random

guy was called an asshole by thousands of people while the Queens of the

Stone Age were performing. The Band had just played a song about drugs when

the lead singer singled out some guy in the audience and said "we're singing

about drugs, not assholes!" the guy was apparently pushing some girl around

pretty violently. The guy got what he deserved though, the whole crowd started

chanting asshole at him AND he was shown on the mega screen getting

escorted out by security and policemen. That really sucks.


The VIP Pool area where we watched the Black Keys (about 100 yards stage left of the main stage)

The VIP Pool area where we watched the Black Keys (about 100 yards stage left of the main stage)

The VIP pool area was essential for viewing The Black Keys. The crowd was

gigantic. If you were in the middle of that crowd, there was no getting out. It

seriously stretched AT LEAST 800 yards down the beach. Of course it was a

hard decision to choose between seeing The Black Keys or STS9 so we went to

both! We watched the first half of the Black Keys and ended our festivities by

watching STS9.


…and we camped legally this time, go us!


Peace and Love,


Madi and Kylie