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Posted Nov 17th, 2014 (8:32 pm) by Alfred Lentzsch
Image by Alfred Lentzsch

We began day three of the festival with the modern jazz and funk sounds of Brainfeeder’s Thundercat. The band consisted of Stephen Bruner, aka Thundercat, and his younger brother on keys. They started out the show at a relatively high pace with long jams highlighting Thundercat’s virtuoso bass playing. After a while, they slowly moved away from their avant garde jazz to playing more mellow funk. Overall, they had one of the best performances of the entire festival— Fantastic musicianship.

Following Thundercats performance we moved to the orange stage on the other side of the festival to see Foxygen. On record, Foxygen has always been a relatively mellow band that seemed infatuated with recreating the psychedelic sounds of the late 60s and rock sounds of the early 70s. I expected to see four dudes jamming out to their tunes in place, slowly nodding their heads. Boy was I wrong… Sam France laid down one of the most energetic performances I’d ever seen in my entire life (and I’ve seen a lot). He was a mix of Iggy Pop, Michael Jackson, and GG Allin, with the appearance of Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club. During the 60 minute performance he was jumping around across the entire stage, falling over, screaming and choking himself with the microphone cord. For a moment during the performance I thought he was going to kill himself on stage… seriously. Musically, the group was pretty sloppy, although that kind of fit in with the show as a whole. They played some of their more popular songs from We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic, newer tracks and punk covers. What a crazy performance.

Next up was Freddie Gibbs and Madlib touring in support of arguably the best hip hop album released this year: Piñata. Seeing Madlib live is a pretty rare opportunity, you could feel the excitement of the crowd when they both stepped on stage. They played almost the entire album. Freddie Gibbs spit like a cannon and threw down a one of a kind performance. Madlib was also great, but it seemed like he couldn’t quite get into the groove that Gibbs was in. He dropped out the beats of almost half of the entire show. While he may have done this too highlight Gibbs’s rapping, it felt a little too barebone. In addition, I wanted to hear Madlib’s beats, and not just Gibbs.

Flying Lotus was up at seven on the blue stage. He was positioned in between two screens that projected 3D visuals as he performed. You couldn’t see him except for his large glasses that were lit up by LEDs, making him appear like a creepy ghost (alluding to death perhaps?). The first note he played may have been the loudest thing I’d ever heard (maybe just shy of seeing Swans live). The bass was so incredibly loud and droning I had to step back for a second as every atom of my body vibrated. He then played music from his new album, You’re Dead!, Cosmogramma and LA; however, it was all music that was specifically arranged for the live show. Flying Lotus performed one of the best electronic sets ever. A fantastic end to a great weekend.

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