By: Erin Slayter - (www.thesweatymouse.com)
Producers Paul Levine & Lyle Williams decided that they needed a bit more Untz in their festival. The 2010 Bear Creek lineup was the perfect pairing of jambands and electronica to keep Bear Creekers grooving until the crack of dawn. Located in the North woods of Live Oak Florida, Bear Creek featured six stages placed across The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park.
The venue for all things electronica? The aptly-named, giant, Purple Hat Tent. Adorned with fabric panel canvases perfect for accomodating face-melting lights, the tent was the ideal location for hosting masses of costumed ragers. Bear Creek started with a pre-pre party Wednesday, November 10th featuring Mississippi-based Zoogma and carried it through four more nights with an all out electronic feast.
Alex B prepped the Thursday night Umphrey’s McGee fans and Friday night’s highly anticipated Everyone Orchestra set with a great sampling from his debut full-length album Moments, released this past Spring. Alex B’s work is best understood by considering his roots in classical music as a trained violinist. Electronica, much like orchestral music is packed with layers of detailed intricacies. Alex B uses this to his advantage whether he’s flying solo or working with his pals in Pnuma Trio.
Keeping the Friday night dance scene going, San Fransico-based Motion Potion (AKA Robbie Kowal) threw down his unique blend of breakbeat funk that he describes as “funklectic dancefloor nostalgism”.
As if the Bear Creek electronica scene had a life of its own, the build-up of energy could be felt throughout the festival grounds into the roots and souls of festival goers. Gathering speed along the way, Saturday proved to be the pinnacle of all things electrified. As the temperature outside began dropping to damn-near freezing, the heat was just getting started inside the Purple Hat tent, with a short reprise from Motion Potion eventually leading into extravagant offerings from some of the world’s best electronica masters.
Following Motion Potion was the dynamic duo Adam Deitch and Borahm Lee of Break Science. Deitch, fresh off a plane from playing with Pretty Lights in Detroit, comes from a family of drummers and is said to have picked up his own sticks at age 2! It shows. The combination of a live percussion set with programmed electronic keys offers something for live music lovers and electronica fans alike. Break Science’s set was placed perfectly within Saturday’s line up; heating up the dance party and setting the tone for the rest of the night.
If ever there was a band that could care less about the bone-chilling temps that Saturday night, it was the The New Deal (perhaps due to their Toronto, Canada Heritage, eh?). An explosion of progressive house-beats coupled with the killer spectacle of eye-candy lighting, energized the masses. Although they roll without a pre-game setlist discussion, Dan Kurtz (bass), Darren Shearer (drums+beatbox), and Jamie Shields (keyboard) move seemlessly through their numbers using a system of hand signs and head nods that are more like a well written script than a traditionally scribbled-out set list.
As tND began intensifying the sounds and shifting into some techno-rave ridiculousness, the crowds swelled and the Purple Hat Tent walls seemed to bounce with the beats. This dance party was indeed started and wouldn’t stop for hours to come. Luckily, some forethought on the part of the festival producers, placed DJ Simon Green of Bonobo directly following tND with a 45-minute set of pulsating mixes that kept the crowd raging and ready for more.
Saturday’s offering to the gods of electronica was proof positive that a single festival could delight and unite jamband fans with electrified dance-party seekers, to create magical moments and lasting memories. After a wildly successful 5 day run to close out the 2010 festival season, it is easy to predict Bear Creek will present an electrically-delicious, jammy-good masterpiece for years to come.
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