By Ryan Cummings
(All) Good things come to those who wait. Getting to Legend Valley early placed attendees across the street in an alternate camping area. Fans like myself that arrived later on Thursday evening got camped close to the main venue area with an extremely short walk to the stages, a luxury I have never enjoyed at a music festival of this size.
Thursday at the 16th annual All Good Music Festival, kicked off with a short set from The Werks
. Playing between rock legends Bob Weir and Phil Lesh, their set featured the debut of “Sex Machine,” an innovative cover of James Brown’s original track. “Moetry in Potion” was a chill, funky and groovy jam with a driving guitar that included a Dark Star tease. “Better Half” was a dance track with a heavy dub-synth bass line. A comfortable spot on the hill ensured a full view of both stages, and it was also easy to get close to the stage for any show and still have room to dance and move.
Thursday continued as the rain showers began just in time for Simon Posford’s set, Shpongle
presents The Masquerade. The light rain was like a cooling mist during Shpongle’s electrified set. The DJ set sounded like a full instrumental band was on stage complete with a flute, percussion, horns and much more. Shpongle also sampled several obscure sounds and genres ranging from middle-eastern tribal sounds and Mexican salsa to Dutch house and progressive techno beats.
“DMT” was the crowd favorite, propelling fans into a dance frenzy. The bass was so low and heavy like a dubstep wobble, the music really inspired movement. Shpongle played fast paced glitchy psychedelic trance as well as chill tracks that were intricately crafted to deliver a full audio experience, while simultaneously being fused with a digital art projection on stage like that of a three dimensional movie.
played on Friday, a set with sailing guitar riffs, drum solos and frequency modulation. An electronic jam band, native to Ohio, Papadosio played just five songs, stating that if fans wanted to hear more of what they could do to come check out their festival, Rootwire, in Logan Ohio. They started their set off with “By The Light Of The Stars,” off the EP of the same name, and continued with the extended jams, “Utopiate,” “Magreenery,” and “Snorkle.” The sounds oozing from the speakers during this set were unreal. Papadosio was only scheduled for a 45 minute set but they were able to play one encore song, “Improbability Blotter.”
Saturday started off with Conspirator
who played a few new songs along with their more popular material like “Feed the Wolf” and “Retrograde,” off of their new live album, Unlocked
. They also played “Accent” a brand new song that was debuted the previous night at Gathering of the Vibes. Spanning EDM genres like house, dubstep, and drum and bass, Conspirator’s live show has sensational build-ups and drops, with a bouquet of instrumental style and passion. Each member of the band plays off of each other so well with live instrumentation and improvisation. KJ Sawka the drummer from Pendulum has been on tour with Conspirator recently, astonishing fans with his “drum dub” techniques.
Next, Big Gigantic
played a host of tracks from their newest album as well as all of their popular remixes. Their set featured “The Uprising,” “Rise and Shine,” “High and Rising,” and “Fantastic” from the new album Nocturnal
. Big G’s live set regulars were also present in their original form. Their own “It’s Goin Down,” Aloe Blacc’s “I Need a Dollar,” Kanye West’s “Get Em’ High” and Biggie’s “Notorious Thugs.” They also played a new, unanticipated cover, which I had never heard from them before of Deadmau5’s “Ghosts N Stuff.”
To top it all off Lotus
performed a full two-hour set complete with covers and original tracks spanning several of their studio albums. The set opener was a personal favorite of mine, “Spiritualize” off of the album Nomad
. “Bellwether” and “Behind Midwest Storefronts” from Hammerstrike
along with the second Deadmau5 cover of the night, “Ghosts N Stuff” were also crowd-pleasing tracks. With a basic lighting set up, the crowd was not diverted away from the musical magic that is being performed on stage. The band members are so in tune with each other, their live shows are flawless and exhilarating. In addition, with hundreds of tour stops each year, the sets are never the same. Lotus encored with “Bush Pilot,” from their newest, eponymous album.
Apart from the parking issue, the only other complaints were from fans that felt they were being searched with unreasonable scrutiny when entering the campground; with security staff unpacking luggage and making a mess of tightly packed vehicles. On the other hand, the venue was awesome, the staff members I encountered were friendly, and the music was off the hook. All Good Festival’s vibe was preserved at Legend Valley