By: Evan Townsend
Photos: Matt Thomas & Victor Protasio (http://www.victorprotasio.com)
The second day of Wakarusa saw many of the heavy-hitting electronic acts in the festival’s lineup, including the bigger names like STS9, Skrillex and Bassnectar. With the workweek just ending for most festivalgoers, a fresh influx of people gave Friday night a unique atmosphere. Part of the crowd carried raised expectations as a result of Thursday’s performances, while the other part was ready to forget about the workload from which they had recently escaped. With the energy and the bar set on high, Friday night had a unique atmosphere of anxiety and excitement.
STS9 returned to the festival this year for their fifth Wakarusa in a row. The group has been garnering quite the fan base since Wakarusa’s days back in Lawrence, Kansas. (STS9 banners accompanied KU flags in marking many a campsite.)
The band'sfollowing has primarily grown based on their legendary live experience. Past the fog and flashing lights, STS9 has a knack for revealing their music through simple performance and attitude, an easy translation for such dynamic sound. As festival favorites, Friday night they were headlining the main stage, but the group would also return to the stage in the Revival Tent the following evening.
Ana Sia, a petite, unassuming DJ from San Francisco, showed her true character when she stepped up to her decks in the Grassroots Satellite stage shortly before STS9 ended their set.
In her natural environment of throbbing backbeats and pulsing beams of light, Ana Sia let loose. With her set between Main Stage shows, it seemed a large portion of the festival had wandered over to see her play, so she undoubtedly won a few new fans with her alternately gritty and precise electronic sound.
Back near the Main Stage lay the festival’s sixth venue, reserved strictly for the audio and visual experience of Kansas City’s Quixotic Fusion, who performed there between Main Stage sets all three nights of the festival. The concept behind the group starts with the music, but from there, dozens of artists add their own voice to create a more encompassing performance.
Led by creative directors Mica Thomas and Anthony Magliano (recent guest on The Untz podcast) performers paraded in elaborate costumes, dangled from deceivingly thin ropes, and danced to the bright vocals and electric violin from the group’s audio side.
The functionality you are trying to use is for members only. Would you like to sign in?