And we’re back! It’s been a while but this ridiculous festival took a lot out of me. I’ve been to Lake Tahoe, CA in the winter time before but this was the first time I’ve ever experienced Tahoe in the summer. I doubt I’ll be the first one to tell you that it’s gorgeous this time of year. With the air at a mild 80 degrees, not a cloud in sky, and the majestic backdrop of the mountain landscape, one could easily enjoy themselves even without the music and culture that Wanderlust Yoga & Music Festival provided.
Wanderlust isn’t your average music festival. It’s mainly a yoga event featuring the best in the business as well as a variety of art and performance showcases. I honestly had no interest in any of that. That is, until I experienced it. It didn’t turn me into a über-hippie with an Om tattoo on my ass. But it did open my mind to other genres of music and the fact that hippies can put on a pretty good show.
Well, not all the music was great. There where a handful of ‘house bands’ that played a certain kind of ‘Pure Moods’ like music that you would hear during a yoga class. Yes, it’s a yoga festival, but still, it doesn’t mean it’s not a bit annoying.
Since I missed Friday’s show (see Friday’s post), I decided I would give Moby’s acoustic set a chance. It wasn’t nearly as boring as I expected, which is all thanks to the marvelous Kelli Scarr. Providing vocals to just about all of Moby’s songs, Kelli’s voice reminded me of a less dark Orenda Fink with a bit more range. Moby seemed a bit annoyed by the noise of the audience, constantly asking the crowd to be respectful and quiet during his performance. He played a handful off Play (1999) and 18 (2002) as well as his more recent (and lesser known) Last Night (2008). It was a charming and humble start to my Wanderlust experience.
.mp3|titles=Go (Jam and Spoon Dub Mix)|artists=Moby]
[mp3] Moby – Go (Jam and Spoon Dub Mix) from Back to Mine (1999)
After Moby I made my way to the Pulse Stage to catch the main acts. First up was World music (influenced by Moroccan, West African, Brazilian, Indian, and Caribbean music) group Hamsa Lila. The performance was very entertaining and kind of groovy. The more interesting moments of the set involved the various makeshift instruments they would introduce, like a guitar that looked like a bow (one that would have arrows) hooked up to an amp. Quite awesome. About 3/4 the way through their set, a local hip-hop artist (I forget the guy’s name) came up on stage and rapped over the last three songs. They set the energy bar pretty high and the crowd seemed to notice it.
[mp3] Hamsa Lila – Osun from Gathering One (2003)
Next up was the Yard Dogs Road Show. Words cannot describe the utter insanity of this act. In short, they’re a burlesque, cabaret, variety show filled with very talented musicians, dancers, and singers. Ranging from showgirls-esqe dance numbers, to half-naked guitar solos, to double rainbow carrying rabbits, The Yard Dogs Road Show proved to be worthy of my attention. Blending all kinds of performance art with a psychedelic twist and a cast of characters that display a variety of talents, they provided a very fun and captivating atmosphere that was impossible to look away from. Highly recommended.
Finally there was Bassnectar. You could tell who was there to see Bassnectar. No one knew who the last two acts were and one-day pass wristbands were abound. However that didn’t mean there wasn’t an audience. The place was packed and very ready. After a few technical problems and a late start, Lorin Ashton (aka Bassnectar) rolled right into it with his bass heavy remixes of Nelly Furtado, Missy Elliott, Massive Attack, The Pixies, and Metallica. The show was not without his own original material, which isn’t as impressive as his remixes, but the crowd still went bananas. The guy rocked out with his long heavy metal-like hair and commanding presence as he eased through a short hour and fifteen minute set. He left sans encore despite the cries from the audience. But when you finish with a remix of Metallica’s Seek & Destroy, there’s no topping that.
[mp3] Bassnectar – Bass Head (King Fantastic Remix) (2010)
So far, so good. Nice atmosphere, good food, and a breathtaking landscape; Wanderlust was starting to impress me. I think I could get used to this.