Ragin’ Randy’s Top 10 Must See Wakarusa ArtistsAs Wakarusa 2014 sneaks up on us, I have begun to sculpt my ideal schedule for the weekend, as I am sure many of you have as well. So here is a list that may help you make some tough decisions. Below are Ragin’ Randy’s Top 10 Must See Artists for Wakarusa 2014.
10. Dopapod – Dopapod is one of my favorite rising bands on the jam scene. First exposed to the band at Summer Camp Music Festival last year, I have followed them incessantly ever since. Their unique range of hard rock to jazzy dance grooves produces a potent energy on stage.
9. Fruition – Fruition is somewhat of a newcomer on the jamgrass radar, but they have sure earned their spot. Sneaking on stage at festivals such as High Sierra Music Festival, Northwest String Summit and All Good Music Festival, as well as supporting band such as Greensky Bluegrass has brought this talented group onto the map.
8. The Werks – The Werks quickly “Werked” their way up in the festival scene. Founded in 2006, they were playing at almost 20 festivals throughout the year by 2011, including their own festival called The Werk Out Music Festival.
7. Bassnectar – Five years ago, I would have put Bassnectar much higher on this list. I am not extremely impressed with the leaks of his newest tracks, which are set for release on a brand new album in June. That being said, he is still one of the most creative and powerful DJs on the scene, and he is guaranteed to put on a great show.
6. Papadosio – Papadosio literally left me breathless the first time I saw them. They packed the room on a Monday night, and I had only expected to stay for a little while to see what they were all about… I didn’t leave until 2:00 am. Their beautiful arrangements of instrumental and sonic exploration will leave your mind soaring for days.
5. Lettuce – Lettuce has been a prominent part of the festival scene for quite some time now, but they still throw one of the best and funkiest dance parties. Each member of the band takes part in multiple other musical projects and brings a unique range of talents to the stage with Lettuce.
4. The Flaming Lips – Heading straight to Mulberry Mountain upon re-entry into the United States, the Flaming Lips will be coming fresh off a U.K. tour. They also just rocked a massive headlining set at Hangout Music Festival earlier this month. Sporting a brand new member on keyboards and guitars, these guys are on a mission and will surely blow your mind at Waka.
3. STS9 – Also testing out a new member, STS9 has set out to prove themselves after the loss of founding bassist David “Murph” Murphy. I saw their headlining set at Beale Street Music Festival earlier this month, and the entire band seemed refreshed and ready to rage! You better believe they will bring the heat at Wakarusa.
2. Umphrey’s McGee – Need I say more? Umphrey’s McGee has never looked better, and they are continuously improving and innovating. Fresh off of their annual UMbowl and the celebration of the opening of their brand new record label, UM will be playing their last 2 live sets before the release of their brand new studio album at Wakarusa.
1. The String Cheese Incident – Fresh off of the release of their first studio album in almost a decade, the String Cheese Incident remains one of the most dynamic and positive forces on the scene. With genres spanning from bluegrass to rock to psychedelia and electronic, SCI’s incredible sense of musicianship and unity shine through their music and leave audiences always wanting more. SCI is playing some of their best live shows in years, and they have topped my list of must see artists for this year’s installment of Wakarusa!
Words: Ragin’ Randy Harris
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