Day three of Solstice Festival was all about celebrating life, love and light at the beautiful Pan Am Park in the heart of east Austin. The park was filled with live painters, art vendors, dance performances, yoga shamanic blessings, emotional healers and spectacular music performances.
Fans migrated back-and-forth between the Lovestream Stage and Pan An Stage as event organizers miraculously scheduled bands one right after another so fans were not to miss a single performance. Slomo Drag kicked-off the afternoon and cooled the crowd from the scorching heat with lush pop gold as Austin-based psych-noir ensemble The Halfways set the tone with their mind-altering groovy melodies. Contemporary alternative Hunter Sharpe hit the Lovestream Stage next unleashing a flourish of rock energy as south Louisiana’s Sweet Crude put on a bayou blast of soothing string sonnets and pouncing percussion. Austin’s one-man band, ‘solo’ artist, Mobley, carouselled around vocals, guitar, keys and drums before getting the crowd to join in on their favorite chorus. Psych-soul ensemble Los Coast hit the Pan Am Stage next stirring a vocal behemoth of punchy funk. New-age, dance-disco duo Capyac speedraced into a funky and lucid electronic display featuring joints from their recent ‘Fis’ EP setting the stage for psych-folk rockers The Bright Light Social Hour and their fantastic, politically charged ‘Tear Down This Wall’ eff you to a certain Executive someone. Hard rocking power psych trio Radio Moscow ripped through a riotous set of Sabbath meets The Black Keys before Austin’s favorite avant-garde collective, Golden Dawn Arkestra, complete with acrobatics, cosmic go-go dancers and theatrical garb elevated the crowd to an intergalactic level right before sunset. Boise alternative rockers Built To Spill delivered a Dylan-esque set from their silver jubilee catalog and festival headliner JJ Grey & Mofro let loose to grove with the now packed audience as the blue-collard frontman told stories of his youth in the southeast through blues packed, funky rock melodies.
Pan Am Park
Golden Dawn Arkestra
Pan Am Stage
The Bright Light Social Hour
JJ Grey & Mofro
Photos by: Demetrius Judkins
Day two of Solstice Festival at Sidewinder began with an immersive set from Austin-based, Light Wheel, and their atmospheric soundscape of soothing electronic R&B. Power-pop, brother and sister duo, Charlie Belle, showcased an intimate set of velvety vocals and infectious percussion before San Antonio indie-rocker Nina Diaz vanquished the crowds inhibitions with a bluesy medley of alt-metal and indie-pop.
Austin’s eclectic pop Josh Koons Band opened the inside stage at Sidewinder that lead into singer-songwriter Shane Cooley’s folksy composition. Nine-piece funk outfit Kev Bev and the Woodland Creatures got the adrenaline pumping and the dance grooves flowing before innovative Austin trio Groove Think put the crowd into overdrive with a funky progressive medal performance.
Rocking space cadets Satalights opened the inside stage at Mohawk followed by the guitar riddled rock energy of Hour Band. Are you starting to see the theme at Mohawk for night two? Pure rock muscle. Ten Foot Beast cranked the energy to full-blown yoked-out level with fuzzy power metal before the funky psychedelia of Continental Drift floated out on Afro-centric grooves.
The outside stage featured a sexy time blast from one of Austin’s hottest commodities Otis The Destroyer leading to the a barrage of strapping chords and edgy enthusiasm from Leopold and His Fiction. Headliners The London Souls wrapped-up the night with an explosive reinterpretation of classic rock warmed in funky psych charm.
Kev Bev and the Woodland Creatures
Leopold and His Fiction
The London Souls
Photos by: Demetrius Judkins
Light Wheel photo courtesy of J. Tyagaraja
The 4th annual Solstice Festival returned to Austin last week to celebrate Fête de la Musique with three days of music, art and technology. The music festivities kicked-off Thursday evening in the Red River district at Sidewinder where the theme for the night was soothing soul and uplifting hip-hop. Austin’s eclectic soul and R&B singer Mélat simmered the outside stage with sensual melodies of life and love. The vivacious vocalist was followed by Black Rodeo before husband and wife hip-hop party starting duo Riders Against the Storm got the whole crowd body rockin’ with their enthusiastic synergy.
The inside stage was just a dope as Austin’s ‘Best R&B Artist’ of 2015, Alesia Lani, shared her melodic love stories with the Sidewinder crowd before stylistic and lyrically proficient emcee Nicolas Azlon dropped some riotous wordplay and Austin’s favorite rapper, Omenihu, turned the party out just hours before his own EP release the following day.
Over at Mohawk, the theme was a slightly different but just as invigorating as sibling trio, The Bishops, opened the outside stage with their wavy futuristic fusion of electronic, hip-hop, jazz and pop that lead into the dreamy electo-pop of Milwaukee-based GGOOLLDD and the wicked trippy electronic trap of Holiday Mountain.
Indie-pop, electro-acoustic duo Emme pushed the envelope inside the Mohawk and got the crowd warmed up with big brass and warping synths. Seven-piece soul ensemble Huggy & The Feel Goodz showed off some ‘new R&B’ with their modern interpretation of warm nostalgic soul before indie-electronic-pop brothers, The Lagoons, showed off their hypnotic experimental repertoire. The live-looping, one man funk band, Henry + The Invisibles cranked the energy to full blast to close it out.
It was a Latin celebration over at Empire Control Room as Brazilian Tio Chico opened the evening and the fuzzy, psychedelic cumbia of Money Chicha got the crowd dancing with the heavy percussion and side-stepping congas. The dance party at Empire lasted through the night with the cumbia, merengue and Afro-Cuban Reggae harmoines of El Tule.
Riders Against the Storm
Huggy and the Feel Goodz
Henry + The Invisibles
Photos by: Demetrius Judkins
Have you gotten your tickets to Solstice Festival yet? Better pick them up quick before they’re all snatched up.
Tickets can be purchased here.
Solstice Festival returns for its 4th annual celebration of music, art, technology and life! Come be a part of the Summer Solstice festivities as Austin joins in with hundreds of cities around the world to celebrate Fête de la Musique – aka World Music Day. This summer Solstice Festival will host concerts at multiple venues in and around the Red River Entertainment District, as well as 10hrs of nonstop music at the beautiful east side Pan Am Park. Featuring performances from nationally renowned artists, your favorite local bands, plus yoga workshops, an art village, and more – Solstice Festival is the soundtrack to your summer.
Full Schedule Below:
For more information visit: http://solsticeatx.com/