Monday, September 20, 2010

Earthdance 2010: it blew me away!

First off welcome to the new blog! It's a space for music news and other cool things, with a focus on quality rather than quantity, and your honest thoughts and opinions are also welcome. Anyway... Earthdance!

I got back from Earthdance this morning. It was totally amazing - my favourite Earthdance so far! This was the first time I arrived on the Friday (granted it was already late - 11pm) instead of Saturday, and it was totally worth it! There were a lot more teens than when last I went, many still in high-school, but they never really bothered me. 

The music:
On Friday night, the trance was on a small stage by the pool, and frankly, it sounded better (much clearer and punchier) on the small stage than on the main stage the following night. There was cheesy electro playing on the Music Box stage when we arrived, and I was up until 4am enjoying the trance (at which point I tried and failed to sleep).

On Saturday afternoon, there was a cool lineup of bands to check out - Gary Thomas, Machineri and The Plastics all sounded fantastic. The opening act on the main stage was also pretty good (Jorge Carlos, according the line-up on the site). The only act I really disliked throughout the whole festival was Ill Skills. They were a live hip hop band. The duo on vocals weren't tight enough for me to hear what they were saying properly, despite their shouty style, and the music didn't feel very original. With lots of practice and a more humble stage attitude, I'd give them a second chance.

On Saturday night, the Red Bull Music Box Stage was absolutely amazing. The sound was enormous! It was clear, punchy and very loud. In fact, perhaps it's thanks to Red Bull sponsorship that it actually dwarfed the "main" stage, both in sound quality and in lighting. The main stage sounded dull and boxy, almost as if a few tweeters weren't working. I'd say I feel sorry for the acts that played there, but they still had the lion's share of the crowd. Lucky for me, I'd had my trance fix the night before and spent the night at the Music Box stage.

All the Music Box acts were impressive - Jam Jarr, Krushed and Sorted, Sibot, Mix 'n Blend, Zim Dollar Bill and Twelv & Thesis were the highlight of my night. Almost all SA's best live dubstep/breaks/DnB bands one after another! Mix 'n Blend were the loudest - my ears were bordering on distortion all the way at the back by the sound booth, and yet the sound system still had clarity! That said, that loud isn't a great idea, even with ear plugs being sold at one of the stores. It's not Mix 'n Blend's fault - I think it's the guy at the back's job.

Another thing I loved about the Music Box stage was the slope where we were dancing. With such good sound, I could stand right at the back with an amazing view of the whole crowd as well as the band. It was so beautiful.

I'm sure Sunday was really good as well, but with only an hour of sleep in nearly 48 hours, I was happy to leave at 6am. I've seen quite a few of the scheduled acts before, and was totally over the trance at that point so I don't think I missed much. 

All in all it was awesome, and I will definitely do it again! If you're not a big fan of electronic music, I'd probably skip it though as by far the majority of the acts are electronic. Rather wait for Rocking the Daisies - I've heard good things about it!

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