When you take a trip to a festival it’s important to be prepared. Pack your bug-out bag with all your essentials, comfort objects, good luck charms and whatever else you may need in the mists of a gonzo-esque surreal weekend of electronic and psychedelic rock; You never know when you might need that glowing light saber, fire hula hoop, rage stick or whatever mascot you and your road weathered amigos have deemed necessary. This time around myself and my com padres had jumped into our modern day covered wagon, the 1998 Four Winds RV and headed North with our minds set on some new experience and the chase for enlightenment through the all connecting and powerful force of music. The levitation on the property was obvious. This is our story.
The Rage-o-Thona was set to take place at the scenic Maddox Ranch in Land’o Lakes, Florida. The Festival running from October 5th through the 7th and would feature 3 days of camping, live music, live art, family and fun. When Dope Box Radio, a non-mainstream fresh and new online radio station first announced the Jam-o-rama I was skeptical at first wondering how this LED-laden “glowing guitar wielding hippie” from Tampa, FL would pull it all off, Travis Arendes or TJ was an unbelievable host and made all the fans guests and staff feel like one great big family.
With the first glimpse of the lineup let’s just say I was intrigued and captivated. Many of the best regional up and coming touring bands that had stopped through Florida in the last year were on the line up as well as the electronic powerhouse from Brooklyn, New York, Dopapod who have been making waves across the nation and here in Florida since their various unannounced flash mob style performances at Florida Festivals the past two summers. They were set to head line the festival and I was sure to be there.
Friday night featured memorable performances by local favorites Cope and Jacksonville’s Greenhouse Lounge (photo below) who might has well have been performing for a crowd of 10,000 rather than the intimate gathering of around 300 festival attendees. The amount of energy and emotion they put into their live performance is a staggering and absolutely must see live experience. Following GHL was a late night super jam or “Jam-o-rama” with appearances by many of the talented musicians from across all the great acts at the Festival. The highlight for many was the Saturday night performance by Dopapod which featured their trademark high intensity whirlwind sonic explosion and an intense cover of The Toadies Possum Kingdom
“Dopapod exists at the crossroads of full throttle intensity, deep pocket groove, intricate technicality, and limitless experimentation.”
Other notable performances came from DJ and Sound extraordinaire Sean Deep of Conscious Sound System who in addition to doing sound for the entire event managed to put down two huge DJ sets. Remixing tracks from M.I.A. and laying down huge down-tempo bass in a way that is rarely seen anymore in a dubstep dominated scene Sean left the crowd with a positive message of peace through music.
Closing out the festival on Sunday were two great bands that have more differences then similarities but the one thing they do have in common is the ability to elevate people through music. Lumagrove is a Homegrown Electronic Lounge Group that combines a lounge-based foundation with modern electronic production and live instrumentation. Consisting of multi-instrumentalist and producer Maximilliano Zargon and drummer/producer Ryan Tinney, this duo mixes latin, jazz, swing, funk and ambient music with elements of hip hop, glitch, drum and bass and dubstep.
This next band was so mesmerizing and great at the end of the festival that I just had to mention them in this review. Come Back Alice is a self proclaimed 4-piece Jam Rock band from Sarasota, FL. This is a band you have to see to believe. The pictures and video don’t do them justice. Watch out for Come Back Alice in the next year as they will be touring the US and Europe.