Music Rules: the best acts of EF 2015

June 29, 2015

electric_forest_festival_2015_070Electric Forest Festival coverage is sponsored by Springstead Law Offices, with locations in Hart and Fremont, 231-873-4022 (Hart),

By Mark Lewis. OCP Contributing Writer.

GRANT TWP. – After they breakdown the stages, take down all the art and festival lighting, and pick up every last glow stick, the one question everybody will be asking is: What was the best show of Electric Forest Festival 2015?

While the question certainly is one of personal taste, there exists a general consensus among festivalgoers regarding the acts that were more mind-blowing than the rest.

Right off the bat it must be said that String Cheese Incident, heading into the final night of the festival, has again pulled off a three-night stand that never fails to leave you agog and wanting more. Mixing in their classic fare of powerful originals and surprising covers – you have to admit, String Cheese’s rendition of ‘Take On Me’, the classic 80s hit by Aha, was as unexpected as it was well-executed, and Bohemian Rhapsody was just cool – along with surprise guests – Skrillex playing guitar! – you just never know what next the band members will fish out of their collective hats.

Anyone who says differently has never tried to pull off three straight four-hour shows in front of the same people.

“I always say, ‘Oh, I’ve seen them a million times; I know what to expect’,” said Andrew, a college student from Florida. “But they still always surprise me.”

The aforementioned Skrillex didn’t disappoint at his Friday late-night gig, bounding around, atop, and practically through his complicated bank of computers, turntables, drum machines and various other DJ accouterments, periodically imploring the crowd to, “Give me a sign, Electric Forest! Give me a sign!”

The sign was most certainly given.

“I love him, love him, love,” said Felicia, from Texas. “We’re going to try to meet him later tonight. I have a friend who knows where he’s at.”

Bassnectar’s Saturday late set was, well, pure Bassnectar, which is to say he again teased the gap between the subtle and the ear shattering, starting most of his songs on a quiet note and building to a crescendo (or ‘drop’ as the kids might say) as only Bassnectar can. The crowd swelled as few shows have at the festival, with the mass of people
taking up the entirety of the Ranch Area.

“It’s Bassnectar,” said Julie, from Colorado. “He makes whole festivals go. I’m glad he’s back (at Electric Forest).”

Tripolee Stage acts Datsik and Flux Pavilion were face-meltingly awesome, while Lotus, and to a lesser extent The Werks seemed to pale in comparison – not something that can be said after every festival.

Michigan act The Ragbirds more than held their own during two appearances over the weekend, while Charles Bradley and His
Extrodinaires provided a bit of much-needed soul during their Friday night show on the Jubilee Stage.

Opening night acts Kaskade and Flume were among the most talked about early performances, while festivalgoers had the final String Cheese performance, Gramatik , and Big Gigantic, among a whole slate of acts, still to come. Bluegrass fans will have a treat as Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass and The Yonder Mountain String Band play back-to-back Sunday afternoon.

“There is almost too much to see,” mused Laura, a newly hired professional from Boston. “You just have to accept that you’re
probably not going to get to everything.”