Review by Brian Litwin
Photos by Jesse Wright
We recently spent a weekend in Temecula, California at Lake Skinner for Lightning In A Bottle 2013. For the lack of a better term, this festival is different compared to others. With a main stage being construed around a tree, workshops regarding Yoga and healthier living, free water, and an assortment of art installations, LIB (as it’s referred to) was nothing short of a memorable experience. Here’s a collection of musical and photo highlights from the festival.
Purity Ring – Thanks to typical L.A. traffic on a Friday, getting into the secluded area of Lake Skinner where LIB was taking place was a bit of a challenge. Nevertheless, we arrived in time to catch Edmonton electronic duo Purity Ring’s set. Corin Roddick and Megan James seemed to be on a mission to please the crowd that night, with their noted stage lighting and drum pad pods. Though the set seemed a bit short of the midnight ending, Purity Ring played the majority of their 2012 release Shrines.
Odesza – Seattle duo Odesza threw down. Playing from their free album Summer’s Gone and ending with new tunes, as yet to be release, there was good reason why these guys were one of my 5 to see acts at LIB. Also, they played on a stage constructed with Bamboo (pretty awesome stuff).
Blackbird Blackbird – Over at the Lightning Stage, San Francisco based Mikey Maramag made some noise himself. Mixing in his “folktronica” sound with trap and some house, Blackbird Blackbird turned some heads. This was my first time seeing this guy live, but it won’t be the last.
Nicolas Jaar – This NY/Chile native is extremely talented and very young. His set featured loads of house and it will surely have people remembering his name long after LIB. Side note: his track “The Ego” with Theatre Roosevelt may be a single that has gone under the radar for way too long.
GRiZ – Speaking of young talent, GRiZ, aka Grant Kwiecinski from Detroit, MI, is younger than Nicolas Jaar and also plays saxophone over his produced beats. GRiZ also brought guitar player Dan Hacker on stage for some tracks. Playing selected songs off of Mad Liberation and End of The World Party releases, GRiZ ended Saturday night nicely.
Goldroom – Their sound has Southern California written all over it. It is radio ready and instead of being just the solo project of Josh Legg, it’s now a full band with Mereki Beach singing lead vocals. I saw Gold Room at Dim Mak for a DJ set and also live while during SXSW. “Fifteen”, “Only You Can Show Me”, “Morgan’s Bay” and “Angeles” should be in your next beach mixtape, and they sounded great live at LIB.
Giraffage – This is a no brainer. We love this kid. Throwing down crowd pleasers like “Close 2 Me” and his stellar remix of Janet Jackson’s “Someone To Call My Lover” really got the party started. Later, Giraffage mixed in possibly the best remix of 2013 (so far) and a personal favorite Stardust’s “Music Sounds Better With You”. However, the biggest reaction was the drop to “Money” and with friends on stage throwing out fake hundreds to the unique trap stylings of Mr. Yin, the crowd was floored. Do yourselves a favor and see this man live
gLAdiator – The LA production duo, Danl Goodman and Ian Johnson, may have had the surprise set of LIB. I had heard of them, but didn’t know what was about to transpire at this festival. How foolish of me. Their trap heavy set created so much noise that they pulled fans from other stages, who came to see what the commotion was all about. gLAdiator have a nice run of dates in the future, including a set in LA for HARD Summer. Do not miss these guys.
Tycho – Dive might be one of the more complete albums of recent history and Scott Hansen, project leader, clearly has a great and well defined artistic vision for Tycho. Stunning live visuals were set to all of the tracks. The tightness of the band evoked an energy that flowed calmly from the speakers to the crowd, capping off the perfect set to wrap up the festival. Tycho also performed a new track that had similar vibes to Dive but was much more bass and house influenced.
Lightning In A Bottle Festival (Info)
Reviewed by b3