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Electric Forest Festival, Day 2

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Continued from Electric Forest Festival, Day 1.

Friday morning delivered more rain, as well as a notably heavy storm, which reached me precisely when I was outside cooking breakfast. By lunch time, the wet skies had cleared and Mother Nature started the process of drying up The Electric Forest by beaming down fragile rays of sunshine. Walking into the venue, one guy shook a blue bag in the air and exclaimed, “Well, guys. It better not rain anymore, since I went and spent $100 on this raincoat.”

Stephen Marley began the evening's festivities with a proper reggae set, setting a mellow tone for the rest of the music. On the other side of the woods, The New Deal performed a set of futuristic-chill electronica on their rapidly-dwindling list of last shows ever; the band will officially call it quits in January at the Jam Cruise, but have been playing out a series of previously-scheduled engagements. It was clear that keyboardist Jamie Shields is the man in charge. He led each song with relentlessly driving and inventive keyboard playing. Bass player Dan Kurtz couldn’t be there to perform, so Robert Mercurio (of Galactic) filled in. “We like to call it Freestyle Friday,” one band member said.

Stephen Marley

After The New Deal, a short hike across festival grounds put me at The Tripolee Stage where Chiddy Bang, an electronic hip-hop duo, was scheduled to play. At 7:00 p.m. (the time that should have been the middle of their set), there were no signs of a show tear-down or setup. In the spirit of flexibility, I moved on up the road and made a stop at The Life Size Mousetrap instead.

Just like it sounds, The Life Size Mousetrap is an enlarged version of the contraption used in the board game Mousetrap. Bowling balls roll down chutes, dump into bathtubs and catapault into buckets. The whole thing is emceed by a fella who constantly reminds us that “This is… The Life Size Mousetrap.” The eccentric host keeps the show on track and also gives the audience fun tips like reminding them to pay attention to the rumbling ground when the giant safe drops from its suspension point high in the air.

The Lifesize Mousetrap

Nighttime hours feel as though they go faster at The Electric Forest than at any other festival I’ve ever attended. It could be because no other event puts as much detail and attention into creating an experience, particularly one with an emphasis on the night time. The design of the festival allows for a fluid schedule with shows flowing into walks in the woods flowing into more shows and more walks.

There’s lots of walking at The Electric Forest. I walked through a blur of dance music sets last night, including dirty dubstep beats from VibeSquaD, a magical dance set by Tiesto and chaotic breakbeats by Dieselboy, who took over an open early timeslot when it was announced Bonobo couldn't play. Still lingering in recovery from VibeSquaD’s set, I stayed longer than planned once Dieselboy started his brisk-tempo drum’n’bass set.

The day started out dark and dreary, much like the evening of rain the night before. But with each hour gone by with no signs of a raindrop, more and more people began to venture out to start their day. By the time evening fell, full confidence had been restored and morale boosted back to its music festival normal level of “exceedingly high”. All thanks to that guy and his $100 rain coat.

Continue to Electric Forest Festival, Day 3.

Danielle covers local music for NUVO.net and IndyMojo.com.

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