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Eyes Peeled: 8 Must-See Artists at Wakarusa 2013

BY Tiney 19 May 2013 No Comments

Quixotic (Photo by Brendan Jaffer-Thom)

Summer music festivals are about living in the moment. From the camping devoid of showers to the dance parties with complete strangers, the beauty is in the undistracted eye of the beholder. Part of that is being able to step out of your box and try out something new. In the case of Wakarusa music festival, taking place May 30 to June 2, it’s someone new.

We expect to see you raging to the tune of household names like headliners Widespread Panic, STS9, Snoop Lion, Amon Tobin, Yonder Mountain String Band, and Gogol Bordello, among others. But here are eight bands you may not have heard of that are worth lending an ear.

Quixotic This Kansas City-based collective is more than just an audible experience; it’s a mind blowing visual experience. The band is comprised of several dancers, acrobats and fire spinners who perform on the backdrop of live music. Quixotic’s set is like an abstract theatrical production with a cohesive plot line and tactfully made costumes that portray the artists’ various roles. Be ready for wild tricks, sultry dances and a truly spectacular performance.

Quixotic plays Thursday, May 30 at 12:30 a.m. on Grassroots California Satellite Stage; Saturday, June 1 at 2 a.m.; and Sunday, June 2 at 10:30 p.m. at Grassroots California Satellite Stage.

Milo Greene — These sweethearts of indie folk were making a name for themselves before their first album was released. Since the self-titled record dropped last year, it’s been catching ears with undeniably awesome melodies, intelligent writing and an overall relatable message. The band would easily fit in the lineup for Mulberry Mountain Harvest Fest, an autumn fest curated at the site of Wakarusa, though they appeal to a broader crowd. Not convinced? Watch the video below.

Milo Greene plays Friday, May 31 at 2:15 p.m. on the Budweiser Main Stage.

Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band — Seeing this six-piece live is as fun as repeating its name. The group hails from Ashville, N.C. where the horns blare and the booties shake, so expect the same type of energy from their show. Epic trombone solos work perfectly together over whirling keyboard for a sound that will having you grooving by the very first measure. Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band recently released a remixed version of their sophomore album Doin’ It Hard, which will get you in the mood for festing.

Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band plays Friday, May 31 at 7 p.m. at Technaflora Outpost Tent.

Nahko & Medicine for the People — Out of the creative coves of Portland comes a feel good world band spreading a musical message and positive vibes. With soothing beats and cheery lyrics the band travels to places such as Bali and Mali to raise awareness about sustainable living practices and act as motivators to make healthy choices. Medicine for the People is also a non-profit that donates charities in line with their objectives. The breezy guitar lines make Medicine for the People a great set to take that much needed break from partying.

Nahko & Medicine for the People plays at Sunday, June 2 at 7 p.m. at George’s Majestic Backwoods Stage.

Govinda (Photo by TWT Photo)

Govinda (Photo by TWT Photo)

Govinda — Austin, Texas-native Shane Madden is creating his own rules when it comes to DJing and producing. He grooves behind his turntables while simultaneously throwing down beats and playing live violin over top. Govinda’s style incorporates Middle-Eastern influences to which his backup belly dancers perform, dressed head to toe in authentic garb — they are truly a sight for sore eyes. The whole vibe of the show will have you inspired to move with the performers and allow your mind drift to a different world.

Govinda plays Saturday  night/Sunday morning at 7 a.m. at Grassroots California Satellite Stage.

Henry + The Invisibles — As far as funk bands are concerned, Henry + The Invisibles out of Austin, Texas has the rhythm just right. Contrary to what the name might suggest, this is a one-man band who won over crowds at the capital’s Waka Winter Classic with its big sound and contagious vibe. Front (and only) man Henry Roland layers instrumentation on top of synthetic beats and then caps it off with his soulful voice. Check out this performance if you’re in the mood for a dance party.

Henry + The Invisibles plays Saturday, June 1 at 9:15 p.m. at George’s Majestic Backwoods Stage.

Gravity Feed — If you’re looking for a jam band with the ability to break out of the box, check out Dallas’ own Gravity Feed. A mix of classic improvisation and pop sensibility, this five-piece is riding high on the release of their debut album entitled Bubblegum Wisdom. Their secret weapon is saxophonist Brad Silwood, who has played with some of music’s biggest legends including Prince and Elton John.

Gravity Feed plays Friday, May 31 at 13:20 p.m. at Revival Tent.

The Effinays — The Effinays attend the 2013 festivals as winners of the Dallas Waka winter Classic. Their unique blend of reggae, funk and jazz takes on a new life when frontman Joe “Big Spook” Martinez raps over the music. Some of their songs straddle the line between rock and reggaetone, and then the saxophone duo swoops in to take it to a different level. That as well as their captivating stage personalities makes them a show not to miss.

The Effinays plays Friday, May 31 at 11 p.m. George’s Majestic Backwoods Stage.

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