Seeing as it's festival month here on Epitonic, I decided to take a look back at some of my best festival experiences. Though I'm still quite young, I've been lucky enough to attend some wildly fun and outrageous summer festivals and highly suggest attending a range of large and small events. Based on the large collection of artists on Epitonic, I have compiled a list of the ten best festival performances I have seen so far. And it goes...
1 The Olivia Tremor Control @ Wicker Park Fesitval 2005
To this day my favorite show I've ever seen. Not only did I get to spend it with my brother, I got to lean on the stage during the entire set and mingle with the band afterwards. I know my brother still has Will Cullen Hart's signature on patch with a hand-drawn elephant.
2 Matmos @ Intonation Music Festival 2005
Another show I was lucky enough to enjoy with my brother. This was my first experimental electronic show (and really my first experience with experimental music at all), and I will never forget how blown away I was when they played "Yield To Total Elation (Y.T.T.E.)", which remains one of my favorite songs.
3 Battles @ Pitchfork Music Festival 2007
I had been recommended Battles prior to Pitchfork, but hadn't had a chance to listen. I spent the entire set staring at the drummer and I'm still not over the six-foot high cymbal. If Matmos was my first experimental electronic show, Battles was my first experimental rock show.
4 Lotus @ Rothbury Music Festival 2008
Rothbury was my first "hippy-festival" experience and it was interesting, to say the least. This show took place on the first night, at roughly 2am, and was absolutely out of control. Mesmerizing lights, misters raining down every 20 minutes and a crowd of googly-eyed ravers made this unforgettable.
5 The Decemberists @ Intonation Music Festival 2005
If I were a bigger Decemberists fan, this would be much higher on the list. It was an extremely hot, humid day and the start of their set was approaching night fall. By mid-set, it was pitch black, windy as hell, and heat lightning was striking on the beat, creating an atmosphere unlike anything I've ever seen at a show.
6 Deerhoof @ Intonation Music Festival 2005
Similar to the Battles situation. My brother was familiar, but I had no idea what to expect. I was a little thrown back at first, but after a few songs it all clicked and Deerhoof has been a favorite of mine since.
7 The Hood Internet @ Do-Division Street Festival 2010
I can't say I'm a huge fan of all their music, but they play a damn fun show. Add to it that it was 90 degrees, pouring, and packed with an adventurous crowd, and this made for the dance party of the summer.
8 And So I Watch You From Afar @ SXSW 2012
So SXSW may not be a typical festival, but I'm counting it anyways. I must thank my fellow editor Parker for convincing me to stay at the Sargent House showcase, as this ended up being the best set I saw all weekend and completely changed my opinion on an entire style of music.
9 Andrew Bird @ Intonation Music Festival 2005
He rode his bicycle to this show. With his guitar strapped around his back. And, of course, he whistled. 'Nuff said.
10 Matthew Dear @ SXSW 2012
The set itself was only a 7 out of 10. The stage presence and design, however, was a firm 10. White LED lights lined the stage floor, giving the rose wrapped mic stands and dapperly dressed musicians a mysteriously seductive look.