Andrew Bridge
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Welcome #SoulsRising family to part 1 of our 3 part series on Arise Music Festival 2014!  There’s just so much to cover from our first ever festival stage presentation we had to break it out.  Today I’ll be recapping (or filling those of you in who missed) the awesome music that took place over on the main stages of the festival.

But first let’s set the scene because arguably the biggest stars of the weekend were the venue and mother nature herself.  Nestled in a valley west of Loveland, Sunrise Ranch offered the best festival venue I’ve seen in Colorado.  Rolling fields offered the perfect bowl in which to rest the main “Eagle” and side “B-Well Phoenix” stages, both of which were set side by side with a platform and rigging for dancers and aerial performers.  To the left rose the foothills while to the right slabs of red rock poked through the hilltop, all of which conspired to create epic scenery and great acoustics. Meanwhile mother nature gave us (nearly) three days of perfect weather, and the largest full moon of the year.  That’s right the Super Moon was in full effect and nearly rendered headlamps pointless.

But enough about the venue, let’s dive into highlights from that music!

Friday 10:30- Beats Antique- Eagle Stage

While several artists got things kicked off proper after the opening ceremonies on Friday the first act to truly draw a festival sized crowd was Beats Antique. And they brought it all.  Big energy, big production and belly dancing and it felt like Arise finally let loose.  They capped things off with a HUGE announcement of their “halloween” show at the 1st Bank Center with Shpongle and Emancipator, so brace yourselves for that.

Friday 11:45- Late Night Radio- B-Well Phoenix Stage

The intention of the B-Well Phoenix stage being right next to the main stage, at leas from what I can gather, was to allow for minimal downtime between sets.  Unfortunately the transition from Beats to our friend Late Night Radio, wasn’t the speediest of the festival and the crowd had somewhat dwindled.  But that all changed when Late Night got it all together and showed the crowd that he deserves to be the future of Colorado beats.  Meanwhile, during his set I achieved entertainment nirvana when Staza Stone came out on the performers platform for some next level aerial fabrics.  Fabric dancing+ big sounds from Late Night= one damn good time.

Friday 1:15- Polish Ambassador- Eagle Stage

After we were lucky to snag the main man David Sugalski aka. The Polish Ambassador earlier in the day to chat about his Permaculture Action Tour.  We had to catch his set.  He kicked things off by bringing out the lovely Ayla Nereo to perform a couple Wild Light tracks.  We had caught her acoustic set earlier which was lovely, but the girl’s got pipes made for electronic music.  Polish’s set us primed and funky and took commanding control over the mainstage until the early hours of the morning.  One thing we couldn’t help but notice is that Polish is the one truly electronic artist who could get a crunchy crowd like there was at Arise, to get down so hard to some funk!

10:30- Yamn- B-Well Phoenix Stage

After an impossibly long night one, and a full day of checking out some of the other goodies that took place at Arise (more on all that in part 3 of our coverage) getting back on over to the main concert bowl for night two.  But damn am I glad that I caught Yamn.  It was my first time catching these local boys and they had the crowd pumping on lock. For lack of a better term I’m going to say they’re next generation STS9 and are set to give CO what it needs on the electro rock front.

Saturday 11:00- Galactic- Eagle Stage

Galactic was pretty much my number 1 to see on the main stage and they came to show why they headline festivals like Arise year after year.  Things kicked off a little slow, but the crowd was so well versed with their material it hardly seemed to matter.  That was until Chali 2na came out and kicked things up a few levels.  After that I was hooked.  It was a sound like none I’d ever expect but that I’d always needed to hear.  Of all the ways that Chali could’ve taken his expansive hip hop career I’m undoubtedly grateful that this was a part of it.  By this point set times for the festival had come almost completely derailed, but folks stuck it out to catch Quixotic mellow things out at about 2 AM.

Sunday 1:30- Arise Organizers Press Conference- Sunrise Dome

I took a little time out of my day 3 to attend the press conference held with the two festival organizers Paul and Tierro, and the Sunrise Ranch Manager Michael.  This conference proved a one of a kind experience as they invited organizers, press and the fans to attend.  It was truly amazing to see three guys who shared such a common vision for what Arise could truly be and were out to make it happen.  Additionally I’d be surprised to hear that ANY festival in the U.S. had quite so much support from its venue.

Sunday 8:00-Peter Yarrow- Eagle Stage

Of all the acts that were essential to hit at Arise this year, Peter Yarrow probably topped that list.  If only because it was largely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  After three days of going big Arise was ready for a little sing-along time, for which Peter happily supplied “Blowin’ In The Wind”.  After a few songs it was time for a “Moment of Unity” in which Peter’s daughter implored us all to stand-up together and help fight to save the environment.  At this precise moment the largest “Super Moon” of the year rose fat and heavy over the red rocks behind us, and the entire crowd took up a howl.  A few times in life things really seem to come together at once.  This was one of those moments.

Sunday 9:00- Nahko and Medicine for the People- Eagle Stage

Another returning Arise artist, who moved up in big ways for good reasons this year.  To be honest I’d personally never heard Nahko’s style before so I had no idea what I was getting in to, and I couldn’t have been more delighted.  They played an absolutely monstrous set of Dispatch-esque jams at an insane level of energy.  Couple that with a guest appearance of Peter Yarrow singing “This Land Is Your Land” and then the youngsters, Earth Guardians and you had the perfect way to cap off this unsuspectingly epic festival.


Woah that was a long post right?  Well get ready because that’s just part 1 of our in-depth coverage for Arise 2014.  Stay tuned for recaps from the #SoulsRising Stage and the accessories of Arise!