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Apache Lake Music Festival

2014 Wishlist

Background image by Buck--Fever and used under a Creative Commons license.

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ALMF Is Preparing For Their Fourth Annual Festival And Since The Lineup Has Not Been Released Yet Here Is Our 10 Best Hopefuls For The Lakeside Party


By Jeff Moses
Modern Times Magazine

July 28, 2014 — Apache Lake Music Festival is a great local music experience for the uninitiated and newcomers alike.

For people in the music scene, it is a good time to catch up with contemporaries and plan for future collaboration. For those trying to plug in to the scene, it is a great time to spend the weekend meeting bands, writers, promoters, and others from within the Phoenix music community.

But mostly, it is a great time to relax and listen to some great local music in a beautiful outdoor environment.
This year’s festival will be taking place Oct. 24 and 25 at Apache Lake Resort and Marina, 229.5 mile marker, Roosevelt, Ariz. with two stages of great Arizona music as well as an acoustic lounge. Plus, the after parties, at least one of which last year included a slide being carried out of a play area and into a hotel room.

Last year’s lineup included KONGOS, Future Loves Past, Dry River Yacht Club, The SugarThieves, decker., Banana Gun, Sara Robinson and the Midnight Special, Mr. Mudd and Mr. Gold, among many of Phoenix’s most talented independent musical acts.

The festival has all the makings of a fun time no matter who they have playing but this is just a ten-band wishlist that would really make ALMF pop this year, while still maintaining the festival’s identity.

1. Drunken Immortals

Phoenix has a huge appetite for hip-hop and ALMF maintains a funky jammy vibe, those two facts mixed together will hopefully lead to an appearance by Drunken Immortals at the festival. Their presence would bring the interest of a whole different scene to the show, and it would also broaden the musical horizons of the other festival goers. Apache Lake was devoid of hip-hop last year and what better time than now to embrace a genre that is a huge part of mainstream festival culture? Drunken Immortals have played some of the biggest Arizona-based festivals like Elevation Fest and Firefly Gathering already, so why not bring their live band style hip-hop down to the lake?

2. Synrgy

Arcata, Calif., based reggae band Synrgy would fit right in at ALMF. The natural backdrop would be a great accompaniment to their irie sounds, and though the band is California-based now, frontman Brian Zach is from the Valley of the Sun. Also, the band was founded in Flagstaff. Judging by the huge response to Kush County, reggae is a great fit for the festival and Synrgy is some of the best. Their style of reggae would be great for a headliner-type night set, or a relaxing early day set, and the band tours through Phoenix quite a bit. Synrgy has never played Apache Lake Before and bringing in quality touring acts can boost the visibility of any festival: the band’s Arizona ties would maintain the local feel.

3. The Haymarket Squares

The Haymarket Squares played last year’s ALMF and a technical malfunction allowed the punk-grass five-piece to steal the show from the mighty KONGOS. The Squares blew out the power in the indoor venue space during the first song of their late night set. So, instead of waiting for it to be fixed, they took their acoustic instruments to the main stage and rocked the set from there. They had a crowd of about 100 singing and dancing along to their uniquely Arizona sound, and it would be great to see what they could do with a primetime mainstage slot. The group had a personal shuffle losing their drummer but gaining a fiddle player, and they are sounding good as of late.

4. Playboy Manbaby

Playboy Manbaby is a scene unto themselves. Even before the creation of RubberBrother Records, they were building a reputation as one of the best live shows in town. But now with the label and many of Phoenix's most talented musicians lining up to play with them, they've managed to do things like sell out the Crescent Ballroom and headline a stage at Viva Phoenix. The RubberBrother crowd and the Apache Lake crowd have not mixed too frequently in the past, but what better time than ALMF for those two scenes to merge. Playboy is one of the most energetic bands in town and front-man Robbie Pfeffer is a full-on dynamo when he gets on stage with the band. Playboy Manbaby is a headliner all the way, 10 p.m. Saturday night outdoor stage.

5. Ray Reeves and the Masters of the Economy / The Invincible Grins

The two groups are sharing a line because they both include the eccentric Ray Reeves, but they definitely do not share a sound. Ray Reeves and the Masters of the Economy bring a distinctive country — NOT WESTERN — sound to the stage highly featuring the voice and performance of out of control Reeves. They would be perfect for a Saturday afternoon set while the sun is still up as a stiff wakeup call for the festival goers. The Invincible Grins on the other hand are one of those rare bands that is better acoustic than plugged in and perhaps would make for a good band where the Haymarket Squares played last year, maybe make a tradition of it.

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