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True Music Festival

Has A ‘Truly’ Fine Debut

Image by Jeff Moses. Next Slide Show —>

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Arizona’s First Large-Scale, Multi-Genre Music Festival Thrills The Several Thousand Attendees At Salt River Fields And All Signs Point To Even Better Events In Future Years


By Jeff Moses
Modern Times Magazine

Dec. 16, 2013 — True Music Festival was a dynamic, multi-layered event that saw its fair share of highlights, a few low lights, and a vibe that was ever evolving throughout the course of the 12-hour musical day. So in other words it just might have been a “true music festival.”

The undisputed headliner of the day was Wiz Khalifa. Though the Pittsburgh-based self proclaimed “superstar,” may not have come into the show with the critical pedigree of his co-headliners — Bassnectar and The Flaming Lips — Khalifa was the hands down biggest draw of the show packing the main stage area for the entirety of his set.

The weed influenced hip-hop word-smith held the stage for just over an hour, part of which consisted of his prolonged introduction by his hype man and DJ JBonics. He even saved time at the end of his set to rock out with his touring entourage from the Taylor Gang, including his comrades who opened the main stage earlier in the day Berner and Chevy Woods.

The Wiz performed tracks from throughout his catalogue of hits including “Keep One Rolled,” “Taylor Gang,” and “Young Wild and Free.” The latter of which many fans hoped to see Snoop Dogg take the stage too. But contrary to rumors in the crowd — and a last minute cancelation of Snoop’s DJ event at Maya Day and Night Club — the Snoopadelic one performed at the Christmas party with Kesha.

Khalifa saved his biggest hits for last however closing out his set with his grammy nominated “Remember You,” before going into the song that made him famous, his ode to the Steel City, “Black and Yellow.

Following Wiz, many of the audience hit the exits, but as the audience declined, the showmanship increased when HelloGoodbye took the secondary “Solar Stage,” and got the crowd revved up for the incomparable Flaming Lips. Wayne Coyne and company mesmerised the significantly smaller audience with over an hour of eccentric behavior, atmospheric tunes, and easily the best light and stage show the festival saw all day.

The Oklahoma-based psychedelic rockers showed the True Music Festival crowd exactly why The Flaming Lips were ranked as one of the 50 “bands you must see before you die,” with an unrivaled performance.

Coyne took the stage in “new boots,” and sang from atop a 10 foot high color changing, light up, jelly fish looking podium, clutching a baby doll close to his chest, in a shiny teal outfit. During the set they performed old staples of their set like “The Jelly Song,” and “Do You Realize.” As well as songs off their newest album.

The LED screen behind the stage kept the colors changing, while The Flaming Lips seamlessly transitioned through songs, making it hard to tell where one ended and the next began. But they accomplished this in such a way that the sounds, layers and textures of the music progressed throughout.

Another highlight of True Music Festival was the overall play of the local Phoenix bands even though besides Black Carl they were all jammed together at the very beginning of the show.

Regardless, the hometown acts represented for Phoenix.

Hard-rock act The Black Moods opened the entire festival at 11:20 a.m. and definitely did not let the fact that the gates had barely opened get in the way of them rocking out. They made as much as they could of their festival opening set and drew in at least 100 of the festival goers toward the sounds of their music.

Following The Black Moods, Dry River Yacht Club took the stage and the eight dancin’ pirates were obviously still riding high on the tidal wave of their recent album release El Tigre. The Yacht Club squeezed every ounce of juice they could out of their 20 minutes, and sounded the best they have ever sounded on TMF’s Solar Stage.

While each member of the Yacht Club is individually talented, lead singer and lead guitarist Garnett and Corey Gloden respectively taking over the show. The pair are definitely one of the most entertaining tandems going on the Phoenix music scene right now and they put on a theatrical treat for 175 to 200 people who sauntered over to the Solar Stage.

After the Yacht Clubs set it was North Phoenix based Black Bottom Lighters turn to “light it up” on stage.The BBL did not miss a beat even after having spent last weekend in Jacksonville Fla. performing with Pepper, Dirty Heads, Jimmy Eat World, and Stone Temple Pilots among others at Big Ticket Music Festival.

The Solar Stage took a break for two hours following The Black Bottom Lighters while Indie folk act Lord Huron serenaded the main stage for their last show of the year 2013. And after Lord Huron is was time for the last of the locals Tempe based blues act Black Carl.

Black Carl probably impressed everyone including themselves with not only their performance but the amount of people who stopped by to watch it. Black Carl had one of the most well attended performances of the afternoon at the Solar Stage, and lead singer Emma Pew let the crowd know she appreciated it by blowing the lid off their music with her powerful vocals.

Black Carl has been a consummate local headliner for years and they are leaving no question as to why with a performance like the one they had on Dec. 14 on one of the biggest stages the Phoenix music scene had to offer.

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