Traveling to the smack dab middle of America the weekend Camp Euforia was held made the state of Iowa surprisingly refreshing. Having a festival under the vast open plains and between the rows of corn made this flat land a thrill. Bumping music creatively flowed from a variety of artists including the band who brought everyone together, Euforquestra. The music was vibrant in the summer heat as the excitement of the weekend kicked off on Thursday evening with a pre-party. Mountain Standard Time, Dead Larry and Juno What presented a gripping start to the festivities. With diversity not only musically but also in the artistic talent present there to entertained and expanded your mind.
Arriving on Friday evening was a perfect time to catch some of the highlighted acts of the weekend. The Hen House Prowlers pounded out the bluegrass music right before sun down. Right as the music begins with this band you can feel the love in every stroke of the strings. The stage presence of these fellas is simple and to just let the music flow. This act was definitely bringing out the smiles. Hysterical banters and true emotion described in the lyrics of their twangy style. A terrific way to dance into the evening as the sun set over the fields and the party was just getting started.
As the open sky changed from its midday blue into a rainbow sherbet color, Lick it Ticket took to their instruments. The musical knowledge these Iowa musicians have is extraordinary. A jivey and energetic sensation is put together on stage and expands into the crowd. The music is a mixture of jam rock with psychedelic rants in their melody. The guys hyped up the attendees while awaiting the continuation of music.
On top of the many sponsors who aided to bring this festival together the next band on the schedule is owed a lot of credit for the weekend gathering. As Euforquestra hit the stage the appreciation from the crowd was felt and heard. This festival can be considered a family oriented environment for the support of many of the band members lied very close to home this show. In the crowd several of the proud family members to the gentleman on stage brought a warm feeling to the atmosphere. Right as the Iowa based band hit the stage the intensity was building and the vivid multicultural vibes in their music was first noticed. Though these guys derived in Iowa over the past few years they have expanded into the Colorado scene and have toured to spread their musical knowledge in songwriting and production. Vivid instrumentals from all over the globe create illusive music for the crowd. The boys on stage seemed very happy to be on their home stomping grounds as the positivity beamed through the music. Comedic stage ensembles including straw hats and wacky sunglasses created an act to remember as the humor these men have were heard in the tunes. The music came together in perfect unison. Ryan Jeter and Austin Zaletel on saxophone created the bluesy jazz feel for the music. Bewitching the audience with their collaborations with the other musicians made this band an act never to miss when the opportunity arises. The reggae island vibes on the drum set by Adam Grosso connected with the percussionist Matt Grundstad. On the guitar Matt Tallman truly stroked out power with every note as the bass bumped from Ben Soltau. The connection this group has is unforgettable and inspiring. Playing and raising up the crowd the band knew how to grasp every onlooker and get them pumped up for the weekend party at Jerry's.
Hitting the late night stage was the empowering music of the band Public Property. Tranquil, steady and uplifting reggae tunes belted outward. Drifting rifts of motion were in every sound produced. The vocals lead by Dave Bess and backed by the beautiful feminine voices of Margaret Larson and Meghan Mcdonough. The Iowa band consistently flowed out the beats. The song “Power Trip” was played sharing a very opinionated stance on how many people may feel about our nation. This along with many other songs touched on some moving issues which creates awareness through their music. Expanded reggae ton beats were created by a combination of a variety of instruments. Deep soul along with R&B were all included in the vibrant instrumental jams. Songs played included ”24/7” and “Choo Choo.” Livening with the closely connecting lyrics to reality created a performance not to miss over this weekend. Later in their set freestyle mixed in brought by the talents of Heatbox. The night was still alive when Public Property's set ended, the night was young and many were awoken by the strong music that just had been played.
The music drifted into the night and lifted into the blanket of stars even producing enough electricity to create some lightning in the night. As the later acts hit the stage, the fields were livened with the multitudes of talent present at this gathering. Juno What performed with funkedelic, high energy, electro, dance party music. Mixing styles with old and new created motion in all attendees.
Heatbox hit the stage next with a performance both mesmerizing and artistic. Every time this artist hits the stage you never know what you are going to get. A performance to remember with the whacky sounds and unique structure within the music. A pure blood talent who knew how to grab people till the break of day. Heatbox stated, “I'm playing till you stop dancing.” As the evening turned into daybreak the music was desperately bumping still. The next day was sure to amaze at Camp Euforia, just as the first day did.
Starting off Saturday the heat was the most powerful presence as this festival besides the peacful communtiy and moving tunes. Events in the morning included several workshops and even a yoga session. The afternoon music began with Max Eubank, a mellow acoustic performance to knock up the tranquil vibes. Consistant and soothing promotion of his music skills caught your hears. Uniphonics next presented psychedelic jams drifting into the dancing onlookers. Playing a Grateful Dead cover lifted the homely vibes once again this band knew how to get the crowds attention. With bluegrass and whacky acts all populating the afternoon it seemed to be on fast forward. Even Mr Baber's neighbors, The Solar String Band played a delightful performance including a rendition of “My Sisters and My Brothers.” The evening came on as more highly awaited acts came on stage.
As the sun began to lower the energy was rejuvenate as Chicago Afro beat Project hit the stage.
Catching your attention from the get go with lucid saxophones and percussions. Stimulating a dance party with a wave of flowing tunes. Deep and powerful emotion is put forth in every beat. This band brought the heat to an already boiling crowd. Their music has such flare and seems to capture you with the variety of influences brought out in this bands style. Rare, beautiful and captivating not only in the rhythmic instrumentals but in the vocal skills as well. With a cha cha in check the band beat out the emotion and passion they hold in their creatively constructed music. Just getting the evening started Chicago Afro beat busted out a never ending dance party getting the attendees warmed up for more music.
Euforquestra hit the headlining time with fire straight from the start. The regular crew of the band was emphasized by Kyle Hollingsworth (String Cheese Incident,) banging on keys. The band started of with a Led Zepplin cover. Interesting, enthralling and entertaining addition to the stage with Hollingsworth perfect mix to Euforquestra's style. Tropical feel to the music flowing through the heat. Kyle Hollingsworth continued with the family openness for this gathering noting a song played was a favorite to his daughter. The sax's playing on stage seemed to be dancing with one another adding to the theatrics in this bands stage presence. Playing the song, “Soup.” These guys have a silly time on stage, there to have fun and shows it throughout their set. Whacky hats even made an appearance in the bands wardrobe choice the whole weekend. The individuals in this band come together strong musically, they are very attentive to one another on stage. Fast, fun loving and carefree keyboard progression by Hollingsworth. Livening, elevating and upbeat tunes hyped up those present. Smiles formed during the music and danced into the whole body. Twirling melodies created good hearted dancing rhythms. Mixing both Euforquestra's songs along with several Kyle Hollingsworth tunes including, “Boo boo's Picnic” and “Piece of Mind.” A Talking Heads cover was put in the mix, “This Must be the Place (naive melody),” always a song to strike up the mood. Also a Paul Simon cover was played, “Sunny Day.” This was very suiting for the weekend. Intense bangos with a keys mixed with the sax climaxed the show engulfing all the instruments at their fullest power. Jason Hann and Michael Travis stepped out to conclude the set with a String Cheese cover and enticing the crowd for Eoto to hit the stage.
Eoto presents an extraordinary performance as usual on Saturday evening in Iowa. Bringing a lot of energy into the line-up these men always know how to entice a crowd with their music. They're fascinating to see with their improvised set, drifting on different parallels of sounds thrown into the music. When it comes to reading a crowd and feeling the energy, these two musicians are psychic. Their telepathy to cure the crowds cravings takes your breath away. Waving you over a vast array of different styles and sensational beats that leave you hanging. Very down to earth, then drastically out of this world. Continuation of movement in the music took you on a journey and giving a glimse into the genius of these to musicians skills. Slow motion followed by remixes, then a dash of Jason Hann's silly voice overs tops it off. These two cooked up delectable sounds until the morning time. Multicultural mixed with deep dub step flowing into modern day electronic disco. The intensity in attendee participation was warming to be a part of, the whole crowd was just clapping all together in unison clinging to the next note to be heard. EoTo truly has a skill to bring people to the edge of there seats and send them out of this world. The night was still young as people dispersed to reflect to mind blowing music that just flowed into their memories.
Camp Euforia was a weekend that knew how to bring a down home feel. Though Sunday morning brought in a disastrous wind storm followed by terrible thunderstorms, leaving the cornfields left you feeling content with the musical moments witnessed this weekend. Getting people pumped for the awaited String Cheese Tour having three members of the band play together before the start of their tour was a fabulous experience. Though the Iowa heat was rough the bands and people present made it all worth the sweat. This festival was a celebration for many Iowa based bands and is expanding as hopes for future years to bring more memories for the musical talent that was here.