People go to music festivals for many reasons. Some go because all their friends are going, some go for the drugs, some go to get a few good instagram’s out of it, some go for the sense of community and belonging, but it all comes down to the music. This years lineup at LIB was stacked, there were big names, small names, and some exceptional sets. This post will serve to take you through my favorite sets of the weekend in chronological order.
Mikey Lion started things right for me Friday at the Woogie. If you’ve never heard of Mikey Lion, he is a DJ/producer of all things deep and house haling from San Diego, CA, and also the creator of a quickly rising burner style music festival in the Mojave called Desert Hearts. Desert Hearts festival goers are aptly named ‘desert hearts,’ and are some of the coolest and funkiest people you will ever meet. Desert Hearts were in full force during Mikey Lion’s set during which he threw down the quintessential bass heavy tribal and minimalistic house tracks he’s known for, and had me boogieing (or more appropriately, woogieing), for the full 2 hour set until he finished of with one of my favorite tracks of his, Playa Dreams.
I was first introduced to Pumpkin when I saw his set at LIB last year, where he was one of the highlights of the weekend. Well the good folks over at the Do Lab definitely took notice as this year he was moved over to the Lightning Stage for a Friday afternoon slot at 3:30. Once again he didn’t disappoint, throwing down his signature ambient house remixes of too many classics to count. Some of those remixes includes Bill Wither’s Ain’t No Sunshine, Another One Bites the Dust by Queen, Don’t Worry Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin, Sitting on the Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding, 1998 by Chet Faker, Casey Jones by the Grateful Dead, and more. His ability to rework familiar songs and plug them in at the exact right moment defines his expertise, and Pumpkin was another set that kept the crowd consistently in the groove. Also there was a middle aged asian man in the back of the crowd where I was who would scream at the top of his lungs for like 2 minutes at a time then go back to smiling and dancing. It was confusing, but eventually my friends and I realized he was just having a good time.
OG UK basshead Ott. didn’t hesitate to bring the noise with his psychedelic bass heavy dub sounds, and while his music was amazing some of the best parts of his sets were his dry wit and fatherly advice. He said things like “You have two more days of this.. Don’t eat it all tonight!” and “It’s my birthday today, so that means you all have to be extra nice to me!”
Experimental trap/future bass artist G Jones has been absolutely exploding within the last year, and this weekend he and a host of other producers are opening for bay area bass legend Bassnectar at the one and only Red Rocks in Colorado. His Saturday evening set at the Thunder stage was nonstop energy; G Jones threw down track after track of bass funk that had the entire crowd gigging like they could feel the spirit of Mac Dre. He announced at least 5 unreleased collabs and more new shit from only him. It became very clear why he’s been getting so big, this dude produces music like a madman. And it’s all fire.
The Opiuo Band
I’ve seen Opiuo before, But his live band performance was a whole other thing. It was possibly my favorite performance of the weekend, and without a doubt my favorite performance at the Thunder stage. Live drums, keyboard, saxophone, guitar, and vocals came together in different ways to create an analog version of Opiuo’s digital funk the likes of which I have not yet seen. One of my personal highlights were a cover of Michael Jackson’s ‘Billy Jean’ that had the crowd harmonizing with those on stage.
I had a feeling going into the Sunday sets that Stwo was going to be a hidden gem within the day’s sets. And in some ways I was right, there was plenty of room in the crowd to move as you saw fit. Stwo’s set was amazing, throwing down a perfect mix of r&b and rap remixes of his own with various trap and other bass heavy selections from other as well. The way he mixed Biggies ‘Ten Crack Commandments’ into the sample and the rest in TroyBoi’s ‘Medusa Dayz’ was masterful and left me reeling in excitement.
I have been waiting to see this duo live for about 2 years now and they did not disappoint. They created an atmosphere of soulful electronic funk that had the whole crowd gyrating in unison. They played every song I wanted to hear and more. From their remixes of ‘Gold’ By Bondax, ‘It’s Too Late’ by Wild Belle, and ‘Cigarette Song’ by Raury to originals like ‘On & On,’ Snakehips provided an amazing set full of their signature futuristic jazzy sound that left me in a feeling of bliss once they were done.
Since the release of his deep house banger ‘OK,” Shiba San has been a forced to be reckoned with in the arena of dance music. I haven’t yet had a chance to see him perform, so his sunset slot at The Woogie on Sunday night was one of the set’s I looked forward to most out of all sets for the whole weekend. It was a ‘can’t miss’ set for the entire group I was with, and Jesus Christ did he throw down. While in the crowd during this set I felt like Shiba some how had taken control of my mind, but in a way where I was completely ok with it. I couldn’t stop dancing. Highlights of the set were when he dropped ‘OK’ and the ‘Move Bitch’ remix that had everyone playfully screaming at each other to ‘Get out the way.’ The song itself is called ‘Kick Your Ass’ by Shiba San, and is a booty shaker for sure.