Gathering of the Vibes: Get Your Groove On with the Late Night Lineup (Guide)
Sensible Reason is gearing up for the Gathering of the Vibes this year, the premiere festival for chilling out and getting down with some of the biggest names in progressive rock, jam rock, soul, funk, and electronic music. This year’s lineup is packed with talent that includes major stars and up-and-coming artists that are still flying just a bit under the radar. Here at Sensible Reason, we’re particularly excited about the fantastic schedule for the Late Night Stage. Below, we’ve created a guide that will give you everything you need to know about the Late Night lineup at the Vibes.
Friday, August 1st
Dopapod starts off the late-night schedule early Friday morning with their irreverent, genre-busting blend of sound that mixes prog rock, electronica, soul, acid jazz, and funk into an improvisational tour-de-force that is guaranteed to chill you out in the grooviest way possible. With influences as varied as Primus, Herbie Hancock, and Phish, Dopapod’s four members are skilled musicians that bring their talents into sync through their energetic performances. They are loath to classify themselves in terms of genre, instead viewing their music as a creative unfolding of their various visions, which form new and unexpected harmonies during performances and studio sessions. Despite their sometimes hi-tech sound, Dopapod is proudly lo-fi, rocking out on keyboards, guitars, and drums to create sets defined by their synthesis of aural and visual components. Their newest record, Redivider (2012), charted a new step in the band’s evolution with the addition of vocals. If you like grooving to experimental jazz-, rock- and funk-fueled riffs that sound like they could be featured in the sexy 60’s space romp Barbarella, you won’t want to miss Dopapod. Check out their New Year’s Eve set at the Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts, below:
Saturday, August 2nd
Deep Banana Blackout
DBB’s soul-infused songs are perfect for a late-night session, when their down-tempo, funktastic beats and sultry instrumental and vocal riffs will have you feeling the funk way down deep in your bones. The eight-member group, which features a full horn section, might transport you to the smoky basement jazz clubs of Greenwich Village, or perhaps Algiers, Louisiana, in the days of Miles Davis and John Coltrane. But these guys also have plenty of twang, rocking out with the best of them and bringing about a serious case of involuntary hip-swaying. They’re regulars at the Vibes, where they are proud to be local favorites (they hail from Fairfield County, Connecticut). DBB brings their distinctive blend of jazz, funk, and soul to original work and covers of some of the bands that have influenced them, including Sly and the Family Stone, Tower of Power, and Funkadelic. This is their second year on the Late Night Stage, which means you’ll see them in their element under the stars as vocalist Jen Durkin invites you through the “door of sleep” with her earthy, powerful lyrics. Have a listen to a few of their songs on Soundcloud, and take a look at their performance at the 2012 Gathering:
Famous for their fully improvisational, hours-long performances, livetronica group EOTO’s genius lies in their ability to create hypnotic, trippy sets that incorporate cutting-edge electronica and instrumental experimentation. Performances include the top technologies for making noise, like Ableton, Reason, and MIDI controllers, along with the lo-tech sounds of guitars, drums, keyboards, and vocals. EOTO is constantly in creative mode, spinning wild, bass-heavy beats that evolve organically into an intense mixture of trance, trip-hop, dubstep, breakbeat, sludge metal, punk, and house that becomes more than the sum of its parts, inviting listeners into an intensely vibrant soundscape that embraces you with layers of complex, intertwined rhythms that coalesce and break apart into new, equally impressive forms. EOTO is all about the beat, a fact attested to by “drumming octopus” Michael Travis’s experimentation in the realms of the subsonic. Seeing EOTO live is akin to a tribal experience, where sound unifies audience members and transports them to the realms of transcendental sonic bliss. So join the tribe: stay up late for EOTO and party your face off. EOTO is on Soundcloud here. Be sure to check out their performance at Wakasura 2013, below.
Sunday, August 3rd
Digital Tape Machine
The mixture of analog and digital that Digital Tape Machine brings to their performances is evidenced in their name, which captures the irreverent, playful spirit of many of their songs. The Chicago-based group includes Joel Cummins, a founding member of Umphrey’s McGee, who brings that group’s progressive rock flavor to Digital Tape Machine’s focus on electronic composition. The other members are equally talented, and their high-energy performances fuse elements of trance, hip hop, R&B, funk, and prog rock, creating an astounding variety of sounds. Songs range from the groovy to the glitchy, with supersonic highs and deep, bass-heavy, booty-shaking beats.
Digital Tape Machine has rightfully been identified as video game music, and their songs do indeed invoke nostalgia for past eras of classic gaming. The band members are decidedly influenced by the old school sounds of gaming giants, but they’ve put a new spin on the electronic harmonies of those classic games by adding in an instrumental element, with shredding guitars and live drums. Digital Tape Machine puts on one hell of a show, and their dark, danceable sound will add a sweet edge to your Vibes experience.
Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe
Rounding out the late-night performers, the incredibly talented Karl Denson and his band bring their high-energy blend of jazz, funk, and soul to the stage on Sunday morning. This group is guaranteed to reenergize party-goers who might feel danced out after Digital Tape Machine’s big bad sound. Tiny Universe shifts gears dramatically to manifest the perfect end to your evening, helping you chill out with funky riffs and classic instrumental sounds, creating an intimate performance space no matter the size of the venue. Their music is stamped with the distinctive sound of frontman and saxophonist Karl Denson, former member of Lenny Kravitz’s band and a current member of Slightly Stoopid. The band’s most recent album, New Ammo, was released in February on Stoopid Records and has gained critical and popular acclaim. Denson is a legendary sax player, and his versatile career reaches its peak in this group, where he can showcase his mastery of the instrument while being backed by a truly fantastic supporting cast who play keyboard, drums, tenor sax, electric and bass guitars, and trumpet. Tiny Universe could actually be considered a misnomer–these guys are anything but tiny. In fact, they create sound so big that you can’t help but feel like you’re dancing to the pulse of the cosmos. Listen on Soundcloud here, and check out their exuberant performance, at Bele Chere in Asheville, NC, below:
The 19th annual Gathering of the Vibes happens July 31-August 3 in Seaside Park, on Bridgeport, Connecticut’s, Long Island Sound. Tickets, ranging from single-day entries to weekend camping passes, are available here.