Last Friday, Zion-I, MiM0SA, and Ghostland Observatory took the stage at Red Rocks, delivering a multi-genre musical experience that far exceed my expectations. Having seen all three artists play multiple times at festivals in the past few months (Snowball, Altitude Festival, Wakarusa, and Bonnaroo), I wasn’t exactly sure how this Red Rocks show would set itself apart. I knew that MiM0SA had added a laser to his touring production which I had seen in use at both Wakarusa and Bonnaroo, but I had been let-down by his mellowed out “future-trill” style that didn’t seem to fit in the late night festival schedule. This also left me concerned that a laser show from MiM0SA would leave the crowd ‘lasered-out’ before Ghostland’s set had even begun.
I suppose I should have had more faith because none of my previous concerns seemed to have escaped the production team’s attention.
ZION-I started things off right with a high energy hip-hop set that far surpassed their somewhat out of place appearance at Altitude Festival in April. DJ AmpLive spun his signature blend of recorded instrumentation and a diverse collection of samples creating the rhythm for MC Zumbi’s socially conscious, feel-good lyrics.
Next up was MiM0SA whose LED laden stage production left the crowd hypnotized as the world-class sound system showed me what ‘future-trill’ was supposed to sound like. Heavy bass shook the crowd as hip-hop driven remixes and dubstep inspired studio cuts mingled with an absolutely mind-bending visual accompaniment.
The increase in sound quality and stepped-up production seemed to make the set far more danceable than either his Snowball, Wakarusa, or Bonnaroo sets had been, leaving me with the opinion that MiM0SA makes music designed for the big stage and even bigger speakers.
By the time the house lights came back up for the set change, I was worried that Ghostland’s regular routine would pale in comparison to the sensory overload I had just experienced, however when I was able to count upwards of 16 lasers being tested on stage, I laid my concerns to rest. As the house lights went down and the intro to ‘Glitter’ began to echo through the amphitheater, I felt a huge wave of excitement.
Frontman Aaron Behrens heavily reverberated shouts cued the barrage of lasers and the stage lit up with an electric light show unlike any I had ever seen. Lasers of all colors filled the sky while even more traced elaborate patterns on the ground around Behren’s feet. Strobes and spotlights froze the singer/guitarist in moments of some super funky dance moves while drummer/synth player Thomas ‘The Caped Crusader’ Turner seemed to orchestrate the madness from mid stage.
The encore included some of the groups most popular hits ‘Sad Sad City’ and ‘Kick Clap Speaker’ but the real treat of the evening was a new song , assumedly from their yet untitled 2012 release, which they played as a second encore. Behren’s reverb driven voice layered over itself as a spacey beat built the song to a sustained creshendo which pulled that last bit of energy out of the crowd in the form of frenzied head banging dance moves. If this is any indication as to the direction of their new album, then I am getting really excited for it’s release. A special thanks to Cecilia from Magnum PR for letting us cover the show and you can check out my photos from the evening in our gallery below!