Day 1 ~ Thursday Sept. 8th
Days prior to the Werk Out Music Festival the weather was looking a little worrisome with predictions of scattered thunderstorms everyday. I packed my long-sleeve shirts, multiple pairs of pants, gloves, and a hat to stay warm through the cold nights. However, it was by far the best weather a music festival could every hope for. Sunny skies peered over the festival all three days, and we were all graced with random cloud cover and a gracious breeze. The festival was set on a 100 acre park owned and operated by a descendant of the Historic Shawnee Nation in Ohio.
Originally supposed to open for the festival, Blue Moon Soup
, a newer folk bluegrass band, took the stage before Psychedelphia. The band hails from Ohio and recently got together in 2010. They were a younger group of musicians: a fiddler, mandolin player, upright bassist, and guitar and were full of energy on stage and off. I found that they even enjoy playing their instruments on top of vehicles or simply by a fire. They truly possess the bluegrass spirit.
The first time I feel in love with Psychedelphia
was at The 2010 Muncie Springfest Music Festival in Indiana. I was absolutely stoked to see they were traveling back to the Midwest. They have an amazing sound that is full of funk, blues, and psychedelic rhythms that rock your soul. The kinda have the ability to put you in a giddy state. Psychedelphia was a great closer for Thursday with crazy lights and endless jams that kept us dancing all night.
Day 2 ~ Friday Sept. 9th
Friday, I woke to the hot sun beating down on my tent. My friends and I made a shelter with a tarp and two sticks; the best festie approach to obtain the much needed shade. I proceeded to roam through the festival grounds to find the Wuhnurth stage and see how big the grounds stretched. I trailed to the back of the woods and found great views and nice shade from the sun. The Wuhnurth stage was nestled in the far back with tarps and stringing lights around the stage. The Wuhnurth stage had lushes trees and greenery all around; perfect to find your inner chi during yoga in the morning. I headed back to camp to make breakfast and had the company of Oh Kee Pa, a Phish cover band to groove to.
brought a little Sublime reggae flavor with hip-hop and a little beat-boxing mixed in. The three part vocal harmonies from Sam, Danny, and Gavin brought a lot variety to their songs. The band played gentle melodic songs during their day set. They generally tour the Northeast area and visit Ohio often, so keep your eye out.
Also playing a day set were The Mantras
who brought a relaxing mysterious feel to my body. They seemed to have just enough of the “It” factor to get those late risers to the stage. Their jamming rock n’ roll sound kept my mind drifting off into jam heaven.
After the beginning of The Mantras, I traveled to the Wuhnurth Stage to see Catch Curtis, who hail from Muncie, Indiana. It has been quite some time since I experienced one of their shows and was stoked to see them. The band is a four piece with electrifying keys from Ashton Kleemann, amazing six string shredder Matt Parkison, trippi guitar by Josh Lockwood, and the banging drum beats. The band has jazz theory in their background while combining funk and experimental jam to make a fusion frenzy.
The night was started off right with a set from Kyle Hollingworth Band
. The set was great and Hollingsworth even sang a new song that he didn’t even know the lyrics to. He reminded the audience of this when grabbing a setlist make sure to ask because you may actually be taking sheet notes! The festival got a little taste of Hollingworth’s second solo ablum called “Then There’s Now
,” which was released mid September.
, members of String Cheese Incident Jason Hann and Michael Travis, followed their fellow SCI bandmate Kyle Hollingsworth on stage with an electronic dub mix. These masterminds had everyone getting down with some nasty beats. They covered “How Low can You Go,” as well as a Phil Collins song and had the crowd eating out of their hands. Electronic music sure has come a long way.
The host band, The Werks
, were blasting lasers in our faces all night on Friday. It was a full show including: rage sticks, acrobatics dangling next to the stage, and fire being shot in the air. The crowd was full of energy and postive vibes. Highlights from the set include battling of percussions between Jason Hann from EOTO and Aaron Armstrong from The Werks. Also, Johnny Neel from the Allman Bros and Norman Dimitrouleas from The Werks jammed together on a single keyboard. A fact I did not know about Johnny Neel is he’s partially blind. While sharing the keyboard Norman would try to guide Johnny during transitions.
Friday night ended with Everyone Orchestra
and Matt Butler conducting with his magnificent erase board. This turned out to be one of my favorite summer performances and was by far one of the top sets all weekend. This was a complete improv-set with all the members from String Cheese Incident except Bill Nershi and Keith Moseley, Jamie Janover from Zilla, and the featured band The Werks. Butler encouraged the audience to whisper and scream in unison with the orchestras fat funky bass lines and disco drum kicks. Butler does a great job of making you feel like you’re in the band; the evenings crowd was in full participation.
Day 3 ~ Saturday Sept. 10th
Saturday started with an amazing yoga journey at the Wuhnurth Stage. It was incredibly peaceful with trees blowing in the wind and the sound of nature awakening our souls. There aren’t many better ways to start a day!
, reign from Columbus Ohio. They brought a great bluesy rock set to brighten my day before The Twin Cats took the stage. The Floorwalkers are led by the amazing soulful voice of Jonathan Elliott. A man singing reggae tunes that can make you feel like your in a blues bar. Be sure to check them out October 21st at Radio Radio in Indianapolis.
A sound they like to call, Face Funk, The Twin Cats
bring face melting funk straight to your core. Combining synth-driven antics, an upbeat sax, and fat bass. These boys hail from Indianapolis and set the bar for the rest of the evening.
The amazing and talented Donna Jean Godchaux Band with Jeff Mattson
was truly an honor to see perform. Gorgeous white hair flowed around Donna’s face while rockin’ on stage. Her presence was unmatched as she brought beauty, grace, and a beaming smile. You can tell she was entranced by the atmosphere and happy to take part in such a great music festival.
Saturday night was filled with Donna Jean Godchaux being able to play with her own band and then joining Dark Star Orchestra. This was exciting to hear her bring back The Jerry Garcia Band tunes she once did vocals for. It was a full Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia experience with DSO. Since this amazing opportunity arose, set times were pushed back and bands played longer than scheduled. It was an astonishing time which is actually hard to put into words. I felt like I was viewing the past with the present staring me in the face.
As sets were pushed back, The Werks played a tremendous set while bringing Donna Jean Godchaux, Jeff Mattson from Dark Star Orchestra, and Johnny Neel on stage. A big thanks was given by Chris Houser to everyone who contributed their hard work and made such a great event take place. In conclusion, everyone who was in attendance for The Werks set. It was as if we were all welcomed home and into their family. It was a great warm feeling you don’t find at larger festivals and something The Werks family obviously takes pride in.
was still to play one of the late night sets. As the set was starting to begin, the crowd noticed the volume was set lower. Starting to chant “turn it up” and demanding more bass, one of the members from Roevy decided to blare his speaker to emphasize the need for the volume to be turned up. They had a great turn out and the crowd raged even harder due to the volume being so soft.
scheduled to play at 2:30 A.M. didn’t get on stage till 4:30 in the morning. I was definitely not going to miss this epic dance party. As Chris Houser has been known to say during every Werks set, “Now is the time to TAKE A STEP BACK
.” Ashton Kleemann on keyboards worked wonders and recorded Chris saying this during their set and later sampled Chris saying this which created a mind blowing realization.
Eumatik was by far the best late night set all weekend. A Eumatik set is never the same with improvisational skills in jazz, dub, disco- fever, and trance. This kept many of us raging in full force all night long. The festival could not have ended any better. If you haven’t seen these guys, please check out their opening set for Papadosio, Wednesday October 12 at the Lafayette Theater
Day 4 ~ Sunday Sept. 11th
After a short rest I woke up Sunday morning packed my home and headed back to Indiana before the rain made a surprise visit. Again, thank you Werk Out for an amazing time and welcoming me into your family! See you next year. 🙂
Written by The Kels Monster
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