Electric Forest 2018 Weekend Two: Recap & Photos

By Tim McGuire Jul 2, 2018 10:20 am PDT

Words & Images by: Tim McGuire

Electric Forest – Weekend Two :: 06.28-07.01.18
Double JJ Ranch :: Rothbury, MI

Check out Tim’s photo gallery after his recap.

Electric Forest has proven it’s never going to stop evolving. The general admission campground is better than ever with an amazing main street featuring the Brainery Workshops. This year also featured a new stage at the hangar called the “Carousel Club,” with four disco balls and a chandelier adorning the tent.

The weather during the second weekend was blisteringly hot and humid through most nights and the final day had a weather delay for sets in the early evening. The water refill stations proved extremely popular but also plentiful with short wait times.

A number of unique performances took place over the course of the second weekend including The Russ Liquid Test delving deep into “World Gone Crazy” with Marc “Brownie” Brownstein of the Disco Biscuits, Kevin Donohue of SunSquabi and Big Gigantic’s Jeremy Salken before a deep house jam. Another highlight took place late on Friday night with an Everyone Orchestra set that featured Salken, Kyle Hollingsworth and others led by Matt Butler. In a festival where many acts play multiple times, EO stood out for presenting vastly different performances each time thanks to the project’s ever-changing lineup and focus on improvisation. The crew ended on a note of “How lucky are we!”

Starting On Friday, shade was the king. Clear skies brought warmth and sunburns. The afternoon featured a flavor of “Daytime Disco” at the Sherwood Court with Poolside making waves. Bonobo played the hits with his band including British vocalist Szjerdene who wowed before mastermind Simon Greene snuck in a DJ set at Grand Artique for a huge performance in a cozy setting.

Saturday morning the VIP stage was brought to funk heaven by Kevin Donohue of SunSquabi as he was joined by Jason Hann, GRiZ, Ryan Viser, ProbCause, and later in the set Nikki Glaspie. A windy morning on Saturday damaged camping equipment and a storm that followed delayed performances.

On Saturday, people who “showed love” in various ways at the festival were granted a cryptic “Golden Ticket” and were brought to a secret DJ set by GRiZ deep in the woods with pizza for all. GRiZ played a particularly funky set and the pizza was well appreciated by the select few who were chosen.

The String Cheese Incident’s Saturday set included new songs and a bit of the “Johnson Family Jewels” from Bill Nershi before “The Big Shebang” in the second set. The Big Shebang showcased amazing dancers adorned in raincoats and umbrellas. Clouds with tinsel hovered over the audience while weather balloons bounced around and fire spinners spun to the tune of The Doors’ “Riders On The Storm,” Peter Gabriel’s “Red Rain” and more.

Meanwhile, GRiZ and his Live Band took the audience on a funk odyssey. In addition to covering staples of GRiZ’s catalog, the band teased funk classics like“ I Keep Forgettin’” by Michael Mcdonald. Vocalist and lead guitarist Muzzy Bear drove several songs including “Wicked.” They also played “As We Proceed” by GRiZmatik, with an extra soulful breakdown replacing the usually heavy electronic vibes. The set also had a guest spot by ProbCause for “My Friends & I.” The band went soulful for the finale, teasing “Can’t Buy Me Love” before going into “Redbone” by Childish Gambino. And GRiZ’s final request was for the crowd to “show love, spread love.”

Manic Focus brought out their live band for a heavy hitting performance while “Karl Denson’s Acid Jazz Drop Collaboration” closed the final night for the weekend on a decidedly funky note. Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe was joined by the likes of Cut Chemist, Corey Frye, Jennifer Hartswick and Natalie Cressman for songs by the Brand New Heavies and more.

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