Thursday, June 25, 2015

vibe n spin

The summer was starting to heat up, and there seemed to be a party around every corner, during July 2002.  It was impossible to make them all, but I managed to capture the best of the best.

The very first weekend, after running out to St Louis for Beat the Drums 2, a huge gathering took place outside of Lawrence.  The event was the third in a series put on by TribalVision.  I had not had the opportunity to attend the previous events, but it didn't take away from the fun.   A line up full of regional talent, with a Renegade Stage by local message forum Syde-Sho, keep everyone dancing through the night.  I was not one of those.  The previous weekend had taken much out of me, and it was long drive home.

Another weekly show kicked off at Jilly's on Broadway.  Initially, started by local DJ Atom, he quickly joined forces with others to bring in all sorts of local talent from the metro area, along with those from Lawrence, Topeka, and regional points beyond were showcased.  It had slow nights here and there, but  quickly became the place to be on Tuesday night.

On a whim, the following weekend I ran down to a remote campground on the Meramec River, just southwest of St Louis.  The lineup sounded good, and I knew a lot of folks that were going.  I got there just about the time the event was starting, parked and hopped the bus with a bunch of other kids, down to the river.  Walking through the settling mist, I could hear the beats ricocheting off the surrounding hillsides.  It was as if music was everywhere.  A solid line-up of folks like Simply Jeff, Charles Feelgood, Woody McBride (DJ ESP), a live vocal performance by Dajae, and an unbelievable sunrise set from ... well, I can't recall.  Indeed, it is hard to recall everything that went down.  I just remember walking away after the last beat, with the valley full of fog, thinking that is how it was meant to be.  It would be a while before a similar experience would arrive; even then, not quite the same as that morning. Hopping the bus back to the car, everyone seemed to have that same feeling; as if they had experienced something they never would again.

The following weekend found me back in Lawrence at a private Jell-O party. At the first invite, I was intrigued.  What was a Jell-O party?  I was told that I would find out, as if it were some fantastic oddity that only a few could bear witness.  It turned out to be nothing more than a jell-o shots party (a whole refrigerator full of them).  Still it was a lot of fun, with new friends.

Topping the month off, a local record company was hosting their annual picnic in Topeka.  666 ZipCode Town Rekkids had secured the amphitheater in Gage Park, and promised an afternoon of fun, friends, family and fire.  Although, not quite as good as in the dark, the fire dancer I had photographed earlier in the year provided an interesting performance.

The same night the first of many large-scale ravalicious events took place in Kansas City again, put on by local promotional group PhukBed.  This was their first real show, and while the line-up was mostly local and regional talent, it did not deter anyone.  Folks had been planning on going to this for weeks, and it was obvious. The Kansas City massive turned out and and turned the Jackson County Conference Center inside out and upside down all night long.  There was space to dance, and room to roam a little outside, and it was a night folks would remember for quite awhile; until the next one, that is.

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