Welder felt extremely fitting for the atmosphere: starting off with birds chirping and sounds of nature, he used everything from a SIGG water bottle to tap shoes on his hands to make his beats. His set was perfectly crafted, and people were enjoying it in triple-layered, bunk-bed style hammocks. One kid practically had a perfect birds eye view the entire time- only a few feet off of the stage, but high above Brendan. Seeing the kid peeking over his ENO with the most genuine and un-penetrable smile from temple to temple reminded me of how amazing it was to be standing right there at that moment. Not that I needed any reminding, but those are always glances of reassurance. Its catching somebody enjoying a situation like that, so honest, so genuine, that you can’t help but spontaneously smile yourself and find your feet doing the rest of the work as you explore the happiness your body, along with the music, can provide you.
The Welder set consisted of some old school favorites, such as “The Heart”, “Rain”, “Crosshatch”, and “Purple & Orange”. It came across as extremely atmospheric and was put together so peacefully and patiently. Some people were craving the rage and started to meander other places, but to me it was a perfect mid-day “relax and let your mind wander to uncharted territories” moment. I’m sure Brendan was playing this way also knowing that later that evening he’d be crunching heavy as Eskmo on the late night rage stage in the Tripolee Dome.
He also treated the crowd to some new tracks from the eagerly anticipated new album. Each song flowed together and overlapped each other to the point where it was all welded together, rightfully so. Amused by the enormous beach ball, which almost took out his entire stage setup, and other flying trinkets and rage sticks that punctuated the beats, we were unable to leave until the very last note was absorbed from his laptop into the trees, roots and earth. A human experience I will never forget as long as I am sane.
The next time we saw him, Brendan Angelides took off his welding mask and gave us a heaping dosage of crunchy, grinding melodic beats, as his alter-ego Eskmo. The crowd dismembered and many went to Bassnectar but the ones who stayed were in for a treat. With plenty of room to “dino-stomp”, we got the fuck down. Another top set to add to my catalog, Eskmo showed his innovation and creativity. If you’ve heard him before, you know the signature crisp crinkling drum click he uses. For one track, he started off by cracking open a beer (next to the mic) and then crushing another can. You can see how the crowd was going wild to such a personal set on such a respectable stage setup. His singing seemed spot on as well. This element really added to the “trippyness” the crowd was experiencing. With the mind-blowing visuals behind him and a heavy but healthy range of EFX twisting and rampaging of textures, words flowed out of his mouth that I wasn’t even sure were real. Two times in one day, I couldn’t have asked for more. The Rothbury Gods really did bless this weekend, just as they had the 2 previous occurrences at Double J Ranch.
[Also be sure to checkout Part 1 of our Review & Photos from Electric Forest Festival]