Summer is a time for freedom and new experiences with your favorite people and new found friends or lovers. Summer signifies light in every sense of the word. Light like the summer sun with its rich warmth. Light like your spirits, airy and radiant in the knowledge of the possibilities of indulgence available ahead and nothing embodies this more than summer festival season.
With music festivals popping up more and more they are becoming more available with each passing year. One such festival is Moods Of The Madison based out of Ennis, Montana. Only about a 7 hour drive from Boise it makes this festival an easy weekend adventure. Add cheap prices and a dope lineup and we have a recipe for all of the summer shenanigans.
All I had to say was Bassnectar and four of us ladies packed up, piled in and were off to see what Montana had to offer. The drive was smooth and easy and the city of Ennis is small and welcoming. I will be the first to admit that although originally a little unsure of the location and how things would pan out throughout the weekend with raging festival goers so close to the city, having a Family Dollar and Madison Foods so close to camp did come in handy quite a few times throughout our stay. Can you say, more ice please?
Friday was full of new hellos, setting up camp and beginning to get a feel for the grounds and where everything is before all hell broke loose after the sun went down. Rising Appalachia started out around sunset which was perfect for the sister duo and their enchanting sound. Watching the blanket of orange and red hues travel across the big sky behind the rising and falling of the Montana Mountains was matched in strength and allure by the harmonies of Rising Appalachia’s set, both docile and powerful.
The Wailers followed Rising Appalachia with a continued level of positivity, depth and experience you would expect from a group that has been transitionally playing music and rocking shows since the 80s, but the real anticipation was for what was to come next.
Face melting, bass charged, heavy metal, visually hypnotizing madness! The visuals were extremely well done. The music rose and fell and the audience clung to each subtle change in tempo creating waves of utter chaos, enthusiastic swaying, back into head banging glory. So much so that there was someone in the audience who broke his nose, but not to worry. He walked away sore but happy.
You would assume that the night was over after the climax of enthusiasm felt by all in attendance for Bassnectar’s headlining set but you would be wrong. Just after Bassnectar’s set, outside of the festival entrance way a silent disc was set up. When you walk up to the line to purchase your headset for the evening, you choose a channel on the side of the headset. Each channel is connected to one of the DJs set up within the silent disco. Choose your vibe with your tribe.
Walking into the disco makes me giggle a bit each time I have ever attended. As an observer, you walk in and see is a large group of people dancing away, and hear the collective pitter patter of each person’s expression of gratitude through dance and subtle hoots and laughter to whichever channel they have chosen, but other then that the area is silent unless you have one of the led headsets provided by Kaleidisco and the WOH collective. This fresh idea for keeping the dance party going into the sunrise is an impressive adaptation to the typical after party scenario.
Saturday The Russ Liquid Test’s deliciously funky set was fantastic. I cannot resist a brass instrument. Russ Liquid’s live mixing and skilled trumpet playing accompanied by the very talented Nick Mercadel on the drums was phenomenal. Next up was Sol who dominated the stage and created a space of collective audience participation. Sol’s high energy set brought more and more people to the stage right into the onset of the sunset. The perfect segway into the late night sets and eventually one last after party with Kaleidisco and WOH’s Silent Disco.
After experiencing so much great music and meeting so many wonderful people Sunday was a bit bitter sweet. It was time to pack up and head back to reality. Until next time Moods of the Madison!
Shout out to Sibbz Longboards for working hard to make sure that this festival ran smoothly and everyone in attendance had a good time whether you were an artist, attending, volunteering or press. Dope longboards and fantastic hospitality, keep this festival in your lineup for next year’s festival season!