TBD Festival Review | Night 1 | 2015 Recap

TBD Festival Review

TBD Festival Review for:

  • the artists,
  • production value
  • crowd energy
  • festival layout
  • the overall energy of TBD Festival in Sacramento

Overall TBD Festival Review:

TBD festival was an awesome experience. My TBD Festival Review for 2015 is vastly positive, though I will admit that as far as festivals go, TBD Festival definitely lacked a lot of the conscious mindfulness efforts that go into most of the camping and extended stay EDM festivals. There was quite a bit of mindless consumption. However, being in the city it made sense as more of a concert venue, so I understand the shift and was very appreciative to go spend the afternoon in the grounds and to be able to go back to my apartment at night and the convenience of it all. I could have eaten dinner there. It was a lot more of a mini-vacation, especially since I only went for one night. I would definitely go again for the crowd, which was full of great fans, for the production value, but mostly for the artists and the vibe that they brought to the festival grounds.

The Artists:

Here is the official Line-up for TBD in 2015

Purity Ring Review from TBD Festival 2015

I ended up going to see Purity Ring and got there about one-quarter of the way through the performance. You can see the video here on my Instagram. Definitely one of the better performances I have seen in the past couple of years, their lights show was absolutely incredible. The drummer had a great set-up, but the singer stole the show were her soulful dancing and heartbreaking and uplifting singing. This is one band that I will look forward to in the future. Production value was extremely high, as evidenced by the lights show on the Instagram video.

Death Grips Review from TBD Festival 2015

Death Grips is a band that you DO NOT WANT TO MISS. The experimental Hip-Hop group is reminiscent of Cypress Hill’s originality and creativity, but boosted forward to 2015 technology and production techniques with a rapper that absolutely throws his shit down and goes hard. I honestly cannot wait to see these guys again, Stefan Burnett (aka MC Ride) had such incredible energy and anger in his voice that you couldn’t help but feel a calming wave of relaxation afterwards. The drummer, Zach Hill stole the show at times with his ridiculously powerful and well-organized drum solos that perfectly complimented Stefan’s lyrics and style of rapping. Andy Morin was also a great performer, but next to Stefan and Zach was simply more in the background, though not to ill effect. His presence uplifted the other twos. Definitely a show that will have you shouting, jumping up and down at times, and going nuts with a calming after-effect.

RL Grime Review from TBD Festival 2015

RL Grime was a surprisingly innovative and very powerfully unique act. It was easy to see how he has led the trap music genre for the past 3 years, even helping to create and shape the sound. His blaring 808’s, harsh and filthy sub bass, live remixing, and his visuals were absolutely on point. He tore the stage to shreds and blasted the audience with pounding drum beats, voice synths, and lead synths that cut through the air and right into your heart and spine. A very powerful performance, recreating my image of the artist’s repertoire of skills and abilities. Definitely a show I would and hope to see again.

Tyler the Creator Review from TBD Festival 2015

This was one of the most unusual and well put together productions I have seen. Tyler is nothing short of a genius with his interactions with the crowd and his two back-up rappers pull their own weight and more on stage. Discussing everything from the ego to love to hatred to death, Tyler seems to touch aspects of life that you don’t normally examine, giving a surprisingly introspective look into the minds of us all as humans. He also had some songs that absolutely shown through and I was so incredibly happy to have been introduced to him as a live performance. Slow it down was my favorite song of the night, but I also think that he had some great improvisation performances because he also seemed to be very off the cusp. His energy was fantastic, the lights show was something to be remembered and the complexity of his message was intoxicating. Definitely someone to watch as they grow, though I wouldn’t mind seeing another performance in a year or so.

Glitch Mob Review from TBD Festival 2015

Here is the icing on the cake, definitely the highest production value performance of the night. At the end of their summer tour, the Glitch Mob threw down a show to be remembered, their live sets and electronic industrial instruments were perfect to get the crowd up, moving, and rowdy. The lights show was incredible and intricate and the band itself had enormous amounts of energy. Edit lead the charge, it was hard to take your eyes off of his performance, but OOOO-Ahhhhh also kicked some major ass up there. Boreta was definitely more in the background, though he was simply not as visible from my vantage point. This was one of the BEST shows I have ever seen, hands down. Don’t miss the Glitch Mob is they perform near you, the crowds go nuts!

Production Value Review of TBD Festival 2015

Extremely high. The is the most powerful part of TBD Festival’s 2015 review because it was so good! Lights shows were unforgettable, screens were plenty large and the crowd was awesome. There was plenty of food to go around and for a little but of money you could get pretty much anything you needed. The Artists were on time, security was plentiful and the cops were seemingly nice enough that night. Definitely not a festival to miss, especially as the Line-up has plenty of more awesome artists for the next 2 nights.

Crowd Energy at TBD Fest 2015

Great. Wonderful. Weird, silly, but also a wide diversity of people. Everyone was having a good time. The normal festival crowd was interlaced with working professionals, housewives, city kids, and pretty much everyone in the city below the age of 30. Plenty of older hippies could easily be found nearer to the outskirts of the dance area and the stages were completely filled from the moment I got there. Everyone was nice, I didn’t see a single fight, any violence, and people were a bit more self-conscious than that I am used to, but not in a bad way. More of an unexposed kind of way, like there was a mixing of people from all over the place. Diversity is definitely a word I would use to describe everyone, beautiful another, but many were a little bit under-dressed for my personal tastes.

Layout Review of TBD Festival 2015

It was set-up well to walk between stages from one main stage to the other while a band set-up on the stage you just left. It was perfect to walk through concessions, though I don’t usually spent money on food that these types of events. Security was set-up poorly, though they were plentiful enough to make it not matter. The entrance was a nightmare, which is why we got there a little, but I would expect it to be improved next year. I’ve also learned to have the QR code and the PDF, not just the email and the confirmation number. It was kind of lame. Also, we got pretty tired from dancing at a couple of points and could have used a bench or two to sit on. There was only the dirty ground with stickers in it. But besides that, everything went really well!

Overall Energy of TBD Festival 2015

The artists loved it, the fans loved it, and a very positive exchange of energy between the two. Extremely high production value, such powerful performance that I really can’t wait for next year and am a sad to miss Porter Robinson and Pretty Lights tonight. I am sure that it will be amazing. The people who came were awesome and the artists put their heart and soul into the performances. What more can you ask for?

Exhausted in Vietnam

dark_cave

At this point, I am ready to leave Asia. This journey has been a long one; its been almost four months since I left sunny California to head to India.

India was rough; I got food poisoning 3 times, the third time for an entire week before I was able to get my hands on some probiotics and it was not a fun experience. I continued my Ashtanga practice the whole time and it was definitely an empowering experience, but one that I don’t ever want to experience again.

India became very peaceful for me. I was free to meditate for 3-4 hours a day and write stories and make music when I wasn’t meditating. Boredom was absolutely a big part of India and I was already excited to go back to work after a month. By the end of my time there I was so sick of the extra attention of being white and not having anyone to really connect with. When I’m on long trips like this, I always start to miss my family and friends… A lot.

My progress in the Ashtanga practice was unmistakable, but by the end it really wasn’t important to me anymore. Where was I going anyways? So now I can do full lotus, supta kurmasana, and I can pretty easily get one foot at a time behind my head; but so what? What does that mean for my life and my happiness? Absolutely nothing. I listened to Alan Watts a lot in India and my favorite quote of his was: “So when you have achieved enlightenment, so what? What now?” and that’s where I think I’ve ended up.

So by the end of India, I was exhausted. It’s not easy to live in a third world country; the boredom alone is enough to drive you a little insane. But then I headed to Nepal.

Nepal was a breath of fresh air and a nice rest for me. I stayed with people who didn’t hesitate to act when the quake happened; which I was very lucky to avoid. These guys enjoyed their lives so much and I met people from around the world that I had an absolute blast with. I stayed in the city the whole time because my budget over here was very strict; I came over with less than $3,000 for 4 months of serious travel and I’ve been to 6 countries, all of which are very poor.

After leaving Nepal, I was lucky enough to meet up with my girlfriend/best friend. She was a much-needed break from being alone. We planned to meet in Myanmar, but a technical difficulty with my flight on Biman Bangladesh airlines (NEVER fly with them if you can avoid it) left me stranded in Dhaka for an overnight stay in the airport.

I was lucky; a family that I met in the airport randomly and extremely kindly  offered to let me spend the night at their apartment. They gave me kindness that I won’t soon forget. Then, in my first real terrifyingly close encounter with extreme poverty conditions (which I was a part of for a solid day) where I begged for water and for help. A girl named Anna came to my rescue and helped me to find the family’s apartment that I had completely lost. Another stroke of luck and kindness that I won’t forget; neither will my stress response system.

After narrowly avoiding some terribly consequences in Dhaka, I was able to get a new flight to Yangon, Myanmar and was excited to see a tiny bit of westernization for the first time in months; sky scrapers, parks, and paved streets were never so beautiful to my eyes. And I got to see my girlfriend again, which was what I was really looking forward to. The culture of Myanmar was the easiest for me to cope with in Asia; people were kind and treated you like a human rather than a commodity. Bangladesh was the worst; people will absolutely take as much advantage of you as they possibly can and all of the westerners that lived there looked completely exhausted as a result.

We moved on to Thailand which was surprisingly touristic, but again nearly everyone was more concerned with your money than with anything else about you. It gets exhausting over time to have people trying to get from you and sell you on things. In Thailand, we visited Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Pai, and flew from Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam. Bangkok was not fun for me; it reminded me of a combination of India, Nepal, and Bangladesh, but at least they were used to tourists.

Ho Chi Minh was far different from my expectations; most everyone in the city is trying to take your money by offering Rickshaws, taxis, even random scooterers will stop you on the side of the street and try to get you to ride their scooter. And people are always trying to please you, even if they are completely wrong. This is part of the reason I got so lost in Bangladesh; if someone doesn’t understand you, they’ll make something up that they think you want to hear. It’s frustrating to say the least.

So we took the night buses from Ho Chi Minh to Nha Trang, which was another breath of fresh air; kind of. Out hostel was amazing, I highly recommend Mozjo Inn if you are ever in Vietnam, the hostel alone is worth a trip to that city. We went scuba diving there and it was amazing! No license required.

Hoi Anh was next, which is an extremely touristic town and didn’t have too much history, though the influences of China and Japan were incredible to see.

Today, I am in Hue, which is a great city, but relentless. I am tired of the extra attention, tired of people trying to sell me things, tired of people who are trying to take money with a huge smile on their face. Most act like they want to know where you are from then are quick to turn around and try to sell you things. It’s nearly impossible to actually meet anyone over here, especially due to the fact that they view you as a commodity. We’ve exchanged some nice jokes with our hostel owner and a couple of waiters, but most aren’t interested in us unless we have money. Its disheartening to see, but it goes to show that human are the same; we love to idealize about the peacefulness of the East, but the truth is that its even more chaotic than America.

This becomes obvious when you pay your first 5 dollars to enter a Buddhist temple. Money runs the world now and its painfully obvious here with the amount of poverty that exists.

Surprisingly, just writing this article has made me feel a lot better. It’s so tiring to be harassed ALL the time. Sometimes, its nice to just be able to share a smile and continue on our separate paths. It’s also weird to miss America, but I know that this will pass, just like all things and I will be doing my best to enjoy these last few days to the fullest. But man, I am tired. Ready to meet up with my mom and sisters in Germany and return to the west… and I am very excited to come back and keep teaching yoga, making music, and to see all of the friends that I miss a whole hell of a lot. Its been a long journey and I am seeing the end in sight and am happy about it; a sign that I am where I need to be.

Please don’t take this as a negative review of Vietnam; this has just been a long, arduous trip for me, partially due to the budget, partially due to the amount of ground that I’ve covered in the past month and a half. But keep in mind that the people here in Asia will get everything that they can from you, just like in the rest of the world. I know that once I am in a comfortable bed again, I’ll look back with fondness on these hardship and eventually, I’ll want to do it again 🙂