For months, I’d been planning my landing in Phoenix to dance alongside some of the greatest musicians in the Milky Way.
I arrived in Phoenix late Friday night, and began the weekend hula hooping under a lemon tree near a chicken coop in a Phoenix backyard. Yes, of course this is how the beginning of a music festival adventure can begin when your friends love music and laughter, and you have a nickname like Fancy Pantz.
From the moment I landed, I couldn’t wait to dance the night away with some of my favorite musicians in the desert.
So, Saturday’s lineup was FREAKING AMAZING and I was excited to get to the Rawhide Events Center. There were three stages: Mothership, Invasion, and Colony. The alien-themed stages and décor were truly creative, and I was feeling out of this world from the first beat.
The music blew my mind and I’ve never seen so much glitter and booty at a festival before. Hula hoops, arcade games, and some very creative totems were there. I made many new friends – everyone here was so open-minded, I think if any aliens were in the audience, they were more than welcome to join the party, so long as they liked the bass!
Honestly, this festival is where I discovered the true meaning of PLUR (or, peace, love, unity, respect). The sounds were from galaxies beyond, and our whole human family was in it together. Like, “welcome to our house, our home, our earth,” we’d say to the extraterrestrial beings. Despite being in the desert, we’d share the water. Even though I’ve been to more than 20 festivals, it was here I finally realized PLUR, YO!
The artists and vendors were awesome. Despite the last-minute venue change, the festival grounds were easy to navigate, and set the right vibes. The live artists, dancing, and community were spot-on. Astronauts sipping water, igloo homes with aliens practicing meditation, and telling my friends to “meet me by the space crew” were just small elements of Relentless Beats succeeding at the theme of Phoenix Lights.
We found so much beautiful art at the festival, too.
While most of the music was amazing, there were a few sets that shined brighter than the rest:
Above & Beyond – I’ve fallen in love with their sound over the last year, and they did not disappoint on Saturday night. In fact, as they played “We’re All We Need,” I began crying. The visuals, the treble and bass, and the community in the audience overwhelmed my heart with harmony and hope. We all danced in rhythm that night under the lights.
STS9 – Of course the tribe belonged at the Mothership. Some friends and I sat in the back of the field, and watched as everyone moved their feet to STS9’s majestic sounds. As they played “Who Are the People of America?” I thought – we are! The dancers here at Phoenix Lights, welcoming aliens and spaceships! When they played “Out Of This World,” I couldn’t help but begin dancing. “In Due Time,” and “Totem” also relished the extraterrestrial theme of the festival, and I was so glad they helped close out Sunday’s events.
TOKIMONSTA – She’s so talented! Seeing her at the Invasion stage, inside gave us a chance to get out of the sunshine and cool off so we could dance a little harder.
Felix da Housecat – We danced in the sunshine to his tunes. Loved seeing some midwest magic out in the desert. Our feet moved nonstop.
Tiesto – That old school sound is unmatched. Nobody with more wisdom about the art could have ended the first night. Tiesto, come play in Denver soon, please.
PIG & DAN – Performed at the Colony. I think the Colony was my favorite stage, still outdoors, but intimate enough. Trees, shade, and a lot of community here. For my first time seeing PIG&DAN live, I was impressed! What a great bond they have. The energy in the audience was perfect. One of the highlights of Sunday.
Hope the aliens liked what they heard, cuz we’re ready for next year!
Peace out, humans.
P.S. I want to give a huge -THANK YOU- and (most) photo credit to my dear friend, Mr. Steven Pope.