This past weekend, Spinnaker Radio packed our bags and camping gear to “enter the portal” at Okeechobee Fest. This was my first music festival, and my excitement was matched by my dread of sleeping outside. Nonetheless, we arrived at the campsite and received our media bands. It was time to hear some music!
Friday night, Mac Demarco performed. He opened up with the iconic song “Salad Days” and the crowd swayed and sang along as Mac played with a charismatic disposition that grabbed the audience by the ears. Everyone was entranced with his stage presence, and he took it upon himself to interact with the audience every chance he got. He even did a loose cover of the classic song “Free Bird” which was humorous, but also a serious attempt.
Mac Demarco’s set was full of his most recognizable tracks, such as “My Kind of Woman,” “Ode to Viceroy,” “Without Me,” and “Cooking Up Something Good.” Even though hearing the quintessential Mac Demarco tunes was an awesome experience, it would have been a nice angle to include his newer tracks, such as “My Old Man” and “This Old Dog.” Still, his charisma and talent truly provided a satisfying show for his fans.
As the festival continued and the sunburn kicked in, we were ready for more great music. By the time Saturday rolled around, the lineup included Sleigh Bells and Solange. We at Spinnaker were giddy to hear some awesome female leads. First, Sleigh Bells came on. Their opening track, “It’s Just Us Now” was fiery and energetic. This was my first experience hearing them, and I’m so glad it was live. Frontwoman Alexis Krauss was bouncy and energetic, her voice reached everyone in the crowd with its power. Krauss encouraged everyone in the audience to dance, and that we did! (The audience danced so much that people were getting knocked over, and I, consequently, got nailed in the face with an ice cold Sprite, but it was totally worth it). Their set was mostly tracks off their newest record, Jessica Rabbit and its mixture of electronic beats and crunchy guitars completed Alexis Krauss’ soaring vocals. It was a show I will not soon forget.
After Sleigh Bells, we were ready for a snack. All that dancing and energy called for a good meal. So, off to the grilled cheese truck we went! As we were eating and waiting for Solange to come on, the EDM act Snails played remixes of tracks such as “Chop Suey!”and “Purple Lamborghini” which were definitely a crowd favorite.
Finally, after the grilled cheese and EDM, Solange was next on the lineup. Her set time was 8:45pm sharp, but as 8:50, 9:00, and then 9:15 rolled around, the audience was getting a little anxious to see if Solange would actually be performing. Then, a booming voice from the speaker roared “We are experiencing technical difficulties, we apologize for the wait.” A collective sigh of relief but also anticipation could be felt from the audience. We wanted to see Solange, darn it!
Around 9:30pm, close to an hour after her original set time, Solange and her band walk on stage with grace and uniformity. It was time to get the show on the stage. Solange opened with her track “Rise” and the three-part harmony that was shared between Solange and her two singers, was absolutely breathtaking and ethereal. Solange later performed her famous track “Cranes in the Sky” and her voice was as beautiful and haunting as it was on the record. The audience was dancing and grooving, as her neo-soul beats were absolutely intoxicating. Solange’s set list included tracks from her critically acclaimed record A Seat at the Table and the tracks “Weary,” “Don’t Touch My Hair,” and “Mad” were definitely a stand out. However, her set was cut short due to their technical delay. Solange apologized for the difficulties, and said: “I am so grateful to all of you. Thank you.”
Okeechobee Fest was a wonderful whirlwind of sound and the shows performed by Mac Demarco, Sleigh Bells, and Solange made sleeping outside worthwhile!
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