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AURA Music & Arts Festival: Day 2

Here’s the play-by-play of day 2.

Newton Crosby: New York state shredders made finally made it to Florida after being forced to cancel last year’s AURA performance due to a member being diagnosed with cancer. The set was rainy and frigid, but as soon as they brought Brock Butler or P-Groove, the sun came out and it was a gorgeous day.

Yo Mamas Big Fat Booty Band: Holy god. This funk band RIPS. With a female singer that wailed like Alicia Keys (no lie) and a trippy singer that acts like a young, energetic, (skinny) George Clinton, they completely outplayed their early time slot. Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff (of Lettuce) continued his sweeping performance of artist at large with a mind-melting guitar solo.

Kung Fu’s Stevie Wonder Tribute Featuring Nigel Hall: This was the feel-good set of the weekend. This was the set that your favorite musician was hyped to see. Not only did this fabulous collection of musicians do spot-on renditions of Stevie’s classics, but they offered a complete celebration of the music along the way. Nigel would stop his impressions (which consisted of Wonder’s glasses and shoulder-shaking dance swoons) to tell the crowd how this tribute came to fruition and how Wonder’s music impacted him and others.

Greenhouse Lounge: Jacksonvilles pinnacle jamtronica act has yet another drummer, but this time they may have hit the jackpot. The musicianship was at an all-time high for the trio as they churned out their best-sounding set I have ever seen… Bassist Dave McSweeny agreed.

Perpetual Groove: With a sad ending on the horizon, Perpetual Groove gave the Suwannee one last hug goodbye. Starting off with a cover of LCD Soundsystem’s “All My Friends” which was a ton of fun for everyone in the crowd. The sub-zero (24° to be exact…) had everyone a little closer (and drunkerrrr) than normal as the Athens-based jammers closed the chapter on their Spirit of Suwannee history.

The Heavy Pets: The playful vibe from P-Groove was kicked up another notch for the Heavy Pets. Someone brought a massive parachute and here is what happened. Just imagine freezing hippies instead of the giggly little kids. It was a blast from the pass and a clearly incredible time for everyone involved.

Papadosio: This band has really progressed together. They have become so tight, experimental and interesting in the past years and are still growing with each show. The jams were incredible and the diversity was plentiful as the quintet pieced together a flawless hour-and-a-half set to combat the cold. The “Night Colors” jam picked it up another couple notches and Papadosio presented themselves as an on-par act with any other electronic-tinged jam band out there.

It was an amazing night. The frigid weather, the vibe, the lasers and the sound all collided to create an extraordinary experience. The woods were loud as fest-goers attempted to stay warm. It wouldn’t be an easy task, but for those who made it through to day 3 would be rewarded.

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