As the sunset upon the final day of the AURA Music and Arts festival attendees were delighted to see the familiar face of Paul Levine take the stage prior to Lotus’s final set. Festival goers were then even more delighted to hear Paul’s announcement, “Mark your calendars for August 21st-23rd, because Blackwater Music and Arts festival is making its return!”
For those of you who aren’t aware Blackwater Music Festival first happened in 2010 featuring bands such as Slightly Stoopid, Michael Franti and Spearhead, STS9, Galactic, The Disco Biscuits and many more. For me, the best part of Blackwater 2010 was the late night sets preformed by STS9, Galactic, and The Disco Biscuits; every night had a different sound that still managed to keep every fan interested and raging. It was my first time at the Suwannee Music Park and I had never felt so much at home. Since it was the first year of the festival anticipation run through the crowd like lightning. Nobody knew exactly what to expect, and nobody was disappointed.
Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park illuminated @ AURA Music & Arts Festival
Night one was special, the week of the festival it was announced that all the acts (all four of them) for Thursday would preform on the main stage in the field. This created a ridiculous schedule of The Malah, then Greenhouse Lounge, then Perpetual Groove, and then finally STS9. As soon as Greenhouse Lounge exited the stage dark clouds started forming over the festival grounds. One could sense the anxiety of the crowd, as we all knew the rain was coming. Not long after P Groove started the drizzle started coming down, and by the end of their set everyone was soaking wet; but no one left the stage.
Finally, STS9 took the stage as the entire back wall of the stage turned into an LED wall the band dropped their track “Metamene,” which set the tone for the rest of their set. What really stood out to me during Thursday night was when STS9 played “Luma Daylight.” During the entire set it had been off and on pouring rain, and right when “Luma Daylight” broke down into the piano solo and a single spotlight shined down on keyboardist David Phipps there was the lightest of drizzles. That piano solo eventually leads into a huge climax with all the bands members, and as soon as it did, it started raining sideways and the crowd went nuts. One could almost say Mother Nature was as much a part of their production as the lights and screens themselves. The night as a whole was one of my favorite ever at the Spirit of Suwannee.