Pirates like to get down. That’s the history lesson learned at Montana’s annual Pirate Party. The revelry featured headlining sets from Love and Light, Andreilien, Bluetech, Proper Motion and nearly 70 more DJs and producers from around the Northwest performing from dusk til dawn.
The festival made port right next to Lolo Hot Springs after having three different homes in the previous years. The Bitterroot Mountains provided a stunning backdrop during the day as lush green forest and rocks jutted into the sky surrounding the pirate camp. At night, lasers and projection mapped visuals synched up with the ocean of bass waves below.
One thousand pirates raised their flags from as far away as Washington and Colorado to join in on the two-day celebration of getting in touch with your inner drivelswigger. In a cell reception Bermuda Triangle, nobody could Instagram or Tweet their thoughts to the outside world, probably how real real pirates would’ve wanted it done.
The three stages spaced out over the campground were dubbed Jellyfish, Skull, and Pirate Ship; and kept it good and weird for two days straight with lots of heavy down tempo beats sailing through the air.
Noteworthy performances included a live set from Detroit’s Keeplove, currently plodding along on his “What the Folk is Folkstep?” tour. To answer that question you really need to see this guy live. Sampling the sounds he made playing his acoustic guitar, while singing modern-day electro sea shanties over heavy driving bass, Keeplove kept the crowd grooving and begging for more of his original songs.
Colorado “Future Soul” pioneers, Proper Motion, added live guitar to their set for the first time, with the duo’s Noah Marion picking up the axe to add tasty guitar solos as Harry Watkins turnt up the electro-soul in their extremely danceable bass music.
Andreilien, who went by Heyoka until he was “abducted, cosmically mind probed, upgraded and reconfigured in an extra terrestrial lab on a planet known as Marklar to be returned almost entirely unharmed,” came correct with unique a blend of perfectly crunchy and wompy bass tunes that truly sounded like they came from outer space and traveled through time to make a bunch of pirates lose their minds.
One of my personal favorite moments came the second day when Ryan Anderson from Love & Light took the stage. Starting off with darker and weirder sounds less-commonly heard in their fleet of tunes, keeping with the sound that dominated the festival, he transitioned to a happy dub explosion that set off a full-on dance party, keeping the crowd jumping until he was done.
When the sun rose on Sunday morning to light the mist settling over the mountains, a few flags had been commandeered in the name of piracy, but the gypsy commune of bass heads stuck together to ride out what was Musik Lives Here’s most successful Pirate Party to date. One of the most original festivals happening every summer, Pirate Party is sure to draw even more picaroons and boatswains to the Rocky Mountain high seas next year.