I woke up Sunday morning a little dazed and confused from having my eardrums beaten on like a bass drum the previous night. The paper wristband on my arm immediately brought back memories of the night before, which flashed through my head like the strobe lights of the Altitude Music Festival. To quote Kanye, “Sunglasses and Advil, last night was mad real.”
Saturday for me was one of those days when you wonder why you only gave yourself four hours of sleep, and realize you won’t be getting any rest soon. I knew there was a long night ahead of me and the smart thing would be to take a power nap, but as I laid down, all I could hear were lyric’s of “Heartbreaker” by MSTRKRFT and shouts of hallmates who seemed to think they were already at the concert. I followed my plan for life (yolo: you only live once) and, excited by the idea of the cocktail of performances I was about to see, got ready for the show.
Zion I preforming at Altitude Music Festival at Balch Fieldhouse on Saturday. (David Zimmerman/CU Independent).
I arrived to what some might call a mad house. The electronic beats were as vibrant as the colors coming from stage, and the people grouped in front of the stage like it was a feeding ground. I did the only logical thing, and joined in the fist pumping action, sliding in between sweaty students and the lights of cell phones trading the digits they exist to serve. It was the kind of place where college kids could get away from all their homework, office hours and scream while wearing clothes that would get them kicked out of the family picture.
The Balch Fieldhouse looked more Coachella than an athletic facility, with speakers the size of Shamu hanging from the ceiling, blasting noise that literally shook my chest. Program Council put on an incredible production, with a gummy bear colored light show that would make Daft Punk jealous.
Students were entranced, and most could be found moving their bodies like it was the first time they were ever allowed to dance. There was more neon than an 80’s nightclub and every fire hazard in the state had to have been broken with the amount of people in that close proximity; it was beautiful. The crowd quickly grew as time progressed, eventually to the point where the only thing I saw were hands moving through the air.
The performers did their jobs well, electrifying the concert. Zion I was a great contrast to the fast beats, slowing us all down as we swayed to their methodic rhymes about the Bay Area and some college kid’s favorite drug. After Zion I was a midnight snack of Gramatik, who performed effortlessly. His music looked us in the eyes and told us to just forget about everything.
A packed Balch Fieldhouse looks on as MSTRKRFT preforms at the Altitude Music Festival. (David Zimmerman/CU Independent).
After he ended and a quick intermission, it was as if everyone shared a sixth sense, because screams of excitement filled the entire room when two shadowed figures walked up to their place behind the turn tables. Before MSTRKRFT started playing, the field house was close to losing its top. When they started, the place was shaking and the metal guard at the front rail was almost taken down.
I managed to get backstage and have a word with Jesse F. Keeler of MSTRKRFT. With a half empty bottle of Crown Royal and a black leather jacket that highlighted his stout frame, I caught him assisting fellow member Al Puodziukas in, giving a few hinted smiles to some of the cuter stage dancers. Keeler didn’t act like I expected. He talked more like a focused athlete after game five of the playoffs than a man who just brought down the roof.
“I thought our performance wasn’t at a hundred percent, or what it could have been,” Keeler said. “I feel we play better when were in the middle of a tour. But I had a lot of fun and the atmosphere was great.”
Their performance was certainly entertaining, and it felt like euphoria was being released by the fog machines.
“It’s always a big party when we come to Boulder, Keeler said. “I love performing in Boulder.”
Keeler, Boulder loves having you.
Because Insomniac Events was promoting the event, I expected to see a far fetched set up of electric art. Unfortunately, I was let down, and there was no art to be found. Besides that, the show was a great place to have a good time, and it was a real testament to what CU’s Program Council is capable of. Six hours, four performances, and the “all I care about is tonight” youthful escape we all needed from the end of the year stress.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Chris Ayala at Christian.email@example.com.
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