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4

Mile High Music Festival, Day One: Manufactured Superstars, Snake Rattle Rattle Snake, Andrew Wickes, One Eskimo

Arriving at 1 p.m., I headed for Beta Beach after orienting myself. The Manufactured Superstars were throwing down their trademark dirty disco funk, and the misting tunnels and inflatable sculpture and furniture were keeping everyone as cool as possible in the sunshine.

And there were quite a few people willing to pack together and dance despite the heat. While the go-go dancers fanned themselves with Beta flier fans and shot squirt guns into the crowd, the Superstars dropped in piano lines and disco-diva vocals, followed by several excellent tracks adhering more to the electro side of electro-house, with quick rat-a-tats, dirty bass lines and rough back-and-forth spins, followed by softer guitar lines and folky female vocals. It was an excellent set -- the best I've heard the Superstars throw down to date.

I made my way to the Bison tent, where Snake Rattle Rattle Snake was testing their sound. Then Hayley Helmerick introduced the band, and they flowed right into the tambourine action and softly sinister guitar that make them so fascinating to listen to. The crowd steadily grew as they played, the size of the tent making the number of people inside seem fewer than it was. I stayed for the first twenty minutes of their set, which was seamless and mesmerizing, rocking out in their finest style.

As I made my way west, I heard Andrew Wickes slip in Fat Boy Slim's "Praise You" while One Eskimo plucked away earnestly on the Wolf stage. Donovan Frankenreiter, meanwhile, took the main Kyocera stage and played a passable but not particularly enjoyable set -- I have to admit, my positive feelings for the music diminished when he butchered Tom Petty's "American Girl," arranging it so it played slow and folksy.

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