This weekend brought one of the hottest days of the year, coupled with heavy evening rains. That seemed an apt environment for Synesthesia 2015, as the contrast in weather reflected much of the music on offer. The strange energy was compounded by an effort to shut down or curb the music at participating venues the Big Wonderful and Savoy. Around 5 p.m., Big Wonderful was fined for violating local noise ordinances. Savoy was shut down before midnight due to noise
The final band for the Big Wonderful stage was the surprisingly powerful
The '70s hard-rock-oriented Think No Think from Austin played after midnight at Larimer Lounge, as did Emerald Siam and its towering, surging whorls of azure and, yes, emerald melodies. Pale Sun may have been electrifyingly loud, but its music was so soothing and calming that it made you forget the volume.
Throughout the event, Adam Baumeister of Meep Records had his lathe rig set up, so that anyone wanting to spring for the $10 for a seven-inch record could choose one of a handful of designs, including a spiral, paisley and other tripped-out color designs upon which one of five songs could be inscribed. And it wasn't just for local artists like
Anyone who made it
The Larimer Lounge's black-box interior is a far cry from the classic ballroom setting of Savoy, but its sound system was more than adequate for Moon Duo, and the outfit kicked off its set with “Wilding,” a great song from its latest record, Shadow of the Sun — also the track offered for lathe cut by Meep. Playing from around 1:15 a.m. to closing, Moon Duo took us on a musical trip to outer space and back with its air-searing guitar dynamics and relentless yet ever-shifting rhythms.
Despite the aforementioned setbacks, Synesthesia seemed to run smoothly and with great attention to detail, like visuals, solid sound systems and quality vendors. According to Reed Fuchs, one of the people involved in the festival, Savoy has a hearing about its sound complaints in September.
Bias: I grew up with psychedelic music, so it doesn't seem too new or that far out there, but I still enjoy it more than most straight-ahead rock, and I will always remember hearing the haunting “I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night,” by the Electric Prunes, in the horror movie Bad Dreams and wanting to find out who wrote the song.
Random Detail: Ran into former Yellow Elephant singer/musician Rose Emmons, former Pacific Pride guitarist/singer Paul Garcia and Tommy Maley of Patrick Francis Chang at the show.
By the Way: Moon Duo lived near Breckenridge in 2011 and played one show as a Colorado-based band at the hi-dive.
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