McDowell Mountain Music Festival 2016 – Day Two

Kid Cudi performs at McDowell Mountain Music Festival in 2016

What a well conceived, well run music festival this has been through the first two days.  They weather was perfect – PERFECT – for an outdoor festival in Phoenix.

Day Two Observations

  • F41A6138 - Kid Cudi 031216The Festival featured a broad and diverse group of artists and attracted a broad and diverse group of attendees.  It is easy to want to put labels on people – these are rap fans, those are EDM fans – but the Festival featured a variety of music which was enjoyed by an incredibly diverse group of festival-goers.
  • Funk is alive and well.  Between the Brothers Gow and day one and The Main Squeeze on day two, funk is not alone alive and well but it’s being done really, really well.  The only question…how does it get itself promoted from the second stage to the main stage because the quality of the music and musicianship clearly deserves to be on the main stage.  GRiZ’s main stage set demonstrates that the people want the funk on the main stage as some of GRiZ’s most enthusiastic audience reaction was when he played some classic funk at the end like Shout by the Isley Brothers.
  • Give folks some space and the freedom to be themselves and they’re going to find all kinds of ways to express and enjoy themselves.



My day started with local artist Luna Aura on the main stage for a 2:15 set.  It was nice to see a local artist on the main stage (local artists Harper & the Moths and The Haymarket Squares were both on the main stage prior to Luna Aura as well).

Luna Aura was followed on the second stage by local band Fairy Bones.

English band Bloc Party was next on the main stage.  Ttouring in support of their new album Hymns which was released on January 29, 2016, Bloc Party will be making 3 appearances at SXSW in Austin, TX next week as well. Bloc Party will finish its spring 2016 U.S. tour at the Governor’s Ball Music Festival in New York City in early June before heading to Europe for a number of music festival appearances.

The Main Squeeze took the second stage next.  Led by infectious front-man Corey Frye, The Main Squeeze continues to tour in support of their sophomore album Mind Your Head, which was released in 2015.  From Chicago, the band is in the middle of the spring 2016 that will have them on the road through April 1.


DJ and producer GRiZ was next up on the mainstage.  Playing his electronic beats with his saxophone overlaid on top, GRiZ played a crowd-pleasing combination of dance music mixed with old-school funk.

South African duo GoldFish was next on the second stage.  Playing jazz-inspired electronic/dance music, Goldfish featured keyboards, sax, flute and double bass played live over a dance beat.  Goldfish definitely had the crowd moving and appreciative of their innovative instrumentation.

Internationally acclaimed DJ and producer Porter Robinson was next on the main stage.  Porter, whose been mixing and producing since he was 12, has performed at all of the major electronic and dance music festivals across the globe, including  Ultra Music Festival, Electric Daisy Carnival, Electric Zoo, South by Southwest with this upcoming summer festival season being no exception.

Kid Cudi headlined the main stage for day two of the Festival.  Cudi won two Grammy awards in 2012for All of the Lights, a collaboration with Kanye West, Rihanna and Fergie. The song won Best Rap/Sung Collaboration and Best Rap Song.  For his set, Cudi transformed the mainstage into his clubhouse and invited the assembled crowd to join him, asking everyone to move in closer as the set went on.



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