|Mountain Oasis takes place in Asheville, N.C|
from Oct. 25-27
When news was released that Neutral Milk Hotel would be playing a full band performance in Asheville for Mountain Oasis I was literally speechless. A festival that calls itself an "electronic music summit" booked one of the most revered and reclusive indie rock acts in the past two decades and followed it up by announcing powerhouse acts like Nine Inch Nails, Bassnectar and Animal Collective. Mountain Oasis has one of the most well-rounded lineups on the festival circuit, they've managed to pull in an insane amount of high-profile electronic music while giving enough folk, industrial, experimental and indie rock to keep everyone entertained.
Yesterday the festival announced their full schedule, which naturally has quite a few conflicts that will surely make the weekend a unique experience for every attendee. There's so many combinations of acts to see that it's highly unlikely that any two people will share the same experience, which is one of my favorite parts of this festival. The amount of people that are pissed off that Neutral Milk Hotel will be performing at the same time as Bassnectar on Friday night are probably minimal, but two entirely different crowds will surely be undergoing life-altering experiences at their respective shows. The U.S Cellular Center is home to the ExploreAsheville.Com Arena and Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, meaning that while Jeff Mangum is shouting and crooning "comforting things in your ear," Bassnectar will be satisfying all of your sub-bass needs in the same building. Stop and wrap your mind around that. People can go see the anti-folk musings of Daniel Johnston and follow it up with the hip-hop mastery of Deltron 3030 without even leaving the building. After catching the end of Bassnectar fans will have another difficult decision to make between the heady vibes of Baths or the brilliantly spastic sounds of the young producer XXYYXX.
While the overlapping headliners on Friday will probably warrant little complaints, Saturday night is likely to be a bit different. Animal Collective will be performing at roughly the same time as Nine Inch Nails, making for an astoundingly difficult decision for some concert goers. While I'll surely be soaking in the whimsical psychedelic sprawls of Animal Collective, there's liable to be an industrial-sized riot happening next door as Trent Reznor and company bring their Stop Making Sense inspired stage set-up to the 7,700 capacity arena. Saturday's conflicts pretty much end for me there, as the rest of the night is set for a full set from Robert DeLong while catching as much as I can of Gary Numan and Godspeed You! Black Emperor.
Sunday surprisingly enough boasts one of the strongest top to bottom lineups of the festival. While the headliners don't pack the hefty punch of the preceding nights, acts like Disclosure, Autre Ne Veut, Jessie Ware and Mount Kimbie round out the undercard to make Sunday one of the most hectic schedules of the weekend. Headliners Pretty Lights and Cut Copy will serve as excellent closers to the festival, the die-hards will surely hang around to check out their famously energetic sets. While I'm not too big on Pretty Lights, I've heard nothing but stellar things about his live set-up, so I'm chomping at the bits to see it in such a perfect setting.
Be on the lookout for a slew of artist previews in the weeks leading up to Mountain Oasis. Festival fever has struck me hard, so as soon as I get back from the idyllic weekend of Shakori Hills I'll be prepping for my trip to the electronic mecca of Asheville for what's sure to be one of the best musical weekends I'll have all year.