Okeechobee Preview: Fest Best’s Most Anticipated Acts

Okeechobee: It’s fun to say right? This music festival is set just north of the Everglades, right on Lake Okeechobee. Imagine a festival in the middle of a jungle with performances ranging from Robert Plant, Sensational Space Shifters, and Fetty Wap. Win Butler (Arcade Fire’s frontman) and Miguel are set to lead a SUPERJAM alongside John Oates, Kamasi Washington, and more. Beside the music, there will be loads of activities, including yoga and swimming in the warm Florida sun. Okeechobee is a one-and-done kind of deal — this is the first and only festival of its kind. You’d be crazy to miss out on this festival of a lifetime!

 

Katie’s Top Pick Countdown

5. Sunbears!

Photo courtesy of teamclermont.com.

Photo courtesy of teamclermont.com.

Sunbears! originally started with two members but eventually expanded into a quartet for their recent album “Future Sounds.” Coming from Jacksonville, Florida, the alternative pop group draws a great amount of inspiration from The Flaming Lips. I look forward to seeing this band perform at Okeechobee because of their emphasis on creating enthusiastic music, hence the use of the exclamation point in their name.

 

4. The Oh Hellos

Photo courtesty of theohhellos.com.

Photo courtesy of theohhellos.com.

Coming from San Marcos, Texas, siblings Tyler and Maggie Heath formed this folk rock duo in 2011 and produce their music independently. When they perform live, they are usually joined by a large ensemble of musicians playing an array of instruments, which is part of why I’m excited to see them live. Bringing in various instruments makes for a lively performance with an eclectic mix of sounds and rhythms.

 

3. Portugal. The Man

ptm1

Photo courtesy of bocaratontribune.com.

Portugal. The Man has been around since 2004, and has created a wide range of music since. The group is probably best known for their popular song “Purple Yellow Red & Blue,” which is how I first heard of them. I was drawn in by the unique sound of this progressive rock group and looked into more of their music, and I cannot wait to be able to see them perform at Okeechobee.

 

2. Hall & Oates

Photo courtesy of rockstargames.com.

Photo courtesy of rockstargames.com.

Daryl Hall and John Oates have been a duo since the 1970s and have had a tremendous influence on many of today’s popular artists. Known commonly as Hall & Oates, they are one of the most sampled artists today, proving that they can create timeless music. I was thrilled when I saw them on the lineup for Okeechobee because I missed the chance to see them last summer when they were in my hometown of Atlanta.

 

1. Youth Lagoon

Photo courtesy of Pitchfork.

Photo courtesy of Pitchfork.

Youth Lagoon is my most anticipated artist of the festival. Kevin Powers creates dreamy, lo-fi music that truly resonates and his introspective lyrics give off a feeling of nostalgia and melancholy. His newest album Savage Hills Ballroom stands out from his older albums as being more dramatic and having a more industrial mix, making it somewhat aggressive in comparison. I look forward to hearing his new material and I hope to be able to hear some songs from The Year of Hibernation and Wondrous Bughouse as well.

 

 

Harmony’s Top Pick Countdown

5. Dr. Dog

Photo courtesy of Paste Magazine.

Photo courtesy of Paste Magazine.

 

I look forward to a performance by Dr. Dog. I’ve been a fan of Dr. Dog ever since my photography teacher gave me a flash drive of their music my sophomore year of high school. I caught them at Shaky Knees last year and cannot wait to see them again this Saturday, March 5th at the festival.

 

 

 

4. Dungen

Photo courtesy of Prog Archives.

Photo courtesy of Prog Archives.

Honestly, there were a lot of artists on the Okeechobee lineup that I had never heard of before. After going through and listening to a few songs by each artist, I found several that really stuck out. Dungen, a Swedish rock band, was the highlight of those new-to-me artists. I was immediately drawn to the stills of their music videos which looked like pieces of really cool artwork. The combination of their hip videos and sweet songs captivated me. Two songs in, I realized that a friend of mine had actually played them for me a year ago! They’re somewhat comparable to a more rocky Swedish Tame Impala. I look forward to catching them at the Here Stage on Sunday, March 6th, the festival’s last day!

3. Kamasi Washington

Photo courtesy of jocksandnerds.com.

Photo courtesy of jocksandnerds.com.

 

 

Kamasi Washington, an American jazz musician, is playing Okeechobee Day One (March 4th) at 7 p.m. I am beyond excited to see Washington shred on his instrument, the saxophone. I am sure Kamasi and his band will be playing some smooth tunes that will please every listener’s ears. Washington has guest-played with many artists including Flying Lotus, Thundercat and (fellow lineup artist) Kendrick Lamar!

 

 

 

2. Booker T. Jones

Photo courtesy of straight.com.

Photo courtesy of straight.com.

 

I am also psyched for Booker T. Jones! His “Green Onions” is a music staple. It will be really sweet to see a jazz musician who was around, and killing it, in the 1960s. Old school style! Jones will be at the Here Stage Saturday, March 5th at 4:45 p.m. He is not one to miss!

 

 

1. Moon Hooch

Photo courtesy of NPR.

Photo courtesy of NPR.

A few years ago, I went to a music festival in Vermont called Frendly Gathering with my dad. A band called Moon Hooch was set to play after the festival’s headliner Lotus (who is also playing Okeechobee this year). Perhaps I was still riding the euphoria I got from seeing Lotus, or maybe it was because I was completely surprised by their sound. But, in my opinion, Moon Hooch had the greatest set at Frendly. Music created by two saxophones players and a drummer never sounded so full! From their intense dance tunes to their pretty killer light show, the vibes at this show were unreal. I dare you to not dance at their Okeechobee set.

Katie Hall & Harmony Baggett

You can listen to Katie and Harmony’s show, Fest Best, every Tuesday from 9-10 p.m. on CisternYard Radio.

Harmony and Katie will be reporting live from Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival March 4-6! Follow CisternYard Radio on Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram (@cy_radio) for live reports from the festival!

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