What could be better than a beautiful lake, some great music, and the opportunity to spend a few days jamming out, fishing, and camping? For many, there isn't anything much better, and the Apache Lake Music Festival offers the opportunity to combine several different pleasure about 60 miles from Phoenix at the Apache Lake Marina and Resort on Friday, October 24, and Saturday, October 25.
The five-year-old festival is the brainchild of Brannon Kleinlein, who also owns and operates Last Exit Live in downtown Phoenix.
"This is our fifth year of putting on the festival, so we are excited about reaching that little milestone. Attendees can expect a nice diversity of music from some of Arizona's top local bands performing in a truly majestic outdoor setting," Kleinlein says. "The attendees get to enjoy lakeside camping but still have some normal everyday amenities such as indoor restrooms, full restaurant and bar, and a small convenience store to buy any needed supplies. With our outdoor Main Stage, Indoor Stage, and Acoustic Cantina, we offer three areas of live music, so there is never a shortage of live entertainment for concertgoers."
This year, the festival features local talent like Dry River Yacht Club, Playboy Manbaby, and the Haymarket Squares, among many others. David Cosme, who plays trumpet in Playboy Manbaby and also in Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra (both bands are appearing on Friday night), has played the festival on multiple occasions.
"I love this event because most musicians in the scene are busy on weekends and find it hard to see other bands perform. Apache Lake showcases so much great talent in two days, so everyone has an opportunity to see and hear others. I was honored to perform in 2012, and knowing that I was part of an amazing music scene with so much talent and variety," Cosme says.
Playboy Manbaby's manic amalgamation of ska, punk, and performance art brings a unique twist to the festival, which also features many of the Valley's most talented jam, Americana, and roots rock bands.
In addition to Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra, local prog-rockers Captain Squeegee and Gilbert's CooBee Coo also are playing the festival for the first time this year. Recently signed to Fervor Records, CooBee Coo's polished sound and catchy riffs should be a great treat for those looking for the "safety in numbers" alt-rock that is so popular among youngsters and oldsters alike these days. Should be hearing them on the newly revamped KDKB any time now.
For those wondering about traveling to Apache Lake, the lake itself is east of the Valley and just a short ride east on the Superstition Highway (U.S. 60). Kleinlein warns, though, "The last 10 miles or so is all dirt road and fairly narrow, so people should use caution when driving and take their time."
With 29 bands for the $40 ticket price (no single-day tickets are available), the festival seems a pretty good bang for the buck, especially when you consider the beautiful surroundings and relatively cheap eats and drinks offered by the hosts, the Schuster family, who run the Resort and Lake.
You could find worse reasons to take off from work than a festival featuring some of the best local bands in a wilderness area. Just saying.
Apache Lake Music Festival takes place Friday, October 24, and Saturday, October 25, at Apache Lake Marina and Resort.
Friday, October 24
Outdoor Stage 1:30 p.m.: 36 Cents & A Dream 2:45 p.m.: Sinister 7 4 p.m.: Darkness Dear Boy 5:15 p.m.: Mr. Eastwood 6:45 p.m.: Carlos Azarte & The Kind Souls 8 p.m.: The Haymarket Squares 9:15 p.m.: Japhy's Descent 10:30 p.m.: Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra
Indoor Stage 5 p.m.: Sasqunaut 6 p.m.: Sunset Voodoo 7:15 p.m.: Princess 8:30 p.m.: Banshee Bones 9:45 p.m.: Shawn Johnson & The Foundation 11 p.m.: Sister Lip 12:15 a.m.: Playboy Manbaby
Saturday, October 25 Outdoor Stage 12:15 p.m.: Andres Rodriguez 1:15 p.m.: Hello Dollface 2:15 p.m.: Fu 3:15 p.m.: Kush County 4:15 p.m.: The Prowling Kind 5:30 p.m.: Dry River Yacht Club 6:45 p.m.: Coobee Coo 8 p.m.: Sara Robinson & The Midnight Special 9:15 p.m.: Sugar Thieves 10:30 p.m.: Banana Gun
Indoor Stage 4 p.m.: Deadfoxx 5 p.m.: The Woodworks 6 p.m.: Lee Perreria 7 p.m.: Sweetgrass 8:15 p.m.: The Hourglass Cats 9:30 p.m.: Ghetto Cowgirl 10:45 p.m.: The Shakers 12:05 a.m.: Captain Squeegee 1:15 a.m.: The MSU x Deathwish 45
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