Apache Lake Music Festival has grown leaps and bounds since its launch in 2010. The festival now spans three days and features nearly twice as many bands as last year's installment.
The event's roots may lie in the bygone Jeromeatherapy event, but now scores of music lovers will make the short trek to "rough it" in a setting even more Western than that ghost town: the Apache Lake Resort and Marina, where festivalgoers have the option of booking a room for more "civilized" accommodations or camping out under the stars as Valley favorites such as The Sugar Thieves, Dry River Yacht Club, Banana Gun, and Japhy's Descent rock out across three different stages from Thursday, October 11, until Saturday, October 13. In all, 50 bands will grace indoor, outdoor, and acoustic stages at the site.
If necessity truly is the mother of invention, this year's stacked lineup proves that festivals like this are something the music community needs as much as wants. Here are five must-see acts to catch while you're getting your patchouli-stink on.
See www.phxmusic.com for Apache Lake Music Festival's full lineup and schedule.
Doctor Bones: Don't let bassist Jess Pruitt fool you with his long hair and grizzly beard. These Tempe natives resonate more like an '80s-flashback party than they do a hippie dance circle. The quintet draws on staple new wave and punk rock influences like Talking Heads, Joy Division, and Dead Kennedys to formulate a mixture that is undeniably catchy. They pride themselves on delivering performances with enough energy to satisfy the most insatiable of appetites. (Thursday, October 11, indoor stage)
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decker.: The Sedona-based folk ensemble narrowly escaped tragedy in August when their van flipped over while on tour in California. Percussionist/vocalist Kelly Cole was badly injured when she was ejected from the vehicle, but fortunately her bandmates surfaced unscathed, and Cole continues to recover today. With the accident behind them, frontman Brandon Decker and the rest of the band have plenty to celebrate as they move forward with their music. Self-described as "acoustic-based psychedelic Americana," the group is working on a follow-up to their stellar third record, Broken Belts, Broken Bones. Fans of Leonard Cohen's lyrical depth and Tom Waits' grit should get a kick out of their set. (Friday, October 12, outdoor stage)
Super Stereo: One of the great things about the ALMF is that you get to sample all sorts of sounds. Electro-poppers Super Stereo received choice exposure last year after having their music aired on MTV and television shows like The Real L Word thanks in large part to their catchy rhythms and dance grooves. This performance-based quintet will appeal to carefree dancers who can't get enough of bouncy beats and spectacular synths. (Friday, October 11, indoor stage)
The Technicolors: Anyone who can cover Chris Isaak and still sound rock 'n' roll has my vote of confidence. This Phoenix foursome is adept at making powerful pop-infused rock anthems behind some nifty riffing and singer Brennan Smiley's high-flying vocals. They've garnered comparisons to Oasis, but their penchant for classic-rock twang makes it seem like they'd feel right at home at the bottom of a bottle of whiskey. (Saturday, October 13, outdoor stage)
Zero Zero: If hearing that garage rock favorites the Love Me Nots were taking a break felt like a swift kick to the balls, then learning that Nicole Laurenne and guitar maestro Michael Johnny walker were doing so to create a new project that explores savory synth-laden beats is the rush of endorphins that immediately follows such a blow. Joined by drummer Nick Ramirez, the newly formed trio is taking their cue from other genre-mashers such as Sleigh Bells, Santigold and the Ting Tings to form all new swathes of dance rhythms. #azmusicwinning. (Saturday, October 13, indoor stage).