All the headlining bands coming to Powabunga March 22-23
Weekend will see 12 musicians perform at inaugural festival
Daily staff report
Powabunga, a new music festival coming to Vail, is set to take off on Friday, March 22, and Saturday, March 23. For the festival’s inaugural year, 12 artists are headed to Vail. Here’s some information about the six headliners, according to the festival’s website:
De Lux | Friday, March 22 | 5 p.m.
Their 2014 debut “Voyage” revealed De Lux as a duo matching post-punk sentiment and the-sociopolitical-is-personal perspective to joyfully indulgent analog synthesizer soundscapes and a deliriously transportive musical joy. 2015’s “Generation” added an almost-documentary aspect to their dance music, delivering clearly personal stories of anxiety and aspiration. And 2015 also saw their first major festival appearance at Bonnaroo, the prelude to their hotly tipped Coachella debut in 2016 and then sharing a bill with Arcade Fire at New York City’s Panorama fest.
After establishing a sound on their debut “Voyage” and establishing an identity with the revelatory “Generation,” L.A. disco-not-disco duo De Lux took a moment to re-center and come back leaner, sharper, clearer and deeper on their new “More Disco Songs About Love.” Now that co-founders Sean Guerin and Isaac Franco know how to play and what to say, they’re ready to just get lost in the music. As the band puts it: “We like to say ‘Voyage’ was our baby, ‘Generation’ was our baby all grown up and ‘More Disco Songs About Love’ thinks growing up sucks and just wants to party smart.”
Justin Jay’s Fantastic Adventure | Friday, March 22 | 7 p.m.
“Fantastic Voyage” is a wild ride of sounds for anyone used to a dance-centric groove. It’s a dance record, to be sure, but it plays with rock band themes. Hey, disco was created with funk bands. It’s not all that crazy.
This is a band that in many ways shouldn’t make sense. It’s a tech-house producer teamed with a singing ukulele enthusiast, a drummer, a guitarist, and sometimes a trumpeter, saxophonist and bassist. As Taylor sings on track seven “Let Go”: “holding on will hold you back.”
ZHU | Friday, March 22 | 8:45 p.m.
In early 2014, the phantom artist ignited word of mouth hype via viral guerrilla marketing when respected influencers championed his debut “THE NIGHTDAY EP” despite zero self-promotion from the silent musician.
After a Grammy nomination for the lead single “Faded,” ZHU’s follow up EP featured a second single with more than 100 million streams, this time a collaboration with Skrillex. With coverage from Pitchfork to The New York Times, the EP was critically acclaimed as a worldly collection of music appreciated for its immaculate attention to detail and groundbreaking sonic concepts.
ZHU’s debut album “GENERATIONWHY” was the top streamed new album the week of its release. With projects like animated shorts scored to music, a fashion line, and digital art activations, his shows incorporate all of his work. Combining cinematic beauty, with avant-garde fashion, live music performances, and art installations, ZHU fans never know what to expect next.
On September 7, 2018, ZHU released “Ringo’s Desert,” a desert-inspired project that kicked off his sold-out Dune tour.
Ishi | Saturday, March 23 | 5 p.m.
Their vision was to blend the classic, soulful story-telling and organic instrumentation of traditional folk music with the infinite sonic possibilities offered through electronic production. Experimentation quickly evolved into a journey of sound that would ultimately lead to Ishi’s debut, “Through the Trees,” released in May of 2010 and “Digital Wounds” in April of 2013.
“Juno” was released in 2016 for the band’s fifth independent release and the third EP of their catalog. The new collection of songs range from funk, nu disco and indie rock bathed in the gospel of Prince and LCD Sound System. Ishi teamed up again with UK artist James Marsh, most known for his creative album concepts with experimental UK band Talk Talk.
As musicians who consistently use their music and live shows to uplift and inspire their fans, Ishi has decided to be leaders in the music industry by using their voice to improve the quality of life for those suffering from various cognitive diseases. The release of their new ep, “Juno” will benefit nonprofit Music Is Our Weapon, which provides personal music programs for those battling Alzheimer’s and dementia, PTSD, Autism, Parkinson’s and various other cognitive disorders.
BoomBox | Saturday, March 23 | 7 p.m.
A little house, a little blues, a little funk, a little rock and a whole lot of soul blast through BoomBox.
“I remain open to anything you would hear coming out of a boombox,” frontman Zion Godchaux said online. “There are a lot of different vibes and angles, but it still adheres to a universal rhythm. This new record is the most musical and varied, yet it’s tightly wound in respect to that syncopation. There are only a few rules. It should be a heavy groove. It should make you want to move. Overall, I’ve further developed the sound people are used to.”
In the end, the new music kicks off the brightest and boldest chapter yet for powerhouse duo Godchaux and DJ Harry. “Our best side is somewhat medicinal,” he leaves off. “All of the rhythms, melodies, and frequencies add up to these healing properties. I hope people feel rejuvenated and re-focused on some level when they hear us. That’s Western Voodoo.”
Bob Moses | Saturday, March | 9 p.m.
Meshing guitar licks, a moody smolder and a dash of dance-floor ambiance with lyrical depth and classic songwriting, the duo created a sound that appeals equally to club goers and rock music fans.
Translating their sound seamlessly to the live performance realm, years of nonstop global touring — including appearances at every major festival from Glastonbury and Coachella, to EDC, Lollapalooza and beyond — cemented the duo’s reputation as a must-see live act.
A standout performance on “The Ellen Show,” a pair of nominations at both the Junos and the Grammys (and a Grammy win), and a top 15 US Alternative radio hit with “Tearing Me Up,” have further sealed the band’s burgeoning mainstream success.
May 2018 saw the announcement of a headline U.S. tour and the release of the track “Heaven Only Knows,” which was quickly followed by news of the duo’s second full-length album “Battle Lines” and first single “Back Down.”
Tickets, lodging, special packages and a full schedule can be found at powabungafest.com.
Free Memorial Day screening of “They Shall Not Grow Old” is one-off event before the Vilar Performing Arts Center’s summer series kicks off next month.