McDowell Mountain Music Festival Live Updates

M3F is back at Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix.

The non-profit festival formerly known as McDowell Mountain Music Festival has has raised $3.2 million for charity since its launch in 2004including $1.1 million donated in the last two years alone.

This year’s lineup includes EDM from Kaytranada, ZHU and Jungle, soul from Cautious Clay and Leon Bridges, jam-rock from Arizona’s Own Spaffordelectro-pop from ARIZONA and hip-hop from Bryce Vine.

Other likely highlights range from Jai Wolf to Parcels, Franc Moody and Two Feet.

Don’t miss! 10 acts not to be missed at the M3F in 2022

We’ll be updating this blog all weekend with photos and highlights from the music festival.

And if you haven’t left for the festival yet, you really should check out our M3F survival guide with everything you need to know before you go.

We’ll be updating this blog all weekend with photography and highlights from the music festival in downtown Phoenix.

9:30 p.m. Friday: Anotherworldly EDM set by Jai Wolf

When Jai Wolf took the stage at 8 p.m., he brought the most elaborate production of the festival’s first day yet, backlit by the stunning, often otherworldly visuals that filled the enormous screen at two levels behind him.

The EDM star made his entrance as an astronaut floating in space. And it wasn’t the last time we’d see this astronaut either, as the DJ handled a noticeably larger crowd than the Pompelli stage had seen for any of the previous performances to an ensemble whose highlights ranged of his remix of “Say My Name” by Odesza. to “Gravity” and “Starlight”.

Watching “Starlight” reach a dramatic climax, it felt like there was nowhere to go. Then the beat to “Lose My Mind” kicked in, accompanied by a video of the astronaut rocking a drum set. And even then, he still had a song left to sing as a bright red sunset filled the screens behind him.

8 p.m. Friday: the guitar hero music of Two Feet

Two Feet is Bill Dess, an incredibly talented throwback to the days when blues-rock guitar heroes not only roamed the Earth, but often graced arenas and put their faces on magazine covers. And yet, her early evening on the Pompelli Stage was utterly, refreshingly contemporary. He spent his time tearing it up from one scorching guitar solo to the next leading a band that drew as much EDM as it did blues, with its shimmering synth sounds. It was a great set that likely culminated in a smoldering version of “I Feel Like I’m Drowning,” a song that propelled it to the top of the Billboard Alternative Songs chart in 2018.

Emily Suslee dances as Two Feet performs during M3 Fest at Margaret T. Hance Park on Friday, March 4, 2022 in Phoenix.

6:15 p.m. Friday: Goth Babe really connects with her fans

Goth Babe is Griff Washburn, a restless spirit who travels the West Coast with his faithful dog Sadie, writing and recording the songs he played at M3F in the back of a solar-powered motorhome.

So it makes sense that the first memory he shared of playing Phoenix felt like it was more about the journey than the destination.

“When Goth Babe first became Goth Babe,” Washburn said, “we road tripped in an SUV and played in Phoenix. It was 2016.”

Washburn and his bandmates drew a large and enthusiastic crowd onto the stage Monday for a hazy, psychedelic-tinged indie pop start to the evening, the screen behind them showing footage captured on his travels, including many scenes of Sadie.

Oliver Hardman, 4, performs with oversized bubble wands at M3F Fest at Margaret T. Hance Park on March 4, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona.

A fan brought a poster with a song request which Washburn honored after asking fans to pass the poster on stage. Another fan held up a poster of Sadie, which Washburn also asked to take to the stage.

He led the crowd in singing “Happy Birthday” to fans celebrating a birthday over the weekend.

He’s clearly nurtured a connection with these poster and birthday fans that goes beyond mere showmanship. But there was definitely some of that involved too.

He’s the kind of guy who quizzes audiences on whether they’d rather be a centaur or a mermaid and claims he’s about to do Drake and Creed covers. But he can also turn around and give a heartfelt speech about the fact that his house was burned down last Thursday and how it made him realize that “possessions are possessions” and that the other people in your life are what account at the end.

It would have been impossible to walk away from this performance, which ended, as is often the case, with “Sometimes”, without feeling like a lift in spirits.

5:15 p.m. Friday: Who said M3F doesn’t rock?

There’s not much that can be said to rock – let alone rawk – in this year’s festival mix. But the Modern Eyes of Los Angeles did their best to carry the torch to those who were about to rock with an electrifying afternoon performance on the Gris Gris stage that made it look like it s was about cramming a weekend of loud guitars into the short amount of time they were given to remind us. rock is alive and well in 2022. Even when they covered REM’s “The One I Love,” it rocked with an intensity that would have surprised Michael Stipe — without giving up the qualities that made this song a classic in the first place. . And then for something truly unexpected, they signed on with a mesmerizing reimagining “Bittersweet Symphony” by Britpop outsiders the Verve that pushed this classic deeper into shoegaze territory than I ever dreamed this song could go. It was the first show they had ever played in Arizona. You should pray that they come back soon and often.

3 p.m. Friday: Long lines to start, but the music is flowing

A technical glitch at the entrance resulted in a long queue at the front door until 1:55 p.m., 5 minutes before the start of the first acts on two of the festival’s three stages. But once they started letting people in, the security team at the gate did all they could to make up for lost time.

Jay Allan opened the Gris Gris stage leading local band JTM3, which has been around since 2018. This is Allan’s fifth time playing M3F and he seemed thrilled to be there, even though the early tuning time on the smaller stage did not result in many people catching their performance. The crowd that was there, however, responded enthusiastically to their heartfelt echoes of 70s singer-songwriter music and melodious country-rock, with three-part harmonies that would have struck most Crosby fans. , Stills & Nash in their comfort zone. .

Meanwhile, Yoke Lore was treating a considerably larger but still small crowd on the Pompelli Stage, one of the two main stages, to a set that didn’t sound at all like it was being done by a guy with a banjo and his drummer friend. The sound they produced was massive, with synths and vocals, as they swept through “Body Parts,” a haunting cover of the Savage Garden single “Truly Madly Deeply,” an energetic “Hold Me Down,” and ” Goodpain”. .”

When it came time for “Beige,” the singer charmed the crowd with, “This next song just went gold, thanks guys for listening to it so many times they had to give me an award.” And judging by the crowd reaction, he deserved it.

Contact the reporter at [email protected] Where 602-444-4495. Follow him on Twitter @EdMasley.

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Gerald R. Schneider