By: Allie Adams of Bulldog Media
That’s a wrap! My legs are sore and my shoulders are sunburned, but it was all worth it to experience the epic-ness of the last day of Cali Roots. The night closed out with mind-blowing back-to-back performances by Thievery Corporation and the Dirty Heads. I’d never devoted much time to the Dirty Heads in the past, but after their performance they became arguably my favorite set of the entire weekend. Other artists of the day included Iya Terra, Mike Pinto, HIRIE, Collie Buddz, KBong, Jah9, John Brown’s Body, Anthony B, RDGLDGRN, Roots of Creation, Ballyhoo!, Humble Soul and Mellow Mood.
My first set of the day was Iya Terra, a band I’ve been a fan of since day one and who I was probably most excited to see. They brought such passion and energy to the stage and made their crowd of thousands chant along and raise their fists in unison. You can’t help identifying with their lyrics that speak such a universal language, one of love and being revolutionaries in a time that is rife with injustices.
I went to the Cali Roots stage next to catch some roots with Anthony B and as he sang to us, he implored us to imagine a world without Facebook and to disconnect from social media every once in awhile. As I contemplated that statement I thought to myself how ironic it was because, yes Facebook can take away from real-life interactions, but it can also bring so many people together.
People always seem to come together and congregate in large amounts for HIRIE, so it didn’t surprise me one bit when I went to the art retreat to catch her pop-up set and there were so many people I couldn’t even see the band! Not even one member. The crowd was packed over a hundred feet out from the stage and one girl was even climbing a tree just to get a better view! It was madness in the best way. I instead hung back and chilled with Dave Marple of Marple Art and Amber Brady of Girlfish Art; both have been hugely influential in promoting the live painting scene and I’m so happy to call them friends.
Coming together was a major theme for me this weekend. I got to reconnect with some amazing people from my past and I met just as many new ones I felt an instant friendship with. I was so busy Friday and Saturday I didn’t really get to spend a lot of time with my close friends, the ones that first brought me to festivals. As I retreated into the crowd at John Brown’s Body, the universe brought me to “my people” and we fell into the most beautiful dance cuddle puddle. The music was so powerful, I was wrapped up in this perfect moment of music, friendship, movement and love.
That moment continued as we headed over to watch Thievery Corporation play the Cali Roots stage together. My best friend, Steffanie, and I reminisced about the first time we saw Thievery live together at the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival and commented how awesome it was to see Rob Myers playing the sitar again.
But, like I said, the Dirty Heads was the real unexpected treat for me this weekend. I just didn’t know how much I loved them. Their set took me on a journey through a complete range of emotions and at one point during “Moon Tower” as I thought of all the people I love with all my heart, I cried the purest tears I’ve ever wept as swayed to Jared’s voice and watched the crowd sway with me.
It’s singular flashes of time like this that make me realize how fortunate I am to experience this magic and be surrounded by so many people that love me. That is most special part of California Roots.