As the summer came to a close Philadelphia was blessed with a heavy dose of funking good times. SENSORiUM Festival was the perfect cap to last summer and as I walked down the street to the new venue, I felt all those warm moments from last year rush over me. While I missed being at the One Art Community Center, walking into the Ukie Club took away any doubt that this year would miss a beat. Sensorium boasts a stacked lineup of musical and visual talent and is hosted by the groovtastic band, Tweed.
The day was beautiful and the grounds were lush. Two stages were placed around the urban grove and there was a basement staged aptly named ‘the Blackhole’. The grounds were a psychedelic playground with live painting, a wide array of arts, dancers, giant beer pong, installations and smiles as far as the eye could see.
The main attraction was of course the sounds- it kicked off with an early afternoon sun-drenched dance filled extravaganza with Digital Frontier, Minka, Darla, Worldtown and ELM. The afternoon started to get a bit crunchier with Wax Future on the main stage. With the red rocktastic mane flowing in the wind, it seemed to give the crowd second life diving into the night.
I worked my way back to the other stage for a set I’ve been dying to see for damn near forever. The mad beat scientist, Daedelus, was working his magic in this gazebo donning a proper purple suit of a maniacal conductor. His bassline’s boomed and his grooves controlled the crowd like a sonic puppeteer. It was all I imagined and more, a true musical highlight.
The rest of the night did not disappoint, the host band Tweed took on the main stage. Always fun and funky they conducted a beautiful joyful set to an energetic and loving crowd. Darkness dawned and the beats of Flamingosis took the night into a vacation dance party. Admittedly, I broke out a dad dance move or two. The night capped out with the psychedelic drenched funk sounds of Sunsquabi.
The night continued with an after party, which my old-man ass did not get to experience, but based off of extreme social lurking- I was left with serious FOMO.
It was a perfect night of sounds across the spectrum. I found a lot of old friends and made plenty more. Last year I was left in love with the experience, this year I was impressed by the growth and how they maintained such a homey vibe. I can’t wait to see what these maniacs have in store next.
To continue the SENSORiUM vibes, be sure to show love all the bands, but especially the group that made this all happen. Tweed just dropped an energetic hilarious video for their new song El Sucio Grande (embedded below) and has a ton of dates across the northeast. You can catch them live this Friday in West Chester at the Sprout Collective. Until the next one, keep it funky.