Written By: Sam Wolloch
Moonrise set times have officially dropped, so I spent the first few minutes sorting out many of my favorite headliners, noting any potential conflicts and tough decisions to be made. As expected with any big festival like Moonrise, there is plenty of magic in the myriad of music from artists you’ve likely rarely seen or heard before lurking all throughout the lineup.
This week I’ve got a hot take on eight different artists playing early on at Moonrise over the course of the weekend. Lucky for you, I got a chance to listen to their work as I did some road tripping across the Empire State of New York to check out Niagara Falls. Highlights below include one artist from each stage for Saturday, and you can check back Thursday to see my selections for Sunday.
Saturday 12:30pm - 1:30pm @ Stellar Stage: Ross Hyatt, aka RHYATT, is a Baltimore local who has made a name for himself in the EDM scene of the DMV (DC - Maryland - Virginia). His dynamic blend of hard hitting dubstep drops with hip hop and house hits has had him opening for top tier talent, playing festivals like Camp Bisco and Big Dub along with starting his own company Young Cult Collective. If his recently released mix The Anarchy Vol 1: The Road to Moonrise is any indication, get ready for a wild ride of rowdy dubstep from one of Moonrise’s hometown heroes.
Saturday 12:00pm - 12:50pm @ Solar Tent: Justice Jenkins, based in Richmond, VA and working under the project title Just Add Water, uses the smooth groove of hip hop baselines and the electronic pulses of future sound to craft an energetic set of rap, reggae, and original remixes. Expect vicious rap verses from collaborators Lill Twinn and Mizzy Coke, accompanied by drum and bass with an urban edge and enough chops and drops to keep everybody moving and grooving. Here’s a little taste of his hip hop skills, No Chill Bill, with a chilling sample of the whistlin’ song from Kill Bill.
Saturday 1:30pm - 2:00pm @ Lunar Stage: DENM brings his reggae sound from Huntington Beach, CA to the festival scene for the first time, so the "Moon-crew" should be prepared for relatable original vocals and a laid-back vibe. Inking a production deal in 2018 with Rock Mafia, DENM dares to step it up in 2019 with even more feel good flows, performing at festivals and working on a studio album. Maybe try taking the lyrics to heart from one of his newest tracks, My Wave: “I just want to have some fun, drink a beer under the sun, and maybe have another one.”
Saturday 2:30pm - 3:30pm @ Celestial Garden: Vanessa Barnes, now based in LA and working under the DJ/producer moniker VNSSA, has taken her passion for music and built a successful EDM career. She sports a sizable library of big name collaborations on a variety of different labels like Dirtybird, Dim Mak, Psycho Disco, and HotBoi Records, featuring house and techno tracks of poppy upbeat loops peppered with simple vocal samples. Word, a recent Beatport #1 song with Walker & Royce, is another VNSSA hit sure to have the house heads happy at the garden.
I hope you enjoyed my quick take on some of the talent hitting the decks early in the day on Saturday. Hope to catch you back here Thursday for my notable Sunday selections.