CounterPoint 2012

Counterpoint – The Mystery of The Fools Gold Clubhouse

When it comes to any three day festival, especially events that involve camping, the evening of day two is almost always the best. Barring some unforeseen event, everyone at the festival is getting in their groove. The experienced festival goers (after learning or re-learning the grounds) have established their plan of attack, the newbies have at least a general idea where they need to be when things start getting wild and crazy, and the crew and staff have dealt with those first day jitters and ironed out all the wrinkles.

It goes without saying for those who attended the first annual Counterpoint Music Festival that the second day was full to the brim with some of everyone’s favorite artists:

Atmosphere
MiM0SA
Crystal Castles
Feed Me
Excision
Avicii
Savoy
Bassnectar
Alesso
A-Trak
… Just to name a few…

Anyway, as I said before, ‘barring some unforeseen event’ everyone at Counterpoint was more than ready to take this day by charge… well, that unforeseen event? It happened.


   Starting Friday at around 3:00 things started to get a little crazy. I don’t know if you know this about Greg, but he kind of has super powers. With the precision of a world class tight roper this man is able to predict the weather, and while we were prepping to enter the concert grounds I took a look at Greg and found him throwing ponchos in his backpack… I had no idea what the hell he was doing this for, but without even looking up he seemed to sense my gaze and calmly said:

“It’s gonna rain dude, and it’s gonna be bad.”

So naturally, without hesitations I began taking my usual pre-cautions and went about my business not having any idea what was actually about to happen.

Walking up to the concert grounds was an experience. Within the three minute walk we had, the sky turned from what was mostly a clear day to a rolling, ominous sea of black that seemed to just be waiting for the right moment to unleash its heavenly fury upon us.

Then it came. The skies opened up and the winds began to wisp around us as a voice came over the loudspeaker urging us to evacuate the concert grounds. The crew outside was instructing us NOT to get into our tents but get inside the car and stay inside the car until further notice, so thats what we did.

Being from Miami Greg and I are pretty akin to vicious storms, however this downpour was even more intense than a few tropical storms that we have bore witness to. We had our stuff staked down pretty well, but looking out the front windshield of my car we observed a scene of utter destruction. People’s tents, overhands, tarps, and EZ ups were ripping, flipping, falling, and flying through the air like we were in the middle of a category 1 hurricane (I guess it doesn’t take much to ruin the assembly attempts of over-anxious and under-experienced college kids at a festival campground).

   Around 4:30 the storm let up and Counterpoint was announced back on, but things had changed… The storm and the aftermath altered the mind-set of general population of Counterpoint Music Festival. Our scenic oasis of freedom had become a wet, muddy oasis of freedom and things were about to get rowdy.

   As far as natural disaster recovery goes, Counterpoint did a fantastic job. As expected, set up times after the storm were a little bit slow but not enough for the people attending to get upset about it. In fact, it was all worth it because the artists took advantage of the wet and restless festival goers and went full throttle. MiM0SA, Feed Me, Atmosphere, Crystal Castles, Archnemsis: everyone brought it, and everyone brought it hard. As the sun set and Avicii and Excision took their stages, Greg and I were gearing up for what was to be one of the most interesting and epic EDM nights of our lives. This night was not only filled with an hour and forty five minute Bassnectar show but also Nick Catchdubs and A-trak’s Fools Gold Clubhouse.

Maybe it is that we have seen them so many times or maybe it’s because they are static artists, but Avicii and Excision aren’t really our thing. However, Nick Catchdubs (DJ and co-founder of Fools Gold Records) is something that we love. He is one killer DJ with killer tracks and a killer crew…. But as we entered the opener for The Fools Gold Clubhouse something seemed odd.

Where are all of the people?!
   As you can see above, to say there was a hand full of people there would have been generous. I understand the affinity for Avicii and Excision. I understand that the people who would hoard to these sets would probably not be educated on the greatness of Nick Catchdubs, but with a festival whose attendance was near 20,000 one would think there would be at least a trickle affect. Under-advertised and debatably poorly placed, the Fools Gold Clubhouse did not appear to be shaping up to what it should (and later would) become.

To his credit, Catchdubs killed it and as his set ended and Bassnectar’s approached the festival evolved into a madhouse. Walking towards the media pit at Bassnectar, Greg and I noticed the main stage was a sea of LEDs, glow sticks, and some of the more intricate totems we had ever seen. The festival shut down for Bassnectar and he rightfully destroyed (see more about his set here), but again as we traveled to the other tents to check out Savoy on our way to continue our stay at the Fools Gold Clubhouse with Oliver, Treasure Fingers, and A-Trak we were greeted with vast expanse of empty tents.

Oliver I can maybe understand as his nu-disco style was different than most of the bass heavy music so far, but not Savoy. To their credit, Counterpoint had no way of knowing that nearly every single festival goer would attend Bassnectar and these other tents did need to be filled. But why with such amazing artists that most of the people at Bassnectar had probably never seen?

Anyway, as we re entered the Fools Gold Clubhouse for the end of Oliver’s set, not much had changed. The music was just as killin’ as ever but the audience was dismal.

   As Oliver finished and Treasure Fingers took the decks there was still ample room to run around any part of the tent you desired, so I began to explore. Within the walk of the hundred or so feet that covered the stage, I noticed a drastic change in the sound. Maybe the rain damaged a few speakers, maybe the sound engineers forgot to turn them back on after the rain, or maybe the acoustic design was wrong, but as a walked from one side of the stage to the other I noticed that the bass was nearly non-existant on the sides of the tent but in the middle it was so overpowering that not only could you hardly hear, but it shook your entire body.

Also, directly in front of the stage (up against the pit), I noticed a constant drip of what was either pooled rain water on top of the tent seeping through or condensation from the heat of the inside colliding with the cold outside air. Regardless of its source, it was odd and it was something I had never experienced before in any concert tent. The DJ set table was shoddy in comparison to all of the other stages (just a regular picnic table with controllers on top versus the others that had huge LED fronts), but far more than making up for this were the awesomely excessive amount of lights and incredible lasers that were lining the stage on all sides.

As Treasure Fingers made us all party hardy with a disco set that would revive that dormant disco king and queen in anyone alive, A-Trak entered the side of the tent. I didn’t notice at first but Greg nudged me and said “Check it out… A-Trak’s posse is bigger than the whole crowd.”. The funny thing is he was right. Though there still weren’t very many people in the tent, when A-Trak rolls to a show he rolls deep (rightfully so since he was getting ready to blow everyone’s minds).

Counterpoint

So there I was, standing in an empty, dripping, bass trap of a tent, looking at A-Trak and his record label’s crew, and wondering what the hell happened. This was supposed to be big. After all it was a multiple hour showcase of one of the biggest labels in the EDM world in a sponsored tent at Counterpoint. Where is everybody? Still at Bassnectar? Has Counterpoint forgotten about this tent? Will these issues be fixed?

Luckily for everybody, as Treasure Finger’s closed his set the tent started to fill up. I looked behind me and I began to recognize totems and flags, the Bassheads had arrived. I closed my eyes, exhaled, and realized we were all going to be OK. What I had been looking forward to for months would still flourish, and flourish it did but not before one more minor hiccup.

While Treasure Finger’s closed his set I looked up at the stage and was surprised to see that what was once one person had multiplied into three. Looking at A-Trak on the side of the stage, he seemed confused. The other two men on the stage that were not Treasure Finger’s must have been sound guys. They were telling Treasure Fingers to continue to DJ while they tried to either fix whatever was going on with the decks or set up A-Trak’s signature vinyl set up. Whatever was going on, it didn’t seem right. A-Trak took the stage behind Treasure Fingers and it seemed as though he had to help the engineers do their job (which I know he did not enjoy).

Once everything was said and done, A-Trak took the stage and everything was mended. Though the bass was not fixed and the tent was dripping faster every second A-Trak’s mastery of the decks made everyone forget about everything except for one thing: let’s party.

   Ok, so this is where I (Greg) put in my two cents, but really. I just wanted to talk more about A-Trak

I guess we can start with the first thing I wrote down about his set, “A-Trak can mutha f**king limbo”. I know you like that one, and it’s totally true. A-Trak bent over backwards twisting knobs and turned some lemons into some mo flickin lemonade (I’m talking about the sound). Once he got on, it was like nothing even mattered. He was a total creep (the good kind) on the ones and two’s, as he flicked and twisted those nobs like they were lady parts. Wagging his tongue, and clapping his hands to a totally willing crowd. As I watched him intensely from the side of the stage, I was overcome with joy. Kind of like the feeling you get when a stranger hands you a beer from his backpack, when they stopped serving alcohol at twelve (totally happened). A-Trak makes being a DJ look as easy as Tony Hawk makes skateboarding look. He’s is just the best at what he does, and everybody knows it. Oh and when I danced to that Oliver Twist remix of his collaboration with Dillon Francis “Money Makin”, I totally impressed his friends… Just sayin.

You just got Two Cented By Greg.

Yeah, so like Greg said A-Trak is just the best at what he does and everybody knows it and as soon as his set got started and his hype man Donnis told “EVERYONE FROM THE FRONT TO THE BACK SAY FOOOOOLS GOOOOLD” I looked back and noticed this tent was not only full or people but full of the energy and intensity that was to create what I believe was the best set and best party of the weekend.



The set (which you can see fifty minutes of above) was full of the best tunes in dance music today in combination with A-Trak’s slipping, flipping, scratching, spinning, knob turning artistry made The Fools Gold Clubhouse the most happening place all weekend. And that moment when A-Track mixed in his remix of The Night Out and got on top of the table on all fours and scratched at the drop? Priceless.

For those who were there through it all give yourself a pat on the back. For those who were not I think that awesome guy I met at Zoogma who summed it up best when I asked him if he was there and he said: “Oh my God, dude it was so unbelievable I was cumming through my toes.”.

So BOOM. Don’t miss it next time. FOOL.


And when it came to the sound in the back beat tent? By the next day it was fixed which just continues to display the professionalism that Counterpoint brought to the table. Who knows what the real problem was. The important thing to remember is the “Great” outweighed the “Not So Great” by a landslide. The Music, the vibes and the “Weirdos” with the glittery fingers (A-Trak’s Words) made this time period in the tent one of the most memorable parts of Counterpoint for sure.

 

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