From the moment you step into the festival grounds at Winter Park, SnowBall Music Festival is an immediately memorable and novel experience.
In lieu of the grass and dirt that the seasoned festival goer would expect is a vast plot of slush (if you’re lucky) and ice, an added obstacle for the already impaired masses that would claim more than a few asses over the weekend. Then there’s the sea of beanies, bobbing along to a night of music ostensibly on the theme of “body moving,” or maybe “body heating,” although the temperature didn’t dip too far below freezing on Friday night.
In fact, when Kendrick Lamar took to the main stage, he and the crowd were content to make “chill” the word of the hour. After some initial low-mix mic issues, Kendrick bounced back with the “Section.80” track, “Hol Up.” Soon after, Lamar name dropped A$AP Rocky, which didn’t lead to the guest appearance the amped up crowd was hoping for, but an abridged version of Lamar and A$AP’s hype collaboration, “F**kin’ Problems.” Then, “A.D.H.D.” slowed the collective role before Lamar launched into a slew of tracks from his new instant-classic, “good kid, m.A.A.d city,” including an audience ad-libbed “Backseat Freestyle.”
Meanwhile, three-woman DJ pack Krewella instigated their packed house over at the Groove Tent: “Snowball, you ready to f****’ bounce?” And they were. Within seconds, the tent was brimming with the kind of heavy-hitting bass the fans craved. Tracks melted into one another seamlessly, but “Feel Me” and their remix of Zed’s “Scorpion Move” stood out from the rest.
The final set of the night belonged to Boulder’s trance-dance sax and drums duo, Big Gigantic. With the home-state wind at their backs, they pulled in a bigger crowd than Kendrick and blasted them with a variation of glitched-out remix tracks (including a “Thrift Store” sax tease on Aloe Blac’s “I Need A Dolla” and a souped-up version of Kanye West’s “Get ‘Em High”) and glitzy originals like “Nocturnal.” After almost an hour and a half, “The Uprising” brought an onslaught of fireworks over the stage, and a bittersweet end to a solid first night at Snowball Music Festival 2013.
Dylan Owens is Reverb’s indie and bluegrass blogger. You can read more from him in Relix magazine and the comment sections of WORLDSTARHIPHOP.
Dylan Langille is a Fort Collins-based photographer and a new contributor to Reverb.