While many people choose to stay in their hometown during Halloween weekend, I felt the need to venture up north to experience one of this country’s best kept secrets, located in a little suburb of Baltimore, Maryland known as Darlington. I’m talking about the illustrious Nightmare Music Festival! At the time, Caspa couldn’t make it to the East Coast because he had to deal with family issues. So how did the folks at Nightmare make up for this saddening news? Two ways! By booking prehistoric producer Megalodon to slay that closing main stage slot, and by asking the one and only, Yheti to play a unique Sunrise Set for all his die hard fans. But what Nightmare didn’t realize is that this set laid the true foundation for the rest of my festival experience. Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane as we relive this beautiful morning.
While I the main reason I came to Nightmare Festival was to catch up with all my DMV buddies, I was blessed enough to catch a two and a half hour set from Dayton, Ohio’s very own experimental musical sensei, Yheti, an expert at crafting those space alien, alternate universe, technologically advanced wubs that we yearn for – it was like something out of fairy tale! Kid drives up to Maryland to see Caspa and mates. Kid gets slowed down by the rain, misses Skism, and has to drive five miles back to an alternate parking site. Kid gets mentally rescued by Yheti! It made my entire weekend so much more memorable, and I’m glad that I caught the rumors about this secret set when I did.
I had been standing outside the mini barn/art gallery that was hosted and organized by The Gradient Perspective for about an hour when I met a gentlemen named Jared who lent me a pen so that I could take all my silly, illegible notes, which included as many Riddim tracks as I could recognize (throughout the weekend), a few terrible drawings and some very important Snapchat handles. He told me a bit about his hustle and how he had just performed for an exhilarating crowd as his moniker, Choppy Oppy. I could tell it was a good set because random ravers kept interrupting us as they congratulated Jared for his top notch performance. I felt bad for missing his set – but he invited me to catch this secret Yheti sunrise performance that was scheduled to take place at 6 in the morning, which was literally just a few hours away. I looked at my new friend Tommy in the eyes and said “G, whatever happens in the next few hours, we can’t let it get in the way of this Yheti set.” Tommy was possibly one of the rowdiest people I met that weekend – he’s the type of guy to challenge you to an arm wresting match and then get you lit after beating you down. Anyways, I digress, back to the Yheti.
It was now 5:50 in the morning, I had just finished my rounds of exploring the campground once more, to see what kind of shenanigans were taking place during this spooky weekend; Tommy was no where to be found. My other DMV buddies were sound asleep, because unlike me, they had been at Nightmare since it began earlier that Friday. At this point, the only thing that mattered was getting my spot for Yheti, because I had to mentally prepare myself for this surreal experience. When I walked in to the The Gradient Perspective Lounge, I was immediately impressed with the way the decorations and art work displays were organized. I remembered hearing one of the artist vendors try to hustle some Bassnectar painting – I was thoroughly impressed with his efforts that early morning, even though the buyer was noticeably falling asleep. I moved on with my journeys and quickly found where the Gradient Perspective had set up their stage. There were about 20 bass zombies sprawled out on the ground, comfortably relaxing on a sea of blow up mattresses. I said “Woah, what’s going on in here?” and this girl looked at me and spoke back “Why, it’s the perfect way to enjoy a Yheti Sunrise set of course!” I was amazed – it wasn’t long before I found a spot to lie my head, but just for a second of course. If this set was anything like the magic that I experienced in Asheville, there was no way I could physically stay on the floor when I knew the powerful sounds of Yheti would soon be taking over (Click Here to Read our YHETI x DMVU x TOADFACE Carolina Review).
Sitting right behind me was an awesome spunion named Mauricio who was laying down on a small bench that was placed directly in front of the two guys controlling the visuals – he quickly got up to join the party, because sleepytime was over. After chatting for a few minutes I abruptly said “Bro, I can tell you’re Latino so I’m sure you know how to party!” (my Mom is Colombia and I love figuring out what country a noticeably Latin American person is from). The new homie was born in Peru and moved to the United States when he was very young. For two and a half hours myself and all our neighbors experienced the fierce South American lituation that was Mauricio and his ambitious dance moves. No matter what genre Yheti played, this kid was moving and grooving to the beat. The room started filling up with more people by the minute, and as soon as the clock hit 6:00, that familiar, goofy grin was finally facing all of us from behind the intricate visual set production that the Gradient Perspective had crafted. In a quiet voice, Yheti greeted the crowd and asked us all if we were ready to hear some music – and just like that, the long journey into our souls began.
The set started off nice and slow, just how I like it. Yheti has knack for building up a quiet room full of strangers into a full on dance-city paradise for friends and family – I fully believe that anyone is capable of enjoying a set by the Ohio bass rumbler. The visuals quickly kicked into place as the DJ of the hour brought the filth upon us; I’m extremely thankful for Jack Hurley and Rico from Mandalorium Visuals for creating such a beautiful scenery for those two and a half hours! Also, much love to Jacob New from Newp Visuals for helping with the set up of this incredible event.
If you look at his SoundCloud, it’s clear that Yheti has 100 uploaded tracks. This set was so intricate and unique that I feel like he weaved in at least half of those tunes alone! But what I enjoyed most about this special performance was Yheti’s ability to bounce around so many different genres, all the while ensuring that everyone in the crowd was swinging their hips and popping their shoulders.
This is what a Yheti Sunrise set looks like.A lot of magic went in to making this special performance take place.Big Ups to Ally, Jared, and all the crew from The Gradient Perspective for setting up that massive stage.Huge congratulations to Jack, Rico, and Jacob for putting together such incredible visuals. Definitely one of the most memorable experiences of 2017.Nightmare Festival is definitely now a home for us.#Riddim
Posted by The Charlotte Sessions on Sunday, November 5, 2017
There were dips of classical, heavy doses of HipHop, and even a ten minute string of filthy, heavy bass, low frequency Riddim. I was very impressed that a lot of the fans in the crowd started freaking out when Yheti dropped a remix of Juelz Santana’s tune “Oh Yes” – my buddy Rob was thrilled at the thought that Yheti was also a Dipset fanatic. We even got to hear a strange rendition of the Beastie Boys’ infamous single “Intergalactic”. This man has often dropped a lot of tunes that I really wish I knew the name of, such as a really entertaining medley where someone was chanting “Live like the ocean, I’m wavy, I’m wavy“. Don’t get me started on the moment Yheti started playing swanky Riddim by the UK legend, Jakes – I nearly lost myself as Tyler blessed us with so many shoulder popping, knee wobbling Riddim chunes. I guess the Riddim Professor jacket that my buddy and I designed a few hours later was the right move.
Imagine how a little cabin full of experimental bassliens reacted when Yheti started playing some of his most popular tunes, like the mellow sounds of “New Ideas” with the Widdler, the everso wonky “Badmon Alarm” or even his gnome war song “Bushwacked“? In the midst of all the fire, Yheti seamlessly mixed in some of his collaborations with artists like Space Jesus, Spankalicious, Esseks, and his brother Toadface, which definitely gave his set that extra umph that I thought wasn’t possible. My absolute favorite moment of that unforgettable performance was when Yheti dropped “The Sage” – in my head, I call it the Mexican Jumping Frog song, because that’s exactly what I pictured whenever I first heard the weird groans and croaks that fill up this wacky single. And of course, we all love it when Yheti “Cracks the Window”
If I haven’t said it yet today, I’ll say it right now – I LOVE Yheti 🙂 I want to thank Ally, Jared, Rico, Jack, everyone who helped build the Gradient Perspective stage, the friends and family who were presents for this beautiful experience, and most importantly Tyler Yheti for putting in the effort to make a Carolina kid smile. Watching the head honchos make coffee for anyone involved in the production clearly showed that a lot of extra love went into making all of this happen – and I’m certainly glad that I’m still alive to tell the tale. Count your blessing folks, each and every day is a special gift from the universe! THANKS AGAIN YHETI & THE GP.
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Look! It’s a wild Yheti in the woods!