It was a beautiful clear night in the foothill town of Ubud, and this night was especially filled with beauty at ARMA Museum– beautiful people, beautiful setting, beautiful ambience, and a beautiful selection of food and drink.
It was Friday, March 30, the first full on night of music at the BaliSpirit Festival, and it was a spectacular night. The stage set was a cross between a Mayan ruin and a Cambodian Wat; trees symmetrically framed a Balinese doorway lit with subtle colors at the back of the stage, towers supported two giant video screens on either side, and the audience sat in the splendor of the grass and flowering trees. Whoever handled the staging deserves a bravo for their most excellent production values, for this was an elegant show from beginning to end, great visuals with tasty camera work and lighting, precise sound and mixing, everything you would expect from a world-class venue. But unlike your typical rock concert, this was not a big pushy crowd, it seemed just right, on a totally human scale.
And the music that rolled out over the evening built to an inspired crescendo of dance, sweat, and excitement, a starry night of stunning music sets: first, in plaintive Spanish by Chilean chanteuse Jacqueline Fuentes her South American compadres, then a rock-up by Chinese new wave band Shan Ren, next a bluesy set with great beats and super female vocals by the LA-based Silver Pesos. The Pesos got the crowd on their feet, warmed up for a rousing hands-over-heads dance-out to the fabulous violin- and sitar-singéd world fusion sound of rockers Delhi 2 Dublin from Vancouver, Canada. The band is the next generation of a genre launched by the Afro-Celt Sound System, and they are superb at what they do. At the end of this beautiful night there was not a dry body in the arena, everyone on their feet, happy and in their groove at the finale through two encore numbers.
And thanks for inspiring DJ/VJ breaks between acts from from innovators Kamou and Zack Human.
photos courtesy of Balispirit Fest photo crew and Ulricke Reinhold.