By Cat Buckley
Wanderlust’s music lineup this year is top notch. Including. But not limited to. Beats Antique, Gramatic, Ziggy Marley, etc. Opening night’s headliners Elephant Revival was scheduled to take the stage last night. The band was flying in from Chicago, stopping through the festival for just a few short hours to delight our ears and then jet setting west to sing some sweet melodies to their Californian listeners. Given their time crunch you can imagine our enthusiasm when they made time to meet up with us to fill us in on what they are all about.
We strapped on our wristbands. With our handy dandy notebooks in hand, we headed backstage. Elephant Revival is a band made up of 5 very talented, very youthful members Bonnie, Sage, Dango, Dan, and Bridget. You might be asking yourself ‘Elephant Revival’ what does it all mean? As did we. The name is a concept more than anything, inspired from a beautiful yet heart-wrenching story of two elephants at Lincoln Zoo 2005 the two cohabitated together for 16 years. A decision was made to send them in two opposing directions and on the night of their separation neither of them made it through the night. This story served as a calling together, a need for community and a gathering of tribes for this connected group of musicians. The members were living all over the country and within about 18 months they came together and formed their band, ignited by the call to revitalize the spirit of these two elephants. This heartfelt group of creatures feel passionate about living in a area where you don’t have to sacrifice your quality of life to do what you love, that is why they call Colorado home.
Colorado landscape, the clean rivers and the big beautiful mountains keep things in perspective for them, and allows them to surround themselves with like-minded people. They strive to be active in the community and supportive of causes they believe in. Recently they have found themselves inviting local farmers to their shows to show their support for the local food movement, and doing whatever they can be active for causes they believe in. They are connected with multiple humanitarian communities throughout the state of Colorado including ‘Calling All Crows’ in which they continue to stand up and show support for whatever service project they believe in. The group was very sorry that they were only here for a few short hours and not able to enjoy any of the festival’s activities.
A few hours later we headed back to the tent yet this time, stage front. We were in awe. It was literally like a Backyard Orchestra. Each of them playing their chosen instrument with dedicated enthusiasm. The connection between the instruments was eclectic and harmonious it created a vibrant feeling that can only be described (by Dan, Elephant Revival’s guitarist) as SHABAZ! To add to the instrumental combination were the naturally beautiful voices of not one or two but all 5 of the band members. Sage’s raspy voice undoubtedly had all the girls swooning. I must admit my favorite part of the show was when all the music stopped and it was just Bonnie singing ‘Rogue River’ I had chills. Her voice was beautifully intoxicating I could not turn a cheek as I listened to the unique quiver in her voice matched by claps and sporadic drum beats. I am hooked.