When you think of Augusta, Georgia in April, one thing naturally comes to mind: The Major Rager concert series! Okay…SOME of you may make mention of some golf tournament happening the same weekend, but whatever. With The Flaming Lips, Moon Taxi and The Eric Krasno Band playing, and for a great cause to boot, the place to be in Augusta that blustery Thursday wasn’t on a putting green…it was front and center at a rocking downtown day-long jam.
The charity clearinghouse Friends With Benefits pairs great bands with great causes. The Major Rage uses the opportunity presented by The Masters coming to town to create unique fund raising opportunities. Since their founding, they have raised a quarter of a million dollars for a variety of worthy non-profits.
Sunny skies were filled with gusting winds and unseasonably chilly temperatures for the event but music lovers were undeterred. There were plenty of opportunities for craft beer and BBQ but the main course on the menu was served onstage. After a fun warm-up set from Stop Light Observations, one of the hardest working men in the music scene did what he does best…bending his guitar strings until they sang the blues.
Eric Krasno Band
Eric Krasno brought his new band to the Major Rager and wowed the fans with his blues licks and wailing solos! While still getting the funk down with his bands Lettuce and Soulive, Krasno seems to relish the chance to do his own thing. Krasno has gathered a band he seems to trust, including multiple members of the Dap Kings, to form the Erik Krasno Band.
Keyboard player and vocalist Deshawn Alexander brought a burst of energy and stage presence with his contributions on the mic and ivories. Vocalist Mary Corso had the crowd in awe of her emotional, bluesy delivery. Krasno got in on the act as well, singing while playing the blues. While his schedule may not allow much time for sleep, with this many amazing bands to play with, Krasno doesn’t have time to rest anyway.
Watch Krasno and company pump up the jams below:
People Of The Sun (Moon Taxi)
Nashville’s own indie-rockers Moon Taxi have a secret. Though they write artful, melodic rock songs for themselves they secretly kinda wish they were the most bombastic rap rock protest band of all times! So, whenever they can’t fight the urge to go buck wild, they metamorphose into “People Of The Sun” and play tribute to Rage Against The Machine, pioneers of the anger-rock movement of the nineties.
Organizers of The Major Rager were more than happy to let them work out their identity issues on stage. Throughout the crowd, fists were raised and middle fingers were unfurled. Classic RATM tunes like “Bulls On Parade” and “Guerilla Radio” were dropped left and right as People Of The Sun quickly moved from hit to hit. Check out a couple of their most brutal jams below:
“Bulls On Parade”
The Flaming Lips
Since their inception, the Flaming Lips have purposefully followed a path all their own. Mercurial frontman Wayne Coyne serves as nexus for the swirling mayhem the band has created in the studio and on stages for decades. Whether The Flaming Lips are building a monument to the psychedelic insanity in their hearts, or pleading for love to conquer all, they are always remembering to first and foremost…ENTERTAIN!
Flips shows are a senses shattering cacophony of sights and sounds designed to overwhelm onlookers and leave them receptive to new ideas. Wild man Coyne serves as the eye of the storm, urging listeners to embrace love and insanity. Music fans at the Major Rager were lost in a wave of jubilation. Confetti filled the air, Coyne ventured out into the crowd on a giant LED illuminated unicorn, and the general ridiculousness factor needle was buried on eleven.
That sense of irreverence has served to connect the band and their fans on a very instinctive level. Humor has a way of disarming a situation. In the context of a Flaming Lips show, it allows the overall message the band shares, peace, love and unbridled artistic expression, to resonate on a more personal frequency.
See The Flaming Lips play a pair of the most beloved tunes below:
“Race For The Prize”
“Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robot (Part One)”