ARISE Music Festival: Spectacle Interview


ARISE spectacle article

The following is a piece from our KCSU DJ Alex Gumper, reporting live from the ARISE Music Festival this weekend:

I had the opportunity to sit down with Denver local band, Spectacle. Being a first timer to the Arise music festival, the culture definitely shocked me in a good way. As I talked to the random people I passed, I was greeted with a big bear hug, rather than a usual greeting hand shake.   The love and happiness definitely well and alive in Sunrise Ranch. I had the opportunity to talk to Michael Lee Mahan, who is the producer and guitar player for the group. This being their first appearance at the festival, Michael quotes he “likes the personable feel that comes with a festival like this. It’s just so heartwarming and easier for the artists to connect with their audience.”   Some big inspirations for Spectacle can be attributed to big names such as Odesza for their “incorporation of the live drum pads and toms in a live show” and Emancipator (who was in today’s lineup) who also shares an ensemble-like feel to their live show. Spectacle is a group that prides themselves on being able to provide an appealing live show played on real instruments, but still being able to maintain an EDM feel to it.

In talking deeper with Michael, Spectacle is a band for both the upbeat funky vibe lovers and the down beat deep house chillers. Their methods of performing a live show with an EDM setting allows them to achieve both these genres at once. As an EDM enthusiast myself, there has been a lot of talk in the EDM community about how the availability of technology to make music is satirizing the genre, and in a sense giving the genre a bad rep. When asking Michael how he felt on the subject he had an almost opposite opinion. He states “It enhances innovation for the music. Just as the visual arts have mad major improvements in the way we create visually appealing images and videos, it is almost the same with music. You can tell if someone makes a very cliché photo edit with Photoshop, and you can also tell when a lot of hard work has been put into it. The same can be applied with music.” He strongly feels “The acoustic setting mixed with an electric feel is going to stay very prominent through the next decade or so.” In finishing up my conversation with Michael he was definitely excited for the upcoming show they held at Arise, and the opportunity to play for such a great crowd. Spectacle will definitely be an upcoming band to watch out for in the upcoming years.


-Written by Alex Gumper