Same Same But Different Fest: Post-Set Q+A With LSDream
The sights and sounds of music returned to Lake Perris, California for a festival that is all the same as many fests yet truly different. In its third year rendition, Same Same But Different Festival overcame the many difficulties of the pandemic with a strong lineup featuring SSBD first-timers Big Gigantic, STS9, LSDream, Clozee, and Polish the Ambassador. Along with the return of Boombox, Dirtwire, COFRESI, and Megan Hamilton for a great representation of many artists who refuse to be categorized in a genre. The mix of DJ’s and live instruments made this lineup an absolute hit. Especially, for those who seek more than what mainstream run-of-mill festivals provide.
Besides the music, patrons had plenty of activities throughout the weekend. Including daily yoga, water sports such as jet skiing or paddle boarding. Also, informational workshops including beginners hooping and meditation rituals. While it’s easy to get lost in all the things to do to occupy our time at Lake Perris, the one true message that resonated with all of us is we all made it:Made it through this hard year of pandemics, fires, and many disasters to dance and have fun with friends, new and old.
Photo by (Dak Doug from Bassyndicate)
As the first major festival in Riverside County since the pandemic, Co-Founder of SSBD, Peter Eichar had lots of new complications. “I think the biggest challenge was dealing with an ever changing landscape in regards to COVID. Constantly adjusting capacity, regulations, dealing with workers dropping out etc. These were all brand new problems we had never had to deal with before.” Nonetheless, Eichar and his stellar staff delivered a successful and safe weekend by adhering to vaccine card checks and safe practices of social distance. One creative addition was a free red wristband for uneasy patrons to let others know to practice 6-feet around them.
The amount of money spent on production did not go unnoticed. The concept of dueling stages allowed for no time conflicts in music acts and extra creative stage designs. “seeing the new Coconut Club be built really blew me away. The design team (Maktive) really knows how to create unique stages” said Eichar. Yes, this Coconut Club stage was something else with elevated viewing areas in faux-foliage similar to what you would find in an actual club. What made this stage special by day was its’ location next to the water. Given the 102 degree average during the afternoons, the Floatopia parties and the Coconut Club with water cannons shooting relief to the dance-floor was a lifesaver. Not to mention the fire beats of house head favorites like J. Worra, Gene Farris, Donald Glaude and more. “The biggest change since 2018 would probably be how it’s shifted to the beach. After our first year we decided if it’s going to get close to 100 degrees during the day, we should probably focus a good amount of attention at a water party. This year, that really materialized.”
As attendees got out of their swimsuits and into their pashminas, you can start hear the transformation of sounds from house to all the funky noises. Thursday, you could hear the guitar riffs from Boombox and a Saxsquatch sighting of a helluva saxophone player in a Bigfoot costume. Wearing that costume in the heat with solid music deserved a major round of applause 👏👏. Friday was a night everyone could embrace their weird self with COFRESI bringing a heavy bass set with his live drums. A disco inspired set by Megan Hamilton, and Clozee drew big crowds to her unique sounds. The audience had Clozee’s heart by mentioning that even though she loathed using the name “Same Same But Different Fest” when telling friends, she absolutely loved the crowd’s support and deemed her favorite thus far this summer. Big Gigantic closed out Friday night with a nostalgic set that brought many back to 2016. We will never get sick of hearing “The Little Things” saxophone section Dom!
Saturday night boasted more variety with blues inspired Moontricks and Dirtwire, plus the co-founder’s personal favorite from the weekend, Balkan Bump. “He brought an energy I’ve never seen out of his live performance. It’s one of those moments where the lineup you thought you knew everything about, surprises you.” The main stages ended with high energy sets from STS9, Sunsquabi, and most notable of the night, LSDream. An artist with unique sounds of experimental bass kept the crowd moving strong in what many attendees deemed as the peak of everyone’s weekend. I had a chance to sit down with LSDream to get his thoughts after the set.
Post-set Q+A with LSDream
Q: What brought you to SSBD?
A: I really liked the lineup and the energy of it, thought it would be great to play and bring my vibe here.
Q: how are things in the world of LSDream? Anything we should know?
A: Yes, I have an album coming out September 24th with a tour to follow so things are pretty great for me right now.
Q: My personal highlight of the set was the Strawberry Fields remix can you tell me more about your thought process on how you created such a dope rendition to an iconic track?
A: Yes! John Lennon is one of my biggest inspirations. I was watching an interview of him the other day and was talking about his activism and the things he’s passionate about in which said I believe in evil. With a quote like that, you think… wow that’s dark; but I believe in evil too. Thats why I think art is such a powerful vehicle to bring light, awakening, and healing to the world. Because there’s a lot of darkness. He(John Lennon) felt that it’s his mission to try to illuminate that. Before I even got into him as a person and his philosophies, I was just a big Beatles fan.
LSDream is really about paying tribute to psychedelic culture over all the decades so every year I do a new Beatles remix for my set. The last one I did was “Lucy in the Sky” this year was “Strawberry Fields”, and next year all do another one.
Q: I’m really glad I asked that question. There was a lot more meaning that came within that single track!
A: Yes, everything I do comes from a meaningful place. Nothing is random.
Due to copyright restrictions, you will have to hear this remix for yourself at his next set. It’s something you don’t want to miss. His spring tour already has 25 shows so you should have an opportunity to see him soon.
As most festivals come to a close, most don’t stop until they kick us out and SSBD was no different. You could find renegade stages littering the campgrounds and beyond. What made packing up less daunting was the offerings of delicious food vendors still available(even vegan options) and Sunday Brunch send off at the Coconut Club brought by Kayin Beats, Kr3ture, and 9 Theory. After a successful leave no trace camp pack-up, I personally treated myself to a tasty poke bowl from Kalikos Hawaiian Kitchen and dipped myself in the lake one last time. There will definitely be a next time, thank you Same Same But Different.