Getting Shpongled at Joy Theater
What is a Shpongle? What does it mean to be Shpongled? Sit tight, I am about to take you on a wild, ethereal ride...
Saturday night, April 21st, Euphonic Connections brought together Shpongle, Alex Grey, Allyson Grey, Otto and Charles The First for a magical night of connection, spirituality, art, love and music in celebration of the 75th anniversary of Bicycle day.
Bicycle Day is an unofficial holiday that celebrates Albert Hoffman's experience with psychedelics and is recognized by psychonauts around the globe. The Bicycle Day Tour consisted of three shows, one in San Francisco, Los Angeles and the last one, which I attended, in New Orleans at Joy Theater.
Now that you know a little bit more about the event, lets get into the fun stuff...
First of all, while reading this, I want you to listen to the official Bicycle Day playlist to really help give you a clear image of the night. Things will get weird, but its all part of the experience.
I wondered up to the Joy about an hour after the doors opened, with absolutely no idea what I was about to experience, which is the best way to get into things by the way... I waited in the longest line I've seen at Joy Theatre; it wrapped around the building quite a ways and took me about 25 minutes to get in. Regardless of the wait, all of the people I was surrounded by were giving off the warmest welcome and excitement, but it did not even match what I encountered when I walked into the building.
The second I walked through the door, I was met with an overwhelming feeling of belonging; everyone knew at least a couple of people there. I made my way to the balcony with some friends where we happened to run into the meet and greet with Alex Grey and Allyson Grey... We didn't have meet and greet tickets, but we got to witness the heart-warming connections being made between everyone there. The venue was so absolutely stuffed with warmth and love, I was in complete sensory overload in the best way possible.
Eventually, I decided to make my way to the floor to take in Otto's set. Artists lined the whole left side of the floor, creating psychedelic pieces inspired by the phenomena taking place. At the end of Otto's set, Alex Grey and Allyson Grey took the stage to enlighten us about their history as artists together, the revolution of Bicycle Day, and their current work in progress, Entheon.
The show continued and Charles The First waltzed up on stage as if he wasn't about to completely blow our minds. His set was mystical, angelic, and heady all in one; I think I had an out of body experience if I'm being honest here. All the while, Alex and Allyson Grey painted with so much love and child-like nature. They danced along with the art of Charles The First; two different mediums coming together in perfect harmony.
Ok party people lets get Shpongled... I had not been super into Shpongle until Winter Circle Productions announced the Bicycle Day celebration in New Orleans. I always do research on artists I am not familiar with, especially for shows I'm attending, so this time I'm extremely glad I did. I soon dove into the depths of Soundcloud mixes and discovered this super weird tune that, in my opinion, captures the essence of Simon Posford (you can listen to it here). Fortunately, nothing could have prepared my ears for Shpongle (Simon Posford Live) set on Saturday night.
The gloriously weird set lasted well after 2 AM, when the show was supposed to end, because everyone (the artists included) just couldn't stop exchanging the magical energy that surrounded us. Alex Grey and Allyson Grey continued dancing and painting along to the music for hours while the crowd was entranced; I was in complete awe just taking it all in.
If you ever get the chance to experience something remotely close to Alex and Allyson Grey's Bicycle Day Tour please indulge yourself and don't look back. Being able to witness DJ's and artists gather together to cultivate such a massive energy exchange into a physical work of art is invigorating. The feelings I left with from Joy Theater that night truly changed my perspective of art and the world we live in.
DISCLAIMER: This article is a display of my own personal opinions. The event photos were not created by me, they are a product of Euphonic Connections, but all of the photos from the event itself were taken by myself.