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Agori Tribe: Headed to the Mountain

U of M students reign victorious at this year’s Wakarusa Winter Classic

By Jack Simon
On February 13, 2012

  • Agori Tribe at their victory performance at The Wakarusa Winter Classic at The Hi Tone Café in Midtown.

Agori Tribe is headed to the mountain. Mulberry Mountain, that is.

Saturday, students from The University of Memphis won a local battle of the bands at the Hi-Tone in Midtown.  Their reward is a place in the lineup of this year's Wakarusa Music Festival.

The festival itself resides upon the top of Mulberry Mountain outside of Ozark, Ark.

"It was sheer joy and excitement," said Sean Naughton, sophomore anthropology major and drummer for Agori Tribe.

Naughton said he's been to Wakarusa twice, and is looking forward to being a performer this year.

"To me, this victory gives us a chance to promote our message of love as well as our music," said Dave Hash, freshman jazz piano performance major and keyboardist for Agori Tribe.

Hash has also been to Wakarusa twice.  He describes the festival as a magical, freeing experience that opens people's minds.

"(The victory) marks a big milestone for Agori Tribe. It's a big achievement, something that we've been looking forward to for a very long time now, so it's extra sweet," Naughton said.

Competing with Agori Tribe were local bands Wampa and Lightajo, and The Great Barrier Reefs from Nashville.

"(The Memphis music scene) is vibrant and full of life.  Somebody might say, ‘Oh it's just a bunch of jam bands,' but not one of us sounds like each other.  I prefer exploratory music over jam band," said Ari Morris, senior Recording Technology major and guitarist for Wampa.

With a mixture of elements from funk, blues, reggae, jazz, psychedelic and rock music, Agori Tribe's music has been compared to an exploding supernova of creative consciousness.

One can expect colorful lights, tie-dye and much tribal swag from an Agori Tribe show.      

Wakarusa is an annual four-day music and camping festival that takes place outside of Ozark, Arkansas.

The event will commence May 31.

Since the festival was created in 2004, Wakarusa has hosted many high-caliber bands, including The Flaming Lips, My Morning Jacket and Widespread Panic.

This year's lineup includes Matisyahu, Primus, The Avett Brothers and Slightly Stoopid.

"(Performing at Wakarusa) will be like a dream come true," Hash said.


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