Rawhide Events Center

Goldrush Festival Founder Talks Wild West Party

With the inaugural Goldrush Music Festival on the horizon, we were lucky enough to sit at the saloon and chat with festival founder Thomas Turner to talks growth, his most anticipated artist at this year’s festival and what the future holds for Relentless Beats as Phoenix’s biggest concert promoter.

NOTE: In case you missed it, we’re giving away 2 FREE GOLDRUSH PASSES and announcing the winner on 10/30 at 12pm CT!

How did Relentless Beats get started?
I had been influenced by European dance music culture and it was not yet a thing in the US. As I became an avid consumer & enthusiast- I wanted to share it with all of my friends, so i began to create parties for all of us to enjoy.

Why Phoenix?
Besides being born and raised in Phoenix, it’s a city filled with opportunity. What better place to build a scene, than here.

How has RB grown in the past few years?
Each year we have the opportunity to host more people than ever before. We continue to introduce new events, bring in more artists and make our marquee events better than the years before. I think we grow because often we are part of some of the most memorable nights of people’s lives and that’s pretty exciting.

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced with operating RB independently?
None of the operational issues we have faced thus far have been a result of us operating independently. In fact it’s the independence that has allowed me to go create a company that specializes in the entertainment & lifestyle that Relentless Beats is known for.

Where do you see the future of RB?
Some exciting things are currently in motion I cannot share, but what I can say is there is a lot more growth slated for the greater Phoenix area and we are happy to be participating.

What is one of your favorite experiences with running Relentless?
I love the energy and the love for electronic music, that we have in Arizona. It’s really amazing to see it flourish & excite so many people.

Who on the Goldrush lineup are you most excited about?
I’m a fan of undgeround house music, which is what got me into this business, so you will often find me at our RBDeep stage. However, I will bounce back and forth to catch as many as I can.

What inspired the gold mining theme?
If you have ever been to Rawhide then you know that its best feature is an amazing 1880’s western town. It’s an immersive wild west experience that you can only get in this setting.

Can you describe Goldrush in five words or less?
Wild West Meets Music Festival

‘Surf’ Review: Chance and Friends in The Land of The Free

In college I had an idea for the next great iPhone app: Bandom, a random band name generator. If you were uncreative or indecisive, this app would pick a title for your band, group, or stage-name based on your answers to a random set of questions (i.e., what is your least favorite number?). I abandoned this bold and daring project when I realized that over half of my band names were just variations on Toad the Wet Sprocket – Eat the Red Apple, Jump the Weird Postman, Cat the Hot Tin Roof.

I’m fairly certain that one of the band names I came up with was The Social Experiment, which, then and now, seems a bit corny. It’s too proud and clever by half. The name projects self-awareness but sounds more thrilled with itself than you are.

The name makes sense, however, for the band led by Donnie Trumpet (Nico Segal) and featuring Chance the Rapper. Two years removed from his remarkable 2013 mixtape hit Acid Rap, Chance is not the main attraction on much of Surf as the band, and a few surprise guests, grabs our attention. The highly anticipated album is itself a conscious exercise in social experimentation, a thesis on why hip-hop is, at its best, democracy in action.

If you download Surf for free on iTunes, you’ll notice a curious bit of crediting. Under the artist heading is the name Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment, with no mention of Chance. Meanwhile, each song title stands alone without naming the various artists who are featured on the majority of the sixteen tracks. This sneak-attack is somewhat daring. It presupposes that the audience will want to listen to a band led by a guy named Donnie. We obviously know that Chance will play a part in the proceedings, but on which songs? And are we to believe that no one will show up to join him, as Childish Gambino and Action Bronson did on Acid Rap?

Surf relies heavily on answering these questions with surprising mis-direction, and does so with confidence and clarity. This makes the first listening experience, in many ways, the most enjoyable. The album notes don’t recognize a delightfully on-point Busta Rhymes, B.o.B, BJ the Chicago Kid, and Janelle Monaé on “Slip Slide,” which makes the track seem like even more of a surprise party than it already is. The fun continues with cameos from Big Sean and Jeremih on “Wanna Be Cool,” blanketed under the warmth of a 80s swingbeat. J. Cole, King Louie, and Quavo of Migos fame also show up. Even Erykah Badu briefly arrives on “Rememory,” where she asks Chance about his hectic day with her signature lull.

If it had no other virtues, Surf would be worthy for insisting that a great album isn’t about how many featured artists you showcase or the quality of your “sick beats.” It’s about understanding how many elements must work in tandem to create a successful track, how each track must give way to a completed work. There’s enough limelight for everyone and each artist makes the most of their time without ever disrupting The Social Experiment. The absence of credit makes each passing song feel greater than the sum of its parts as a hypnotic effect, aided by various elements of psych rock and jazz, overtakes the listener. Even subconsciously, the album lacks ego.

Yes, many of the contributors are rappers. But Donnie and the gang don’t want to be boxed in to any particular classification. They understand that genre in 2015 is passé and so the album hovers around the territory of To Pimp a Butterfly, sometimes with mixed results. “Nothing Came to Me” and “Something Came to Me” are two of the wordless tracks on Surf and their obvious parallels are less interesting than their titles would suggest. But “Windows” (featuring BJ and Raury) justifies the marriage of jazz and hip-hop with balletic subtly.

And then there is Chance, who, gracious as he may be, was not born to be a sidekick. He makes the most of his talents on Surf, starting the album off with the staggering complexity of “Miracle” (no one meanders quite like Chance) and ending on the triumphant “Sunday Candy.” The latter track was pre-released, and the music video — apparently the best high school production ever of a Wes Anderson movie — accentuates the playful nature of the entire album. The song is so joyful and Jamila Woods croons so angelically that it’s easy to overlook just how good Chance sounds as a vocalist. He may not do the salto mortale quite like Kendrick Lamar, but if 10 Day and Acid Rap introduced us to his verbal dexterity and original flow, Surf shows us his impressive range. He’s here to stay. I told you he should play the Super Bowl.

It’s hard to be critical of artists who willingly share their music with you for the low cost of nothing, especially when they remind you of how much fun you can have when you don’t know what’s coming next. In the age of Spotify and Tidal, Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment have freely shown us just how blissful our ignorance can be. Surf happily subverts its audience by giving us all the moving parts that we want but not the ones we expect. Now that’s a surprise album.