The Top Bands That EDM Fans Should Explore This Weekend at Electric Forest

Though I had not originally planned on attending Electric Forest this year, the opportunity for a ticket fell into my lap and I had no choice but to accept the calling. Having not followed the lineup too closely, I popped it open on my computer screen and began to salivate at some of the names I was reading. While rooted in live band culture as Rothbury, Electric Forest has grown to cater towards a more electronic audience over time, following the trends of the greater music festival scene. Despite this, EF still draws some incredible headlining bands as well as still largely undiscovered gems. Here are a handful of bands I won’t be missing at the forest this year.

Dogs In A Pile

I first caught Dogs In A Pile in 2019, when I stumbled into the indoor stage of the Stone Pony after Umphrey’s Mcgee had just rocked the outdoor Summer Stage. Before me, a gang of young wide-eyed kids took the stage and began creating sounds I had never heard before in my extensive live show attendance history. I knew in that moment, I had to see more of this band.

Birthed from the vibrant Asbury Park music scene in New Jersey, Dogs in a Pile is the epitome of a musical amalgamation rooted in the deepest American traditions, from psychedelia and jazz to fusion, funk, rock & roll, and good ol’ traditional sounds. Their genesis traces back to the fortuitous meeting of Jimmy Law, a seasoned Asbury Park performer and student at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, and Joe Babick, a four-year alumnus of the illustrious young musician’s program at the nationally recognized Count Basie Theater in Red Bank, NJ.


Photo: Nick Codina

The band’s line-up crystallized with the introduction of Berklee School of Music attendees, bass player Sam Lucid and multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Kaplan, and the subsequent addition of fellow Berklee student Brian Murray in 2019. Their collective adoration for the improvisational ethos of bands like the Grateful Dead and Phish, blended with a strong predilection for studying jazz, fusion, and classical music, has manifested into the Dogs’ unique free-flowing style. Their compelling knack for generating “music as an atmosphere” speaks volumes about their mission to distribute good music and good vibes to good people. Described as “listening to a single moving organism,” Dogs in a Pile is an embodiment of the cohesive synergy of five distinct musical voices creating an original journey through the highs and lows of psychedelic improvisation. This is a band that not only recalls the music we know and love , but also adds a fresh twist to the jam band landscape. Fresh off their first international show supporting the Disco Biscuits in Iceland, DIAP is ready to rip up the US festival circuit this summer. Aside from the music, The Dogs are some of the kindest, most down-to-earth people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. Keep an eye on Dogs in a Pile as they continue to expand their musical journey and reach new heights of sonic exploration.


Goose’s set at Electric Forest this year will mark my 18th time seeing them. Despite this lofty show-stat, I find myself still trying to catch every possible show of theirs that I can, as they simply get better and better each time around. Born out of Connecticut, the quintessential indie-groove band has crafted an enigmatic musical odyssey since their inception. A sweeping amalgamation of indie-rock influences, funk undertones, and dashes of jazz-infused improvisation, the band offers a rich soundscape that leaves a lasting impression. Highly debated over and often compared and contrasted to Phish, Goose transcends the typical jam band mold, with some of the best vocals and harmonies out there.


Photo: Jay Blakesberg

The band consists of Rick Mitarotonda (vocals, guitar), Peter Anspach (vocals, keys, guitar), Trevor Weekz (bass), Ben Atkind (drums), and Jeff Arevalo (vocals, percussion, drums, Gong Gang). They’re united not only by a shared passion for uncharted musical territories but also by an intrinsic knack for creating captivating live performances. I’d be remiss to not mention the 5th member of their band, Andrew Goedde who runs the light show for Goose. Goedde’s production has been one of the most impressive parts of Goose to watch grow and evolve over time and is at an absolutely insane level right now. Their shows are a vivid kaleidoscope of raw energy, intricate melodies, and free-flowing jam sessions, all underpinned by their distinct humor and casual stage presence. Goose’s magnetic blend of impeccable musicianship and on-stage chemistry has earned them a fervent fanbase, and they’ve quickly emerged as a must-see act in the festival circuit and beyond. Their story is one of continuous evolution, marked by a dedication to exploratory sound and a deeply rooted desire to connect with audiences in a meaningful way.

String Cheese Incident

I’ll be straight to the point with this one; despite whatever your musical taste may be, do NOT miss the Saturday night String Cheese ‘Shebang’ set. SCI isn’t a band that I find myself throwing on my Spotify very often, but the few times I’ve seen them live they’ve completely blown my mind. They play 2 sets at Electric forest, but the Saturday ‘Shebang’ set is simply one of the best performances on the festival circuit. Usually set to a theme, the Saturday set is packed with fan-favorite covers and includes insane on-stage theatrics and visuals. They do these Shebang sets at Hulaween in Florida as well, and the two that I’ve been able to catch are two of my favorite sets of music that I’ve ever seen. Almost the entire festival will be at this sets, so prepare yourself for the biggest party of the weekend.


Photo: Grateful Web 

Aside from the ‘Shebang Set’ that, we already went over this, you’re now not missing, String Cheese is one of the most versatile sounding bands out there. One minute they’ll be playing a bluegrass song with Michael Kang on a fiddle, and the next they’re dropping into an electronica dance jam, making you double-take that you’re still even watching String Cheese. SCI formed in Colorado in 1993 and have been a staple in the festival scene ever since. Despite being around for 3 decades, they haven’t lost a step and are still tearing up every stage they touch.


I’ve been trying to see Flipturn for some time now, but have never had the stars align to properly hit a show. I will 10000% not be missing their set at Forest this year. I’ve been familiar with Flipturn’s music for few years now , but only at a surface level with popular songs like “Chicago” and “August”. My good pal and sonic partner in crime Intense Yogurt already did a writeup on this indie powerhouse, so I’ll let his words do the talking as I’m pretty sure he is literally their #1 fan. Circuit Breaker: Why Flipturn’s Fanbase is Set to Explode This Festival Season

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Photo: Amanda Laferriere


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