Under the Radar Acts to Catch At Hulaween 2023

Headed to Hulaween in a few weeks? Surely you’re not going to miss two sets of Pretty Lights, Goose’s Friday midnight show, the String Cheese Saturday Night set, or John Summit throw down at the Amp.  But who are some of the lesser-known acts you should check out during your time down in Suwannee? 

Lespecial Announces Fall repeaTOUR with Stops in Niagra and East Durham

Photo: Tara Gracer

Lespecial: 2:30 – 4:00 AM Friday

I was able to catch my first Lespecial show recently at Cascade Equinox in Redmond, Oregon. I had listened to them a bit before and liked what I heard, but seeing them live blew me away. Drawing soundscapes that feel similar to bands like Primus, Radiohead, and Metallica, the energy and intensity they bring to the stage ranges from a full on mosh pit to a funkadelic dance party. Their sound is a unique combination that defies any strict classification, making them a perfect selection for the late night Friday slot to keep the party going. The group just released their fourth full-length album “Odd Times” a week ago. Check it out for a taste of what you’ll get from these guys. 

Watch their 2022 Red Rocks Set here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzCQpCIngts

Refraction Festival x Fact: Channel Tres - YouTube

Channel Tres (DJ Set): 11:30 – 12:30 AM Friday

Anyone who knows me even a little knows that this set time stings, overlapping with Goose by 30 minutes. But Channel Tres might be one of the only DJs on the lineup to get me to skip some Goose. A Channel Tres DJ set is an immersive auditory journey, blending the lines between classic house, deep techno grooves, and the unmistakable rhythms of West Coast hip-hop. When attending one of his sets, you’re not just getting a DJ playing tracks; you’re getting an artist who meticulously curates each sound to create an atmosphere you can’t help but dance in. The backdrop of his Compton upbringing is evident in his selections. The bass-heavy beats reminiscent of West Coast legends are smoothly integrated with the infectious hooks and loops of house and techno classics. This creates a sound that is both deeply rooted in nostalgia and yet strikingly modern. 

While I’ve never personally caught a Channel Tres DJ set, his boiler room set from Primavera Sound in Madrid is a heater: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q78x5w49nfw.

Photo: Scott Newton

Domi & JD Beck: 8:30 – 9:30 PM Saturday

Let me just preface these next two artists by saying the 8:30-9:30 Saturday slot at Hula is STACKED. Between Domi & JD Beck, Yam Yam, and Manic Focus, you literally can’t go wrong. Featuring arguably two of the best musicians on the entire lineup, a Domi & JD Beck concert is like teleporting into the future of jazz. Domi’s lightning-fast key runs on the synths paired with JD Beck’s unpredictable, yet methodical, drum patterns give you that raw, unfiltered dive into the next-gen fusion of jazz, hip-hop, and electronic vibes. These two prodigies aren’t just playing music; they’re reshaping an entire genre. 

This insane medley tribute to MF Doom & Madlib’s Madvillainy from their show at the Blue Note Jazz Club in NYC will give any hip-hop head chills: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpV0_Rxg66Q

YAM YAM | Funk / Soul / Jazz / Jams | Harrisburg, PA

Photo: yamyamband.com

Yam Yam: 8:30 – 9:30 PM Saturday

If you find yourself not hitting up either Manic Focus or Domi & JD Beck, Yam Yam is a fantastic alternative. The rising funk/jam/soul/jazz group out of Harrisburg, PA has lit up festival stages this summer and look to put on another killer show on the Campground Stage at Hulaween. Their energetic show is bound to have you dancing the entire time, with roots and influences coming from everything from New Orleans boogie to gospel. 

Their set from Peach Music Festival from this year is a great representation of what to expect from these guys: https://youtu.be/b9FgP2Hjwno

Apashe live with brass ensemble

Apashe (Live Brass Ensemble): 6:45 – 8:00PM Sunday

Yes, this is during Pretty Lights’ second set…but if you’re feeling dangerous and want to try something different, Apashe’s live brass show is where it’s at. The Belgian maestro, known for cooking up some of the most audacious bass-heavy tracks, levels up the experience when he brings in the brass ensemble. The result? An electrifying collision of raw horns with deep electronic beats that doesn’t just hit – it reverberates. Couple this with some great visuals, Apashe is truly one of the most unique live experiences on the lineup.

Check out Apashe’s Live Brass Set from Electric Forest this year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjXXtRhlCwI


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