Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone with CharlestheFirst in Wyoming [Event Review]
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Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone with CharlestheFirst in Wyoming [Event Review]


The dust from the weekend has begun to settle, and CharlestheFirst & crew have set a new standard for curated events. Social media caught fire Friday and Saturday as artists including EPROM, Yheti, and Supertask commanded the main stage at Terry Bison Ranch for a crowd of nearly 4,000. To close out both nights on the L’Acoustic sound system, CharlestheFirst played two incredibly unique and inspiring sets.

Being one of the largest events on the calendar since quarantine, the excitement could be felt as soon as you pulled onto the Terry Bison Ranch just south of Cheyenne, Wyoming. Fans who purchased camping passes had the opportunity to arrive early and set up before the evening kicked off with Black Carl! featuring a massive unreleased collaboration with fellow up and comer Mythm. To hear more, check out his latest release, Mixed Signals, that dropped early this year. His opening set would not be the last time we’d see him on Friday – more on that below!

Set the Stage

Leading into the sunset, Huxley Anne and Esseks continued to set the vibe for the weekend with a focus on creative sound design and heavy hitting bass with a production to match.

EPROM @ Terry Bison Ranch | Photo by @hiyoheywhatsup

Tsuruda pushed the subwoofers to carry through the grounds, with Brown Note Productions handling the nuts and bolts of the L’Acoustic rig. Highs and lows of the system could be experienced from as far as the GA parking lot. New hit track “Copout Dub” kept the crowd on their toes and took the energy to new levels as the sun vanished over I25 into the distant fields of Wyoming.

Next up, the one and only EPROM presented an auditory experience that will not soon be forgotten. Twitter exploded in uproar over clips of tracks like “Two One Six,” “Hurricane,” and a mental edit of G Jones‘ “In Your Head.”

EPROM is one of the vibrant West-Coast scene’s most colorful characters, with an unmistakable sound and an unforgettable stage presence. His unique sound varies from toxic hip-hop to searing garage mutations to bizarre concoctions somewhere in between. The dark presentation was met with incredible visuals to match the intricate engineering he has come to be known for.

Feeling Hopeful

Rounding out Friday night, CharlestheFirst jumped right in to carry the energy from the legendary set that was just witnessed. A herd of roaming bison appeared on the screen featuring Charles signature Crown logo, and the crowd locked in for what was sure to be a wild ride. Smiles spread across the grounds as lights brought the stage to life once again.

Photo by @hiyoheywhatsup

Taking things up a notch, CharlestheFirst dropped live vocals on the opening intro to show the hip hop inspired highs and lows found in the Hawk. and LAB GROUP projects. Stunning light work and tuning of the sound system encapsulated the crowd through “Hopeful,” “Limitless,” “Out of the Dark,” as well as collaborations with bill mates Potions and Tsuruda.

CharlestheFirst @ Terry Bison Ranch | Photo by @hiyoheywhatsup

Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride

The night was not done yet however. For the patrons who purchased a camping pass, a late night Renegade was only getting started. The team at TOWR Media and Unify Mountain Soundz got their Hennessey Sound Design system dialed for the heavily anticipated ???? set scheduled immediately to follow the main stage activities. Coveted by audiophiles, the Hennessey’s pack a serious punch on the low range while still capturing the specific, subtle notes and crisp vocals often found in the releases of the artists that would follow.

While rumors spread prior to the event of an Integrate (Black Carl! and VCTRE) set filling the guest spot, reality exceeded expectations. As the team finished preparations, the legend EPROM made his presence behind the Hennessey racks and CDJs. Shortly after, VCTRE, Chee, and Black Carl! made their way on the platform to throw together a massive back-to-back that sparked buzz social media well into Saturday.

EPROM, Black Carl!, VCTRE, Chee
EPROM, Black Carl!, VCTRE, Chee | Photo by @hiyoheywhatsup

Potions and kLL sMTH took their turns to work the crowd into the morning while campsites came to life. kLL sMTH rattled the crowd with his infamous remix of Jade Cicada – “Fish Juice.” Both artists landed back on the decks, with Potions starting off the Saturday on the main stage, and kLL sMTH ripped tracks until close to sunrise in the RV camping area Sunday morning.

Rain or Shine

Throughout the weekend, Terry Bison Ranch slowly began to feel like festival grounds. Live painters set up for viewing along the left bank of the stage, and DanceSafe was welcomed on site to promote a safe and fun experience. Volunteer staff passed out ear plugs to those in need, and test strips for those choosing to partake. Vendors provided vegan options and choice IPAs from Wyoming locals, Melvin Brewing. A sea of CharlestheFirst and Of the Trees beanies from the merch booth slowly began to fill the field of vision looking over the crowd.

Just before things began to kick off Saturday, a heavy thunderstorm rolled over the valley south of Cheyenne. To the surprise of many, a small stint of hail added to the mix followed with a cloud cover that would linger over the grounds for most of the night. Luckily, the rain subsided just as the campgrounds stirred with excitement as the gates opened for day two. The rain also brought relief to the dust that had been endured on Friday. Filling the air with sounds from a personal favorite, “Unreleased Incantations and Fomulae,” Potions helped shift the crowd into the right mindset for the night.

VCTRE @ Terry Bison Ranch | Photo by @NathenLaneMedia

Dirty South, Can Y’all Really Feel Me?

VCTRE followed up with a swagger that can only be found in the dirty south. Heavy hitter tracks like “Die Happy” pushed the L’Acoustics with glitchy bass lines and acapellas sure to stir up the onlooking fans. Based on the crowd reactions, he is on the rise with no end in sight. Largely anticipated Khiva made her presence felt immediately as she stepped on stage.

With a focus on the roots, Khiva uses low frequency, bass-driven 140 BPM tracks as a foundation for her sonic sculptures. Highly demanded tracks like “Swampmonster” set the crowd on fire with a live vocal performance and a green to purple color spectrum filling the air behind the decks. Mixed in with massive originals, the likes of ENiGMA Dubs and a collab with Six Chakra rung out perfectly across the field. Flawless transitions and mixing created a portal in time for a short period on the Ranch.

Khiva | Photo by @NathenLaneMedia

Nature is “Healing”

Supertask is known most recently for his mind bending interactive Bicycle Day streams during quarantine. The west coast phenomenon has made waves since his debut album Net User. Coming off of an incredible performance at Okeechobee, he put his head down in the lab and followed up with a “Choose your own adventure” themed livestream. For 3 hours, fans and newcomers to the channel were absolutely blown away by the audio visual masterpiece created.

For the first live performance since Okeechobee Music + Arts Festival in Florida, Supertask didn’t hold back. The visual team started with only lights to illuminate the stage while the crowd was soothed by the downtempo, low end, stage rattling basslines from a number of unreleased tunes leading into the night. What came next would leave everyone speechless. “Healing,” one of his latest singles, filled the ears and hearts of the masses who needed it dearly. Stunning visuals took to the screen to match the soft frequencies.

Yheti | Photo by @NathenLaneMedia

Everything All at Once

Now that we’d been healed, it was time for a party. Yheti stepped on stage and announced he’d been working nearly everyday on music, and none of the IDs or remixes were played live before. The crowd erupted when Yheti took to the mic for a shoutout to water, and let the wettest drop of the night loose. Remixes of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” and The Party Has Changed original “Weird Trumpet” were met with inspiring visuals from Shields. “Can you feel?” pulsated on the screen as hearts were filled to the brim. G Jones’ library was utilized once again for an inspiring “Everything All at Once” Jungle Remix, exposing the crowd to the roots style drum patterns with a familiar foundation.

As Yheti began to slow things down in his performance, it became clear this was going to be a weekend to remember. Things were done differently than curated events of the past. Every artist received equal time and presentation to show passionate audiophiles how hard they’ve been working on their craft. The sets we witnessed could be a headliner at any festival on the circuit.

Exiting stage left, Yheti proclaimed that this was the best night of his life. Many of the 3,000+ attendees would agree. Photos of loving fans meeting their favorite artist were abound. CloZee got spotted in VIP, hanging out and watching with friends and supporters alike. Little did she know, she’d be hearing “The Mists,” for the first time from a viewer’s perspective.

CharlestheFirst | Photo by @NathenLaneMedia

Prime the Lasers

The night was still young. CharlestheFirst arrived back on stage for his closing main stage act of the weekend. Contrasting the hard hitting hip hop opener of Friday, Charles brought the stage production to its full mast with the hawk. edit of 88 glam – “12.” “Mercy Falls” received first class VIP treatment like it had never been heard before. “I love you Chloe” came across the mic with a nod to the rising star as the speakers tingled with the light notes of their collaborative efforts. Mixed in with several tracks from the psychedelic bass producer, dubstep classics from Minnesota filled the air and got the crowd jumping to roll into the late night action.

Chee, a name that is popping up on lineups all across the country kicked things off for the final night on the Hennessey Sound Design rig. The campground renegade concept was massively popular. Creative minds found out the color of the bands used for access and purchased them at local party stores before arriving. As a result, production and security switched out for new bands which were required on Saturday.

What song was that?

Unreleased IDs and deep cuts flexed the TOWR Media rig once again with a few noticeable additions. A wild Tsuruda appeared for a back-to-back throwing haymakers from the underground. Up next, Of The Trees stepped out for a one-off liquid drum and bass/garage set. Playing only one unreleased original, he navigated through names like Halogenix, IMANU, and Misanthrop. “Independent” set a wave of dance moves throughout the tightly packed bass enthusiasts.

Chee, Of the Trees
Chee & Of the Trees | Photo by @NathenLaneMedia

For the grand finale, yet another ???? slot had to be filled. One by one, nearly all of the performing DJs of the weekend took a turn on the decks creating an incredible mixture of influences. “Good News” by Mac Miller was truly a cherry-on-top moment after the most surreal experience in over a year. To conclude the epic night, LAB GROUP made an unprecedented appearance. On Monday, the team followed with a formal announcement of their debut EP out July 1st!

In just three weeks, we return to Terry Bison Ranch for CloZee’s VOYAGE!


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