“Indulge your senses”. This is both Oranje’s motto and goal. From brilliant pieces of art to shattering live musical performances, Indy’s premier culture festival is a haven for sensory stimulation. The twelve year old event has transformed immensely since its grassroots beginnings, and last Saturday night was a shiny, orange testament to its local prowess.
Strolling into the main quadrant of Oranje, which was composed of the lawn and building of Centennial Hall, festival goers were greeted by live art and music. Graffiti artists wielded their cans in creative glory as they sprayed a PBR themed mural onto a trailer. Orange little globes softly glowed along the paths leading to different attractions. Additional artists drew and painted on easels surrounding the PBR stage, which hosted a slew of musicians.
While The Bright White, rockers from the Windy City, had this stage they played some pretty typical pop rock. They sounded like they’d definitely taken a couple of pages from the Goo Goo Dolls. This fact coupled with their non-native status could have attributed to their lack of listeners. Nonetheless, when Audiodacity and Jomberfox hit the stage later on, the PBR tent received plenty of love. Local outfit Jomberfox strummed and serenaded a growing crowd with their rock tunes. Brandishing a lap steel guitar and a unique indie-rock subtlety, it was exciting to watch this group perform. Audiodacity followed up with their energetic horn driven sound. They had their large audience swaying and dancing through the entire set. Although the dynamics of Oranje outdoors were terrific, the interior also had plenty to offer.
Inside Centennial Hall, the scene was even wilder. Booths of artists lined up against both sides of the three levels of the facility. With a stage at the end of each level, the masterminds behind Oranje had left no space for quietude. Honestly, with only six hours to cram all the attractions in, there wasn’t a soul present who minded being sounded by stimulations. Visual artists like Izaak Hayes, who unearths inspirations in his found art, and Caren Charles, who creates richly colored paintings, interacted with patrons at their booths. Most presented business cards and had works for sale. Charles was offering face paints which ranged from playful kitten whiskers to inspiring, and vivid designs. Down the hall from these artists more musicians were performing.
At the Jakprints stage an indie rock band, from Chicago, titled Landmarks played ambient tunes. Both relaxing, and reminiscent of the nationally popular indie sound present at this time, they were a calm addition to a very high-powered musical roster. At the Indy Mojo stage, DJ Topspeed spun an eclectic mix of rap and pop songs strung to a fast paced tempo. It has been said that Topspeed can play for any crowd, which is certainly the truth. Hippies, hip-hop heads, and general music lovers thrashed to his beats. Topspeed’s beat weren’t the only ones being spun that evening, though. The Beats and Breakfast Lounge was home to the evening’s rap music. Indian City Weather put on a stellar performance that had the crowd nodding their heads. Blending elements of hip-hop, rock, and pop, these guys brought hot sound to Oranje. However, the late night set by the Breakdown Kings was the perfect climax to the night. Ace One and his group brought the night to a boisterous and crashing finale armed with their raw rap-rock sound.
As the night drizzled to a close, and the partiers hopped in their cabs or rides from Uber, there was a glow that seemed to surround Centennial Hall. The orange globes that lined the path shone in solidarity to a night that should make Indy proud.