Calliope Musicals

Show Review: Calliope Musicals perform at Viva Utopia

Show Reviews

Glowing disco balls pulse atop the outdoor stage west of San Antonio, Texas. Calliope Musicals burst into song with all of their might as cheers echo around the canyons in Utopia.

 

Calliope Musicals

Calliope Musicals perform at Viva Utopia. Photo by Andrew Blanton.

“Here’s to the ones who love me,” Carrie Fussell announces to the campers as she lifts her hands high into the air. It’s a homecoming for the group, who plan a special show every year for the self-proclaimed tribe that populates the grounds.

Calliope Musicals

A fan captures and image of Calliope Musicals at Viva Utopia. Photo by Andrew Blanton.

Viva Utopia is back at the Four Sisters Ranch with a capped audience of 500 campers, creating a memorable weekend for concert goers that watched the main festival outgrow its original location. The beauty of the landscape and remote location create a spiritual energy that fills your soul.

Four Sisters' Ranch

The Four Sisters Ranch in Utopia, Texas. Photo by Andrew Blanton.

The bass player jumps around from side to side in his futuristic trash bag suit. With the decorated outfits and laser light show, the experience feels like a trippy sci-fi version of Stop Making Sense by the Talking Heads. There is another gentleman playing a homemade electronic contraption that keeps the mystery of the performance alive.

Calliope Musicals

Calliope Musicals perform at Viva Utopia. Photo by Andrew Blanton.

The after hours party stays alive throughout the twilight hours at Tank Fete, a beautiful outdoor stage that sits on the highest peak of the ranch. The sunrise behind the stage is magical as we lay down to rest in one of the Honeycomb Domes.

Calliope Musicals

A Honeycomb Dome glows in the night at Viva Utopia. Photo by Andrew Blanton.

I awaken to the hum of bagpipes as they march around the camp. The San Antonio Pipes and Drums arrive in full royal attire to greet the Purple Brunch.

Pipes and Drums

San Antonio Pipes and Drums at Viva Utopia. Photo by Andrew Blanton.

Bedlah dancers swing rope darts filled with smoke in front of the Arrowhead Stage as the bass rides into a subtle rhythm. “Exodus…. Movement of Jah People!,” they proclaim as the cool breeze rushes over me. The set is entirely comprised of Bob Marley, which really filled me with joy.

Purple Brunch

The Purple Brunch at Viva Utopia. Photo by Andrew Blanton.

Colt Wayne Keeney gave one of my favorite performances with an energetic and original approach to Country and Western music. The power cut out early into his set, and Keeney handled it like a pro. He bashed against his Epiphone Texan and jumped out onto the amplifier in front of the stage as the crowd sang along. It really created a community moment, and the fantastic crew had the sound system up and running for the next song.

Colt Wayne Keeney

Colt Wayne Keeney performs at Viva Utopia. Photo by Andrew Blanton.

As we drive out of the Four Sisters Ranch into the Canyons of Ingram a warmth comes over me. I’m left in a dream and feel the embrace of the land. For more information visit:
https://www.utopiafest.com/

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