Urban Nomad continues to push the envelope at Taipei's Tiger Mountain

A grand time for artists and audience alike


TAIPEI (Taiwan News) –This past weekend, Urban Nomad Opening Freakout exceeded expectations in a celebration of indie music and art.

Urban Nomad Opening Freakout was not going to be stopped by the cold and rainy weather over the weekend of April 14-15. More than 1,200 people converged on Tiger Mountain between Saturday and Sunday, despite the lack of sunshine.

Samantha Panda (American aerialist/acrobat/contortionist) captivated the audience with her aerial performance. Other types of performances also awed the people, such as fire dances, a sword performance, and other aerialists.

"People really seem to enjoy it. It's a cool vibe here. Everyone is into artsy stuff. When you're at an arts festival, there's a lot more appreciation [for our shows]."

Since Samantha's recent aerial accident last September and surgery in November, Urban Nomad took extra precautions to ensure the safety of the circus performers, by building a custom-made stage for their performances.

Samantha comments, "This year they really went all out...they created this (the circus stage/trust) for us basically to be able to do [the aerial] shows. Having this trust and this set up has made everything so nice. It's visible for everyone to see. So, it draws a big crowd."

DJ Marcus Aurelius credits the Urban Nomad founder for the success and experience of the festival. "David Frazier (founder) and Urban Nomad have been pushing the envelope of what people in Taiwan can see, hear and feel for almost 20 years."

Angelo Moore and The Brand New Step (U.S.A.) rocked the stage Sunday night for almost two hours. Moore, the lead singer of the legendary punk-funk group, Fishbone, enthused and interacted with the crowd like no other, pictured below. "Let me just get out here and do it for real!"

DJ Marcus Aurelius on Angelo: "Angelo is a hero to many punk/funk/skateboarders as he was the lead singer of Fishbone, when he started branching out to make his new band, The Brand New Step. We (Urban Nomad organizers) just asked if he wanted to come to Taiwan and blow people's minds."

And that is just what Angelo Moore and The Brand New Step did. Angelo: "I've always wanted to come over here (Taiwan). And I'm finally here. Yes!”​

"When Angelo Moore showed up in the middle of the crowd with his sax, tears (of joy) dropped down my cheek because it was such a magical moment," said DJ Marcus Aurelius of Moore.

Local fan favorites also took the stage and had as much fun as the audience as they performed. Bands such as Skaraoke and The Funky Brothers commented on their experiences and how much fun they had at Urban Nomad.

Taiwanese Trombonist/Vocalist, Thomas Hu, of Skaraoke describes the environment of the Opening Freakout as "the indie, underground spirit. Dave is able to bring it and establish his own scene here in Taipei."

The Funky Brothers' Saxophonist, Damien Callou (French), comments about their fourth year at Urban Nomad: "We are here at the Urban Nomad Opening Fest, in the mountain, lots of food, lots of friends, a little bit of alcohol never hurts. Good music, any kind of music: rock & roll, blues, funk, Balkan music, jazz, whatever DJ's, and everyone just gathers together and we're just having fun together.”

Jubba Van Wyk (South African) of Three Day Bender describes his 2nd year at Urban Nomad. "You know there's going to be a crowd.”

"They appreciate the different music, newer styles, things they haven't seen before. So people are really open to enjoying the music.”

In addition to the live performances, the food vendors brought life to guests' taste buds.

Taipei's Texas Tom's Southern Style Home-Cooking, Funky Dumplings, and provided Western originals flavors and Taiwanese infusions.

The Pie Guy provided miniature pies with savory and sweet flavors.

Urban Nomad also hosted a number of food vendors from Taichung, such as Sausage Shack with their grilled savory original sausages, and Anita's Hot Sauce, which was the hot topping on top of their pork sandwiches.

DJ Marcus Aurelius: "It's always fun to be around Taiwan's weirdest, wildest and most offbeat people for two days in the mountains."

Urban Nomad Film Fest comes to Taipei next month, from May 17 to May 27. For more information about Urban Nomad Film Fest, please check out their Facebook Urban Nomad.