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Seventh annual Summer Meltdown concert rocks Santa Clarita Valley

Shwayze, Iration headline 20-plus-artist lineup

Posted: May 13, 2010 2:58 p.m.
Updated: May 19, 2010 1:14 p.m.
Shwayze and partner Cisco Adler goof backstage after their Summer Meltdown 7 set. Shwayze and partner Cisco Adler goof backstage after their Summer Meltdown 7 set.
Shwayze and partner Cisco Adler goof backstage after their Summer Meltdown 7 set.
Around 2,000 local music fans rocked out at the seventh annual all-ages "Summer Meltdown Concert for Social Inclusion and Autism Awareness" Saturday, May 8, at Golden Valley High School's outdoor amphitheater.

Featuring more than 20 artists on two stages, the 2010 edition of the marathon 11-hour music festival was staged by the Hart district's Yes I Can students as the culmination of their program activities for the school year.

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Below is the transcript of an exclusive Signal interview with Bret Lieberman, the Yes I Can program coordinator at Golden Valley, conducted a couple days after the show. 

SKP: Bret, how'd the concert go?

BL: Everyone had a wonderful time. We had our mix of all different styles of music, more food selections, and the side stage, so when the people wanted to hear a different style of music, they could go grab some food and see a different band. And if they didn't like what they saw there, they could come on over here and see a different band.

SKP: Fantastic. So how many kids showed up this year?

BL: We don't have an exact headcount number. We're still trying to collect tickets from the other schools and the other shops. But I think we had a turnout close to last year's. We definitely had an amphitheatre packed, filled with music loving people.

SKP: The amphitheatre capacity's about 2,000, right?

BL: Yes, we definitely were full and up to the very top. There's a little room up at the top because the area down in front was packed with people movin' and dancin'.

SKP: Now, who were the stand-out acts this year? Every year there's one or two that just kind of jump off the stage and really get the audience going. Who do you think that was?

BL: I think Far East Movement definitely blew everybody away with their professionalism and energy. Several kids were talking about the performance the next day.

The kids loved Taryn (Manning), and I think there's just something about her that the kids feel very safe and connected to.

Iration was definitely very well-received, and they thanked us several times for allowing them to be part of such an amazing and beautiful event.

SKP: You also had a DJ working out between sets for the first time this year. How did that go over?

BL: That was amazing. DJ Soulman, who performed with the Phunk Junkeez in 2007, came back and hosted the first part of the day, mixing in between bands. We also had a surprise visit from DJ Nite who happens to work exclusively with Jay Z and Rihanna. He performed at the Meltdown before flying off to Las Vegas to perform at a big hotel.

SKP: One of the early groups I saw that I thought was really cool was a young group called The Feaver.

BL: Yes, they played on our second stage. Then when one of the traveling acts didn't make it through from Arizona, The Feaver filled in their spot on the main stage, and was a big hit.

SKP: Nice break for them.

BL: Yeah, they lucked out.

SKP: What's the story about those kids?

BL: They're a bunch of young students. They're all young actors in different TV shows and pilots, they all love music and have gotten together to perform.

SKP: OK, you're basically mopping up now, wrapping up, evaluating, counting the dough, seeing where it all lands. What's next for the Yes I Can program?

BL: The students are talking about how we do such a wonderful thing in the summer, and that it would be awesome to give something back in the winter. So the talk is maybe doing a snowboarding-style concert. We haven't planned out all the details, but that's definitely one of the things students have talked about.

And the kids also want to investigate possibly getting larger sponsors and seeing if we could maybe take Summer Meltdown to a traveling show, where we spread the unity through music and education to different spots other than California.

That's our thing, is to just show that everybody has music in common -- it's the universal language. It doesn't matter what you look like, what shape you happen to be. Everyone loves music.

SKP: From a historical standpoint, Meltdown started off as a pretty small affair. But it's really grown over the years, and each year seems to be getting larger.

BL: Uh-huh.

SKP: It's always been a challenge to top the previous year's show. You think you guys did it this year?

BL: I think so, with things like the assistance of SOS Entertainment providing a pair of 25-foot screens on each side of the stage that we were able to project the live concert on. Anybody who was up in the very top of those bleachers could see the artists on the big screens.

And (between sets), being able to play a (video) documentary, created by Indie Line from GVTV, and being able to show certain clips and stuff to our audience, was really cool.

SKP: Now, there was a video crew out there led by Austin Dave, a former Golden Valley High audio/video guy and Signal intern now at COC, and many cameras were covering the Meltdown this year...

BL: Austin Dave is probably one of the most talented individuals I've come across. He really has a great understanding of camera shots and editing, and he definitely took the role of Mr. Deuschle, the GVTV director here at Golden Valley, and led this ship. We're amazed every year at what GVTV can help us produce by documenting the events.

SKP: What's going to happen with the footage they shot?

BL: We use it to promote future Meltdowns. I know Iration has asked for some of the footage to be used in something they're working on. We'll share the footage with the bands if they want to do any promotional material. We're really just going to keep using it and putting together our documentary.

I know that there are some students with GVTV who are working on the Meltdown documentary who would like to submit it to the Sundance Film Festival in Utah and the South by Southwest music festival in Austin for next year.

SKP: Fantastic. And that documentary covers the history of the Meltdown, right? Not just this year's festival...

BL: There'll be the history of the Meltdown, and they'll be covering what the students have been able to accomplish year after year, just with the love of music.

SKP: That could be another really effective marketing tool to help spread the word about Yes I Can and the Summer Meltdown project.

BL: Absolutely.

SKP: Well, thanks very much for your time. Congratulations on another successful event, and we'll look forward to rocking out again next year.

BL: Thank you again for The Signal's support.

SKP: You (and everyone who helps make it happen) are very welcome.


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