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Review: Lotus Lounge at Highland Brewery, Night 1

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Marley Carroll in a Hammock Haven: An Intoxicating Mix at Highland Brewing

As part of Highland’s (apparently months-long) 20th anniversary celebration, the brewery and ENO teamed up to host the July 11-12 events, parties to punctuate Night Flight, a four-mile race that benefits the Asheville Parks & Greenways Foundation. Now, I don’t know about any of that because I don’t run unless it’s to catch a plane or a concert, but yeah, I’m always down for hammocks + drinks + music. So when I pulled into the parking lot and the sprawling ENO Lotus Lounge unveiled itself before me, I knew I was exactly where I belonged.

The grassy area behind the brewery is just pleasant as can be. There’s an outdoor bar on one end of the field serving a handful of choice Highland beers. The Lotus Lounge stretches its petals out, hammocks of every color strung between them; the kids dart under and around them like ants disturbed from their magnetic march, crawling over each other to snag any available part of parachute material as if it were all covered in honey. Anyone and everyone I want to see in this moment is here. I process how lovely it all is; the midsummer air is still thick and hot as the sun slips toward the horizon. A forest surrounds us.

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Of course, my attention quickly falls on the guy in the DJ booth at the center of the lotus: local producer Marley Carroll. His familiar dark blond head bobs up and down to his beat, which for the time being is not much more than a general funk/pop playlist to please the masses.

As the night wears on and the kids exhaust themselves and their parents, Marley’s set moves deeper into his true style. I am posted under a lotus petal in front of him, dancing madly in the psychedelic lights. He begins to peel off originals and remixes, his transitions seamless, his (literally award-winning) scratching expertly sensitive.

Big-ups to Highland BrewingENO, and Marley Carroll for the satisfaction. You will all be seeing me again. Bwahaha.

 

***Read the full and unabridged review here.

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