Moon Taxi is returning to Masters Week in Augusta, but, this year, they won’t appear as themselves. Instead, they’ll play as People of the Sun.
“Moon Taxi will not be performing any of our own songs,” keyboardist Wes Bailey said. “In fact we are playing as an alter ego band called People of the Sun, which is an all Rage Against the Machine cover set. Moon Taxi fans may be a little disappointed if they are expecting to hear any of our own songs.”
Moon Taxi has been a fixture at events organized by local promoter George Claussen and his company, Friends With Benefits. They played Birdies and Bogies, Claussen’s first Masters Week events, in 2012 and 2013, and played the first Major Rager in 2014.
Claussen is excited to have the band back, and doesn’t think fans will be disappointed at all not to hear their favorite Moon Taxi tunes.
“This year was very strenuous as far as getting everything together, but the lineup, I’m so obsessed with it because it hits a little bit of everything,” Claussen said. “You can go even if you don’t like the Flaming Lips, because you can still see Moon Taxi, who will be playing a Rage Against the Machine set. And whodoesn’t like Rage Against the Machine?”
The band members have appeared as People of the Sun on multiple occasions, including pulling off a double performance as both People of the Sun and Moon Taxi during the 2014 Hangout Festival in Alabama. That performance highlighted the band members’ ability to put on a great show, no matter what.
The Nashville, Tennessee-based band has performed together as Moon Taxi since 2006, boasting an ever-growing catalogue of indie-progressive rock and alt-pop and had just released an album when Claussen called them up about playing Birdies and Bogies.
“We had just released our album, ‘Cabaret,’ and were about to play Bonnaroo for the first time,” Bailey said. “This was an exciting time for us and we were making a lot of new fans along the way. George has been a great asset for us in the Augusta area and we’re thankful for our friendship with him.”
It was only natural then for Claussen to ask the band to be a part of Augusta’s first Major Rager in 2014. The show was a big success, despite some teething problems.
“Overall it turned out fine but, yes, there were major sound issues and delays that naturally come with your first time throwing a big festival,” Bailey recalled. “Once all the kinks were sorted out, it was a great experience and we were honored to be a part of the maiden voyage.”
The band has developed a massive fan base in part due to their crowd-friendly, genre-busting music, as well as significant commercial placement for global brands like BMW, MLB and HBO Sports. Moon Taxi has also performed on The Late Show with David Letterman and Conan, and at multiple festivals, including Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza.
The last five years have yielded two more albums and a packed touring schedule, but that hasn’t stopped the band from getting into the studio. A new album is expected to be released later this year.
Bailey previously described the release of a new album as a chance to share a new experience with others. “When we release a new album, we enter a new chapter in our story; an experience we share with our fans,” he said.
Yet, despite its growth, Bailey insists the band has coped well with its success. “For the most part everything is the same except my weight.”
This year’s Major Rager is shaping up to be one of the most extravagant musical events of the year. Joining People of the Sun are acclaimed singer-songwriter (and producer) Eric Krasno and alt-rock band Stop Light Observations. And though the headlining act – the Flaming Lips – has many people buzzing, including the other acts, the members of Moon Taxi planning on enjoying the tournament, too.
“Of course I am looking forward to performing before one of my favorite bands, the Flaming Lips,” Bailey said. “But, also, I am hoping to catch a little bit of the tournament earlier in the day. The Masters is my favorite weekend all year and I am an avid fan of golf. And yes, I hope we will continue to play this event for many years to come.”
The Major Rager w/ The Flaming Lips, People of the Sun, Eric Krasno Band, Stop Light Observations
Thursday, April 6
$35, general admission; $105, VIP; $100, Fore! Pack; $15, Sky City after party with Funk You, Schema