Review: Second day of Bluesfest 2022
Since the Jambalaya and Crossroads stages were not in operation yesterday, I think I will need a schedule plan today, as all five stages are open for music business.
I open my Bluesfest app and think about my artist selections for Day 2 (April 15). Nathan Cavalleri, who I plan to see on Sunday, can be heard performing on the Juke Joint stage as soon as he enters.
For now though, I’m heading to the coffee vendor to get my first barista-made, triple-shot caffeine of the day.
Bluesfest organizers are certainly playing with a handful of aces today. All stages have high profile lineups that could keep a crowd in front of them all day. How is a girl without the superpower of being in five places at once supposed to choose between the stellar numbers on offer today? ! There will be tears.
I make tracks to the Crossroads stage for a shot of Garrett Kato to go with my cup of Joe, while LamBros, JK-47, Cavalleri, Hat Fitz & Cara go there on the other stages, and Busking Comp attendees play on the Busking organize.
The Round Mountain Girls (RMG) are my second stop on the Jambalaya scene. My face beams with a smile as wide as the sky because this band is totally bonkers – in a great way!
Round Mountain Girls – image © Clea-marie Thorne
If there’s a description that fits the conglomeration of musical genres that holds their set list together, I’ve never read about it. It’s like being at a psychobilly-gypsy-rock-folk party.
These guys roam the stage like possessed entities playing their songs on a myriad of instruments. I’m sure to detect clever improvisations, maybe just for fun or to keep their followers on their toes – they make me dance on mine. Heck whatever you want to call this music, I love it!
As the possessed cavort, I’m drawn to the incredible excitement on stage emanating from RMG’s newest member and only female (to my knowledge) in the band – Amity Brand, on violin.
She fidgets hard, rips her stringed instrument with her bow with an infectious smile made all over her face. I have a feeling she’s going to burst out laughing any moment soon. Listen. She does it all on one good leg! Bless her cotton socks. I haven’t seen such a happy face playing an instrument on stage in I don’t know how long. In fact, maybe never.
The war and the treaty – image © Clea-marie Thorne
I then rush to nourish my soul with some of the hope bestowed by the feelings and words of The War & Treaty offerings. I don’t mind if I do and I did.
With gospel vibes in southern soul-style songs and others giving off a bluesy, country-rock vibe, the Trotter team and band delight audiences and we’re thrilled they’ve returned this year.
Next, I want some more fiddle (ok, mandolin) accompanied by ukulele, accordion, banjo and guitar played by the talented and harmonious vocalist All My Exes Live in Texas.
All our exes live in Texas – image © Clea-marie Thorne
Adding their own recipe for elemental sunshine to get punters wanting to groove on their folksy set, they make us forget about the gray clouds and occasional splash outside the marquee.
See the second day photo gallery.
As I make my way to Camp Mojo next door, I see some of the crowd growing between stages. Punters are armed with rain jackets and ponchos, children in carts, ordinary and fashionable gumboots and folding chairs ready to battle the expected mud of the pitches.
My favorite sister duo, Vika & Linda, are a little behind on stage due to travel delays. We weren’t held back long before they blew us away with bold, powerful pipes as they took turns leading melodies while singing with incredible harmony.
Totally unfazed by their late checkout. Honestly, has there ever been a punter dissatisfied with Vika & Linda’s impeccable sets? I do not think so. We know that’s not true, but they make singing so easy. If only.
The church – image © Clea-marie Thorne
Like a “reptile”, I slip towards the church at the crossroads; sounds like a movement title, or a tour “destination”, doesn’t it? Yeah, they were playing awfully well, but I had to leave to get a taste of Briggs.
Briggs brought the magic of hip hop and rap to punters and I recognize Frenzal Rhomb’s Lindsay ‘The Doctor’ McDougall on stage on guitar – he’s such a floozy band collaborator, uh um (clears his throat). Ha!
Briggs bought the beats and the messages to bet – he’d get my vote for a senator! While not your usual Bluesfest dealio, I note he had a lot of fans in the crowd and scored some unsuspecting new ones.
Whore ! I’m back on the streets of Bluesfest town looking for a taco. Where is that Mexican van? Ah, I find it, order and chat with the others who are waiting for their food. The atmosphere is way above average and I hear unconfirmed whispers on the wind that the crowd could be around 27,000 – that’s huge!
The Angels and The Living End are two rock bands on my must-hit list for today. Both bands are driving the masses crazy today, as always. They each elevate the festival vibe to extreme heights and more.
The living end – image © Clea-marie Thorne
Both groups show us that they continue to be the masters of the stage, their instruments and their musically enslaved fans before them. They draw crowds and continue to grow their fan base with new generation punters joining longtime ones in indulging in rocking sets that encourage the best chants and call-and-responses of the day. Get the picture? Yes, they were so cool.
As Gilbert and Sullivan would say, “I’m not quite done yet.” There are a few other bands today and LAB is one of them.
They hit with a cocktail of 70s soul sounds shaken up by a funk and reggae vibe and stirred by country rock moments and a few slick covers. Oh yeah, they pulled off a Chaka Kahn number in style.
The crowd has really embraced their sounds and style and I’m a new fan in the thick of it.
LAB – image © Clea-marie Thorne
Tonight, The Man In Black by Tex Perkins plays in front of a large crowd.
The atmosphere is set with a darker scene (surprise!) as he takes the stage to grunt Cash’s baritone classics, starting with “Folsome Prison Blues” and adding some Cash-made covers into the mix for do good measure. In my opinion, no one does it better than Cash.
Hoodoo Gurus brings me to my group number 12 seen for the day. They receive a warm, hearty reception from the crowd and send that energy back a few degrees warmer when they fire up their psychedelic power-pop rock with a warmth that they ignite with their recent single “World Of Pain” ahead of the one of their very first singles. ‘Tojo’.
Punters were treated to a long list of crowd favorites with a sprinkling of recent material. The Hoodoo Gurus sound is alive and well and I didn’t realize how much I had missed it until now. I so need to add them to a frequent playlist.
Hoodoo Gurus – image © Clea-marie Thorne
Another New Zealand band on my list today is Six60. Back at Bluesfest today, I see them holding the hearts of many Mojo scene punters gathered to experience their intense heavier rock vibe with distorted guitar and gritty synth that is intertwined with soulful-toned songs. and rock-reggae sensations.
Matiu Walters’ vocal range is remarkable and rather unexpected. I think I have to listen to this band, they definitely have a lot going on.
Six60 – image © Clea-marie Thorne
Midnight Oil takes me to number 14 on today’s hit list and the stage is packed with police from behind and side to side.
The Oils use digital screens as part of their show with images related to war and protest – the new material was the center of attention as we consider the balance between existence and extinction.
It was heavy to advance on the essentials of the crowd which made the spectators sing and dance from the end of the evening until the end of the set.
Thanks again Bluesfest team! I especially thank those who work night shifts to clean up trash, recycle and clean surfaces, including port-a-loos and all the other behind-the-scenes work that magically happens overnight. You are so appreciated.
It’s time to hit the hay – up to tomoz!
Stay tuned for more Bluesfest 2022 reviews.