City Stages is in the books, at least for me. After defying the discomfort gods for the first two days, the knees finally gave in early this evening. But not before making one last jaunt through the festival grounds, catching a few memorable performances along the way. Images of Taylor Hicks’ and Brandi Carlile’s performances have been added to the City Stages 2006 gallery on my Smugmug site. Check them out and let me know what you think.
The Little Memphis Blues Orchestra took to the Homegrown Stage as scheduled this afternoon, with a very well known former member in tow two songs into the set. Taylor Hicks played to what had to be the largest crowd yet at the stage for the festival (at least 1,500 in the vicinity). The appearance was only announced shortly before it happened. The performance was definitely exciting, though I still think the best performance I’ve seen them give was the one after Hicks’ win on American Idol last month. Here’s the link to the day after post.
We made a brief excursion over to the Coca Cola stage where The Grass Roots were completing their set. They were able to get a rather large crowd to sing along for a while, though many of them appeared to be already camping out to listen to the Beach Boys later on this evening.
The one performance that I was looking forward to this year was definitely worth the wait. I am a Paste Magazine addict (having finally become a friend on their MySpace page) and had been following Brandi Carlile’s music for a while since getting a chance to hear her on one of their sampler CDs. It was great to finally see her perform live at the mypeople.com stage. She’s definitely got a powerful presence in concert. She also provided the best way to end my City Stages this year with a great cover of Folsom Prison Blues.
A great festival overall, though the way this festival is set up, it is very hard for someone to not enjoy themselves. Several things have changed in the time since I’ve been attending: there are less stages and it is harder to stumble across a band by accident (it’s become a more deliberate festival in terms of knowing what you’re going to listen to beforehand). There is also a larger spectrum of musical styles represented and larger restaurants finally want to take part in the festival as evidenced by Zoë’s Kitchen and Full Moon BBQ setting up shop in the festival area. It will be interesting to see what additional changes are made to the festival for next year as well as how well this year’s festival did in terms of reducing the festival’s debt.
Enjoy the evening.
And Happy Father’s Day!