Written by Tom Thompson
Spring is in the air and it’s the month of May! For the last 4 years, Concert Blast has taken the road trip to Memphis, TN to report on the Beale Street Music Festival as part of the city’s Memphis In May festivities. Below is a report from Tom Thompson on the Friday night excitement as he and a couple of his friends enjoyed the festivities. Although the Music Festival continues during the rain, unfortunately the guys were rained out for the Saturday and Sunday shows.
Starting off we would like to thank our friends with Memphis in May for their hospitality. As it turned out, Friday was forecasted for rains all evening. Arriving at the festival we encountered just some overcast skies but otherwise a beautiful Memphis evening.
The first act of the evening was Rise Against as they began to pump up the crowd with some powerful music. Quickly the crowd came alive and the 2009 Beale Street Music Festival was in full sprint. Rise Against performed an awesome set for over an hour. We wandered over to the Cellular South Stage where Matt Nathanson was performing. Matt was definitely a crowd favorite with some notorious music he covered especially Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing and Rick Springfield’s Jessie’s Girl. Following Matt Nathanson was his touring partners, Jack’s Revenge. They performed their music with enormous outbursts of energy. Often jumping from the piano while singing and playing a harmonica. The highlight was surely the closing to their final with great excitement.
The largest crowd of the evening could be found at the Sam’s Town Stage where the newly reunited band The Cult took the stage. The musicianship was amazing with an exceptional performance from all band members. It was really great to hear the old 80′s sound, which was heavily influenced by The Cult. It was hard to think that there could be another act of equal status, but the Steve Miller Band rocked the night. The crowd was a mix of young and old, all coming together for an amazing band. The vocals were excellent and all band members were working the crowd with excitement as not only they performed, but the crowd did as well. The crowd sang each word and danced every move as one.
Back over at the Cellular South Stage, Katy Perry had the place rocking out. The crowd was considerably younger and most were teenagers who eagerly and energetically sang with her. The highlight of her performance was when Katy came out into the crowd with a large inflatable cherry chap stick prop and worked the crowed into a furious anticipation of her song I kissed a girl. Once it began the crowd was jumping and dancing energetically with the music.
It was wonderful to have a great opening evening at the Beale Street Music Festival without the traditional rains that always seem to hit. Again our thanks go out to the Memphis in May folks who make this all possible… THANK YOU!
Written by Tom Thompson