Posted on 5/31/2013
Concert Blast continued the coverage of the Beale Street Music Festival on the final day of one of our favorite music festivals. On this last day of coverage we saw portions of Public Enemy, Papa Roach, Three Days Grace, and Al Kapone. We also were up front and center for the entire show of one of our favorite new bands, Vintage Trouble. Special Thanks to our festival sponsor, The Best Around Food Concessions (http://www.thebestaroundconcessions) – Thank You Kevin McGrath! Please continue to read and/or listen to our podcast on our last day.
Written by Mike Arnold
Our day started with a great breakfast at our hotel (Doubletree Hotel). Then as usual, when we are out of town on a Sunday, we look for a church to attend. The Concert Blast crew are Christians and we are always looking for a place to worship when we are out of town. Tom and I discovered and attended an excellent service at Highpoint Church. It was a very nice service with an excellent worship band and bible teaching preacher.
By the time we returned to the hotel, I checked my email and discovered we received emails for interview requests early in the day at the festival. Public Enemy’s Chuck D and the band Vintage Trouble wanted to talk with us. The request was for us to be at the festival for two interviews at 2:00pm. Since it was getting close to the time to leave, we got dressed and got our stuff together to leave. Before leaving for the festival, we videoed clips of us at the hotel for a future documentary (if everything works out).
We loaded up the cars and headed toward downtown Memphis to Tom Lee Park to enjoy the final day of the Beale Street Music Festival. The weather was still cool and overcast. The sun had shown a little earlier in the day, but the clouds were winning out to cover up the big bright light in the sky.
As we arrived to the media trailer area, I informed the ones in charge about our interview requests. They informed me that neither one of the artists had arrived yet (and we were fifteen minutes late). After about 30 minutes, we realized that our interviews weren’t going to happen until after their shows (if at all).
As we set in the media trailer, we noticed an announcement on the wall. The performance of Awolnation will be canceled due to having trouble trying to get to Memphis in a timely manner. As we spread the news about this to the fans (and media), there were disappointments. Al Kapone will be performing in their place (their second set of the day). Since they are from the Memphis area, the fans welcomed them.
Since none of our interviews made it to the festival yet, Tom and I decided to make a visit to our festival sponsor, The Best Around Concessions, to have some lunch. We noticed one lady photographer in the media trailer by herself, so we struck up a conversation with her and found out she worked for the Jackson Sentinel. We asked her if she wanted to join us for lunch and she said without hesitating, “YES!” She said she was very hungry… and broke! Our sponsor covered her lunch too so she took some photos of them preparing our delicious meal as part of her coverage. They also gave me a large bucket of French Fries to take back to share with the other media… and they appreciated it!
We watched a small portion of Al Kapone’s set, and then realized it was time to head to the middle stage (The Orion Stage) to cover one of our favorite acts, Vintage Trouble. We first learned about this Los Angeles band from being the opening act on The Who’s tour. We loved their rock and soul sound and wanted to see their entire set. We also wanted to have that interview, so I was texting their tour manager from the crowd while he was replying from the side of the stage.
Lead singer, Ty Taylor took control of the crowd with his soulful vocals, smooth dancing, and lead front man ability to get the crowd’s attention and into the show immediately. Before starting their show, they met in the middle of the stage in front of the drum set and each member shook hands with each other. Then they went to their perspective places on stage to start the opening number while Ty began belting the soulful gospel sounding song, “High Times (They Are Coming)“. While Ty portrayed a southen Baptist preacher with his vocals, lead guitarist Nalle Colt had his hands folded and eyes closed as if he was praying. Ty led the crowd by saying, “Let me hear ya Memphis, Let me hear ya Tennessee!” as he pranced and danced from one side of the stage to the next while getting everyone there into the show. Vintage Trouble continued with a soul rocker, the single of their album (The Bomb Shelter Sessions), “Blues Hand Me Down”. As their concert continued, more and more people stopped to see their performance. By the time they where finished, there were about 6,000 screaming rockers joining in on the fun.
Vintage Trouble also performed the song, “Total Strangers”, a song about Ty’s mother called, “Nancy Lee”, and a ballad in which Ty instructed us to tell our friends they are loved. He said too many people take their own lives because they feel nobody cares for them. Vintage Trouble then began, “Nobody Told Me”. About half way through the song Ty began to cry. Later in our interview he said he got emotional because there was a girl in the crowd crying during that song and he knew that she had experienced what he was singing about.
While Ty began to introduce the next song, he began to slide on some waterproof boots before heading out through the muddy festival grounds and found himself singing and getting everyone into the song, “Run Like The River”. While Ty was out in the crowd he was surrounded by the rockers while clapping along to the beat of the song having a great time! Ty made his way back to the stage to get the crowd repeating the words, “Run Baby Run”. Vintage Trouble closed out their show with, “Run Outta You”. They left the stage in a dramatic fashion, one member at a time. Everyone attending this concert had a great time and bragged about the party sound they just experienced.
Now the concert was over, we waited around the backstage entrance area for the invitation to interview Vintage Trouble. While we were waiting, there was a lady, (Eva Posch) with her daughter who wanted to talk to them to tell them how their music helped her through a recent sad time in her life. We wanted to help her also, but there was nothing we could do or we would have invited about 10 others backstage! In the meantime, since no one came to get us, or text us instructions, we decided to head back to the media trailer.
On the way back to the trailer, we saw a portion of Public Enemy’s set. When they finished a song, Chuck D said, “Man, that’s hard to rap like that for a man my age. I’m in my 50’s and I’m not the oldest one up here!” He had us all laughing. Of course Flavor Flav had us going too with his stage antics of strutting, dancing, and jumping. I don’t know if I’m more impressed with his performance or his ability to move like he does at the age of 54. They performed several of their favorites including, “Fight The Power”.
By the time we made it back through the muddy grounds to the trailer, I discovered I had a missed phone call from Vintage Trouble’s tour manager. Then I received a text from him saying that Ty Taylor (singer) and Richard Danielson (the drummer) were ready to have our interview. I told them we were on our way with a golf cart escort and we will be there in a few minutes. We were lucky enough to see Brian in the media trailer so we had our entire crew there. Steve Shattuck handled the video, Brian Hasbrook handled the photography, while Tom Thompson and I handled most of the interview.
As we walked into the Vintage Trouble backstage trailer, we met Ty and Richard. They told us that Rick Dill (bassist) had to take a flight out immediately so he’s already gone. Then we found out that Nalle Colt went to the blues tent to see someone perform, but he joined us half way through our interview. Since our interview lasted about 25 minutes, we are going to let that be a separate podcast.
After the interview, we headed back to the media trailer to prepare for our next act to cover. There was Papa Roach performing on the stage by our trailer and although they had a crowd of about 8,000, we decided not to cover them. Instead we did a couple of video segments for our documentary (if it happens) and hung out with the other media for a while.
Word came in from the main festival press that The Smashing Pumpkins decided not to allow photographers into the photo pit. That’s not a good decision for them. When an act decides that, the press usually bashes them. Most of the media in the trailer said they had planned to cover the next act, Three Days Grace, and call it a night. Everyone was looking forward to see The Smashing Pumkins, but not anymore!
Brian had left to get into the photo pit for Three Days Grace, while Tom and I where getting ready to walk through the crowd to see the show. An announcer got the crowd to chant, “Three Days Grace, Three Days Grace, Three Days Grace” before they took the stage. The intro music started and within minutes the band made it out to start the show with an excellent rocker, “Chalk Outline”. The second song of the night was one of our favorite Three Days Grace tunes, “Just Like You”. The stage looked like the remains of a war even with an old “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign that had been aged and changed.
Three Days Grace had a new lead singer on this tour, Matt Walst, the brother of the TDG bass player, Brad Walst. Although Matt displayed his powerful vocals and his excellent stage presence, his lack of ability to speak to the audience in between songs were very weak. In fact he only mentioned a couple of lines over and over again that included “F-Bombs” which was a major turnoff. After about five songs, we decided we had enough of the filth, although the band was excellent, and decided to call it a night. Brian and I headed back to the hotel to get some rest while Tom and Steve headed back home to Nashville, TN.
We had another excellent time at the Beale Street Music Festival this year and plan to continue to cover this event year after year, or as long as our bodies allow us too. We want to thank all the Memphis in May staff for being so nice to us, especially those who work with the media. Special thanks to Media Director Tonya Dyson and Executive VP Diane Hampton for inviting us again. Also special thanks to Kevin McGrath of The Best Around Concessions (http://www.thebestaroundconcessions.com/) for sponsoring Concert Blast throughout the entire festival. We definitely want to thank our video helper, Steve Shattuck, for helping us with our documentary. Until next year Memphis…
Written by Mike Arnold
Please Leave A Comment Below
Tags: 5/5/2013, Al Kapone, Beale Street Music Festival Concert Review, blog, Brian Hasbrook, concert blast, concertblast, Diane Hampton, Memphis in May, Mike Arnold, Papa Roach, podcast, Public Enemy, Steve Shattuck, Sunday, The Best Around Concessions, Three Days Grace, Tom Thompson, Tonya Dyson, Ty Taylor, Vintage Trouble