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Memphis In May Beale Street Music Festival 2014 – Friday (Podcast 259)

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    Posted on 6/16/2014

    Memphis In May Beale Street Music Festival 2014

    Memphis In May Beale Street Music Festival 2014

    It was one of our favorite times of the year, the first weekend in May.  Also known to us as time for the Memphis in May Beale Street Music Festival. Every year Concert Blast has been invited to cover this huge music festival.  This year’s lineup was not as good as the past years, but we still had a good time.  This year’s Concert Blast staff consisted of Mike Arnold, Brian Hasbrook, Tom Thompson, and our special guest helper, Will Perry.  Here is the podcast on Friday night’s events with live clips from Third Eye Blind, Dropkick Murphys, Fitz and the Tantrums (our favorite), 311, Foster The People, and we closed out the night with Dickey Betts & Great Southern.  We also must thank our Friday festival sponsor, The Best Around Food Concessions… Enjoy the podcast and the Mike’s written blog review!

    Beale Street Music Festival - Third Eye Blind

    Beale Street Music Festival - Third Eye Blind

    Written by Mike Arnold
    On Friday May 2nd 2014, the Concert Blast staff rolled into Memphis, TN after a late lunch at our favorite Jackon, TN eatery, Casey Jones Country Store and Restaurant.  We checked into our downtown hotel and didn’t move the car until it was time to leave on Sunday.  The staff (Brian Hasbrook, Tom Thompson, Will Perry, and I) checked into our rooms and rested before hitting the downtown festival at Tom Lee Park.

    Third Eye Blind
    We arrived at the music festival, got through the confusion of getting our credentials, and jumped on a golf cart to arrive at the photo pit of our opening coverage.  First up was a popular band from the 90’s, Third Eye Blind.  They put on an energetic performance with their classic hits (“Semi-Charmed Life”, “Graduate”, “Never Let You Go”, “Jumper”, and others) but bombarded us with the continual reminder that they are in the midst of recording a new album.  Then they continue to play several new songs that were average.  I got tired of their new songs and profanity, so Brian and I left to catch part of another act.

    Beale Street Music Festival - Dropkick Murphys

    Beale Street Music Festival - Dropkick Murphys

    Dropkick Murphys
    Brian and I wanted to catch some of the Irish Punkers, Dropkick Murphys.  We arrived to a large enthusiastic crowd who seem to know most of their songs (unlike us).  We watched as they performed with screams and harmony (at times).  They even had bagpipes and mandolins in a few songs.  Their Irish accent made it an above average set.

    Beale Street Music Festival - Fitz and the Tantrums

    Beale Street Music Festival - Fitz and the Tantrums

    Fitz and the Tantrums
    This was the one band I was excited about seeing.  I was somewhat familiar with their tunes and have seen their performances on You Tube.  Most importantly, my daughter Michelle (my favorite music critic) had recently seen them perform in Nashville and informed me that I would love their show… She was right!  This is one band that isn’t guitar driven, but I liked them anyway (very strange for me).  From the time they took the stage the two energetic singers (Michael Fitzpatrick and Noelle Scaggs) kept the crowd into the show the entire time with a set list of their concert favorites (“Don’t Gotta Work It Out”, “Break The Walls”, “Get Away”, “Fools Gold”, “Out of My League”, “Money Grabber”, and others) including their version of the Eurythmics hit, “Sweet Dreams”.  I will definitely see them again!

    311
    Another act from the 90s, 311 (pronounced three eleven), had one of the largest crowds at the festival on Friday.  Their rock/rap/reggae style of music kept the crowd into their show.  Tom and Will knew some of their music where Brian and I couldn’t name one of their songs.  Although their fans were really into their show, their music style was not for me.

    Beale Street Music Festival - Foster The People

    Beale Street Music Festival - Foster The People

    Foster The People
    Here’s another keyboard oriented popular act for the younger crowd in attendance.  Although their style of music is not a part of my musical taste, they were well received from the fans attending.  They also had a large crowd at their show and their sound were very close to their recordings.  They announced that this were the first time performing in Memphis. It seemed I knew the first three songs from their set list, but that was about it (which included “Coming of Age”, “Best Friend”, “Pumped Up Kicks”, and others).

    Beale Street Music Festival - Dickey Betts

    Beale Street Music Festival - Dickey Betts

    Dickey Betts & Great Southern
    It was now time to catch the last act of the evening, which happened to be in the blues tent, Allman Brothers former member, Dickey Betts with his band, Great Southern.  We arrived in the backstage area as the band was starting their show.  This was probably the most talented band at the festival with dual drummers, three guitars, Hammond B-3 keyboards, and bass.  The set included a lot of Allman Brothers classics (Blue Sky”, “Jessica”, “One Way Out”, and others).  The show was fun, especially if you are a fan of the Allman Brothers Band.  The biggest disappointment of the night was no encore.  It seemed that as they left the stage, they were upset (I don’t know why because the packed crowd was into the show).  The crowd yelled for more for more than 5 minutes, but the tour manager couldn’t get Dickey back to the stage.  This meant Dickey’s most popular song was not performed, “Ramblin’ Man”.

    Wrap Up
    All in all it was a fun night and the weather was excellent!  I would have loved to seen more classic rock acts at this year’s festival, but I suppose that’s showing my age.  Overall, our favorite acts of the night were Fitz and the Tantrums, Third Eye Blind, and Foster The People, with a honorable mention to Dickey Betts.
    Written by Mike Arnold


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