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Memphis In May Beale Street Music Festival 2014 – Saturday (Podcast 260)

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    Posted on 6/24/2014

    2014 Memphis In May Beale Street Music Festival

    2014 Memphis In May Beale Street Music Festival

    It was day two of the 2014 Memphis in May Beale Street Music Festival and the guys from Concert Blast was ready for another day of fun and music.  They started the day with a delicious lunch with their friends (and Saturday sponsor) at Rendezvous.  The best barbecue ribs in town… maybe the planet!  From there Mike Arnold, Brian Hasbrook, Tom Thompson, and Will Perry headed to Tom Lee Park to begin their duties.  We covered several top acts, but only a few made the audio podcast; Four Vines Winery interview, Los Rabanes (from Panama), Jerry Lee Lewis, Blues Traveler, Joan Jett, and the headliner for the night, Kid Rock.  Special thanks to our festival sponsor, The Best Around Concessions.  Enjoy the audio podcast coverage and Mike Arnold’s written blog review!

    2014 Memphis In May Beale Street Music Festival

    2014 Memphis In May Beale Street Music Festival

    Written by Mike Arnold
    As the second day approached for the 2014 Memphis in May Beale Street Music Festival, the Concert Blast staff of Brian Hasbrook, Tom Thompson, Will Perry, and I were excited and ready to dive in to perform our coverage duties.  The first stop however was to enjoy some delicious barbecue ribs at our favorite Memphis, TN restaurant, Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous.  We always look forward to seeing our friends John, Tina, Robert Jr., Percy, and others when we visit there… the food is excellent too! Thanks to Cheron and John for the sponsorship over the years!

    After our lunch, we headed over to beautiful Tom Lee Park, which sets on the bank of the mighty Mississippi River, to enjoy the festivities of the day.  Brian and Tom headed straight to see the Carolina Chocolate Drops, while Will and I checked in to the media area to get our media credential for the day.  Once we got settled in, Brian and Tom met up with Will and I, then Will and Tom took off to another stage to see the very good surprising act, St. Paul and the Broken Bones.  They both bragged about their performance and their front man/soulful singer, Paul Janeway.

    2014 Memphis In May Beale Street Music Festival - Los Rabanes

    2014 Memphis In May Beale Street Music Festival - Los Rabanes

    FOUR VINES WINERY / LOS RABANES
    Brian Hasbrook and I reviewed the scheduled in the media trailer and realized that we were scheduled to visit the Four Vines Winery staff for an interview and wine tasting.  We went out to the stage beside our media trailer and caught a little of the Panama band, Los Rabanes.  I texted Tom and Will and we met up again at their special party tent.   Not only did we conduct a short audio interview, but we also videoed our wine tasting experience for a Concert Blast Webisode (Webisode 12).   This crew was super friendly to us and invited us to attend their party later that evening for dinner, desserts, drinks, and a place to sit and rest!  Once we returned to Nashville, we each received a bottle of their delicious wine… Thank You!

    2014 Memphis In May Beale Street Music Festival - Jerry Lee Lewis

    2014 Memphis In May Beale Street Music Festival - Jerry Lee Lewis

    JERRY LEE LEWIS
    We hung out with the Four Vines Winery staff for a while until it was time to catch the Jerry Lee Lewis show.  We grabbed a golf cart ride to the his stage, walked in the photo pit, and arrived just as Jerry Lee was walking to his piano.  Jerry Lee Lewis had about 10,000 people at his show and they were all into his concert as he blasted out classic tunes such as; “Down The Line“, “Drinkin’ Wine Spo-Dee O’Dee“, “C.C. Rider“, “Sweet Little Sixteen“, “Rockin’ My Life Away“, and many others including his staples; “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” and “Great Balls of Fire“.  ”The Killer” may not have the physical spunk that he had as a younger performer and his voice may not be the best its ever has been, but fans from all over still want to see this legend perform.  After all, he is the last surviving member of the Million Dollar Quartet!

    2014 Memphis In May Beale Street Music Festival - Buddy Guy

    2014 Memphis In May Beale Street Music Festival - Buddy Guy

    BUDDY GUY
    There were two acts we wanted to cover, but they were performing at he same time on two different stages.  Brian went to take photos of Wolfmother, while Tom, Will, and I went to see the legendary blues/rock guitarist, Buddy Guy.  Earlier this year Tom Thompson and I covered Musicians Hall of Fame ceremony in Nashville, TN as they inducted Buddy Guy into the Musicians Hall of Fame in Nashville.  Unfortunately Buddy couldn’t attend the event so his friend from Jimi Hendrix‘s band, Billy Cox, accepted his award on his behalf.  We love talking with Billy Cox, but it would have been nice to meet Buddy Guy and watch him perform at the ceremony.  This Memphis in May concert proved why he is in the Musicians Hall of Fame.  The 78 year old singer/guitarist also took stage to about 10,000 fans and played many blues/rock tunes including “Hoochie Coochie Man“, “74 Years Young“, and many other standards.  There were times he expressed profanity in a comedic way and cutting up with the crowd, but the best line he had was, “I’m gonna play something so funky you can taste it!”  Unfortunately we could not capture any of  Buddy Guy‘s music due to the loud bass in the photo pit which made it way too distorted to enjoy.

    2014 Memphis In May Beale Street Music Festival - Joan Jett

    2014 Memphis In May Beale Street Music Festival - Joan Jett

    JOAN JETT & THE BLACK HEARTS
    Once we left the photo pit, we had to return to the media trailer to get ready to meet Joan Jett before she took the stage for her concert.  We definitely didn’t want to be too late for another opportunity to talk to our NYC pal again!  We made it to the backstage area in time to meet her tour manager, Ed Sargent, who didn’t know us and made it more difficult, but things finally worked out, thanks to the Memphis in May security team for speaking up for us.  There were a line of fans backstage for a meet and greet with Joan.  Joan came out (looking better than ever) and greeted all the fans there with photos.  Then she met with the four of us, had a photo made, spent some time with me discussing her lasted album (Unvarnished) and her upcoming show set list.  I then turned and spoke with her manager/keyboardist, Kenny Laguna.  He remembered us and we reminisced about our interview with him several years ago.
    We left the backstage area and all four of us went straight to the photo pit as Joan Jett & the Blackhearts prepared to take the stage to the largest crowd we’ve seen all day.  There were over 20,000 fans there waiting in

    2014 Memphis In May Beale Street Music Festival - Joan Jett

    2014 Memphis In May Beale Street Music Festival - Joan Jett

    anticipation to see the classic female rocker.  Joan and her band took the stage to one of her signature opening songs, “Bad Reputation” followed by the Runaways hit, “Cherry Bomb“, and continuing with the popular drum rhythm and sing along, “Do You Wanna Touch Me“.  The crowd sang along with, “Yeah! Oh Yeah! Oh Yeah!” while Joan stripped off her black jacket which displayed her red leather looking jumpsuit… and she looked gorgeous in red!
    It was time for us to leave the photo pit, but the party kept going with new songs such as “TMI“, “Soulmates To Strangers“, “Make It Back“, “Fragile“, and “Any Weather“.  She also threw out some obscure material; “The French Song“, “Love Is Pain” and another Runaways tune, “You Drive Me Wild” (which Joan mentioned that was the first song she wrote).  She closed her set with more party rock tunes that made her the rock icon she is; “I Love Rock and Roll“, “Crimson and Clover“, and “I Hate Myself For Loving You“.  The middle of the show sort of dragged with th eobscure material, but the main disappointment was there was no encore with “Everyday People” and “AC/DC“.  We still loved it!

    2014 Memphis In May Beale Street Music Festival - Kid Rock

    2014 Memphis In May Beale Street Music Festival - Kid Rock

    KID ROCK
    After Joan Jett‘s set, it seemed about half the crowd disappreared, but withing 20 minutes the place was filled once again with approximately 20,000 rock/rap fans.  A curtain covered the stage symbolizing a large white sheet style.  This was used not only to keep those in attendance from seeing the stage, but to be used as a way to display the silhouette of Kid Rock as the show was about to kick into full gear.
    The intro music of Journey‘s “Don’t Stop Believin’” started and played until the special line of the song where the crowd took over the singing; “Born and Raised in South Detroit!“.  This changed gears as we witnessed the foul mouth Kid Rock‘s silhouette on the curtain while he began his first number of the night, “Devil Without A Cause” (of course filled with all sorts of profanity).  This was followed by a few fun songs; “God Bless Saturday“, “It Feels Good To Me“, and “Wasting Time” before heading back into more attitude songs; “Forever” (with mixing in the Rush hit “Tom Sawyer” as the intro) and “American Bad A**“.  Finally came the reason the reason that Joan Jett didn’t have her typical encore, as he continued with Sly and the Family Stone‘s “Everyday People“.

    2014 Memphis In May Beale Street Music Festival - Kid Rock

    2014 Memphis In May Beale Street Music Festival - Kid Rock

    Later came the Allman Brothers Band‘s “Midnight Rider” (which he changed to “Detroit Rider“).  In this song he mentioned, “No, they ain’t gonna catch me, because I’m a cowboy baby!“, which introduced his hit, “Cowboy“.  He continued the show by showing us his turntable skills, which is why the call him “The Rock“.  The hits continued the show with his most popular sing-along, “Picture“.  This was followed by the Kid saying “I feel a little revival coming on!” as he went into the fun rocker, “Rock and Roll Jesus“.  The hit’s kept coming with an upbeat version of “Only God Knows Why“.  I loved the extra line he included, “Knuckleheads wanna fight with me and now I can’t hang out at the Waffle House.” (which brought a huge cheer!).   Before continuing, Kid Rock mentioned, “Thank you once again for spending your hard-earned money so we can come play for you.  We appreciate it.”  ”I wanna know if you still believe that you live in the greatest country in the world?” As he counted off the intro while playing the piano during the song intro of “Born Free“.  He continued by asking if we were still having a good time and mentioned it’s been a long winter, but summer’s here, as he continued with “All Summer Long“.  Most everyone sang along and danced to the country cross-over hit.  When the song ended, sirens were blasting through the PA speakers along with a lot of musical noise before the front man screamed his name, “My Name Is Kiiiiiiid Rooooock!”  as he ended his set with “Bawitdaba“.

    2014 Memphis In May Beale Street Music Festival

    2014 Memphis In May Beale Street Music Festival

    RECAP
    Of course we had a great time at the 2014 Memphis in May Beale Street Music Festival.  Our favorite act for Saturday was Joan Jett & the Blackhearts.  Other Honorable Mentions: Buddy Guy, Wolfmother, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, and Jerry Lee Lewis.  We agreed that Kid Rock’s show was a good one with a lot of energy, but his heavy profanity ruined his show for us.  Our favorites for the entire weekend were Joan Jett & the Blackhearts with Fitz and the Tantrums coming in second and Buddy Guy placing third.
    We would like to thank the Memphis in May staff for being so polite and not only willing to help us, but wanting to help us!  The best staff we’ve worked with at any festival. Thank you Holy Ford for allowing us the opportunity to cover this festival… We Loved It!
    Written by Mike Arnold

     


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