BottleRock Napa Valley 2015 Festival Journal, Day 2

by Stacy Scales on July 7, 2015

After a smashingly successful day one, I couldn’t wait to see what BottleRock 2015 had in store for me on Day Two. I got a bit of a late start and arrived just in time for Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts.  This is one of the things I love most about the typical BRNV lineup: excellent blasts from the past, and you get a chance to see them in a whole new way.  (In BRNV years past I’ve been treated to Weezer, Heart, and the Spin Doctors, to name a few.)  I overheard someone saying that they thought the Wildabouts were “very STP,” and I can’t say I entirely agree.  Sure, it’s been quite a while since I heard much Stone Temple Pilots on the radio (much less even listened to the radio…), but I loved them, and so I remember enough.  Weiland and his Wildabouts were fun to watch, sounded great, and Weiland definitely still has the chops, but I think the biggest similarity between the two groups is simply Scott Weiland himself (and perhaps that both fall into the genre of rock).

Scott Weiland & the Wildabouts

Scott Weiland & the Wildabouts

Next it was over to the main stage for The Avett Brothers, who I’ll admit I didn’t know were actually brothers.  (Well, two of them, anyway.)  I remember “I and Love and You,” but I don’t know if know a single other fact (or tune) of this band’s besides.  But what is a festival for if not discovering uncharted music?  Add in that the band is folksy, bluegrass rock, it’s a gorgeous, breezy sunny day, and I have a beer?  I’m in.  And they didn’t let me down.  Both brothers Avett are really fun to watch, and every member of the band is quite talented in his (or her) own right, which comes together really beautifully.  They were a perfect addition to a lovely Saturday.

The Avett Brothers (the band).

The Avett Brothers (the band).

The (actual) Avett Brothers.

The (actual) Avett Brothers.

Heading back over to the “other” main stage in time for Capital Cities, I knew from last year’s Outside Lands that this band really brings a good time with them on stage, and BottleRock proved no different.  Ryan Merchant is a lovely, lovely man, first and foremost, and who doesn’t like a little eye-candy while their ears are happy, too?  A liv trumpeteer was a perfect touch; I’m always happy to hear/see real instruments vs. just loops when possible.  I didn’t hear their entire set, but I managed to make it back in time for “Safe and Sound,” which is such a crowd-pleaser, especially when they’ve got everyone in the whole crowd waving articles of clothing around in the air, as is their wont. So. Much. ENERGY!

Capital Cities' Ryan Merchant with Manny Quintero on bass.

Capital Cities’ Ryan Merchant with Manny Quintero on bass.

Sebu Simonian

Sebu Simonian

Spencer Ludwig on trumpet.

Spencer Ludwig on trumpet.

Finally, as always, there were two final sets: the main headliner, Robert Plant, and Passion Pit.  Because Plant was one of the few with restrictions on the photo pit, the lovely & talented Kara Murphy and I hit separate sets to be sure to have both of them covered.  I have to say, I don’t know much about Passion Pit.  I know they’re huge among indietronica fans, and while that’s never really been my cup of tea, I definitely tried to give them a chance.  Turns out, they’re just not for me.  I couldn’t get past Angelakos’ falsetto, which just really displeased my ears.  I’m sorry, you guys, I tried to be one of the cool kids.  Can I please still sit with you at lunch?

Passion Pit frontman Michael Angelakos

Passion Pit frontman Michael Angelakos

Meanwhile, Kara was at the main stage, enjoying the legendary Robert Plant.  Here’s what she had to say about the show (and yes, I’m quoting her directly, because she’s awesome and I wanted to):

Plant was enigmatic, he covered Willie Dixon twice, did an awesome montage of Hoochie Coochie Man/You Need Love/Whole Lotta Love/Who Do You Love/Whole Lotta Love by Muddy Waters / Willie Dixon / Led Zeppelin / Bo Diddley respectively and closed out on a high note with Led Zeppelin’s Rock n’ Roll. In fact, I’d say more than half of the songs were some of Zeppelin’s greatest hits including Black Dog and Going to Heaven. Thankfully, he didn’t perform Stairway to Heaven. That has to be Radiohead’s “Creep.”

Robert Plant, the man.

Robert Plant, the man. (Photo by Kara E. Murphy)

the myth...

…the myth… (Photo by Kara E. Murphy)

THE LEGEND.  (Kara E. Murphy photo)

THE LEGEND. (Photo by Kara E. Murphy)

So, am I sorry I didn’t go with my gut instinct and see Plant over Passion Pit?  Absolutely.  But that’s the way it goes at festivals: you take some risks, and sometimes they pay off (like the aforementioned Spin Doctors, at last year’s BRNV), and sometimes they don’t (like Kanye West at last year’s Outside Lands).  But you move on, and in my case, I had one more stellar day (three) to look forward to, as well as my bestie to share it with!

Stacy Scales

California native. Word nerd. Music lover. Linguaphile. Amateur foodie. Basketball junkie. Travel enthusiast. Future therapist.

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