BottleRock Napa Valley 2017 Festival Journal, Day 2

by Stacy Scales on June 4, 2017

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers headline Saturday at BottleRock Napa Valley 2017 (Photo credit: BottleRock Napa Valley / Latitude 38 Entertainment)

This year’s Saturday at BottleRock Napa Valley promised to be a beautiful warm and breezy 75 degrees, the perfect weather for a festival full of good music, great food and all the beer, wine, and cocktails you can handle! Once again, there were more acts scheduled than was possible to see all at once, so I had to pick and choose pieces of sets from the bands I most wanted to see to make it all work. (For example, who wants to decide between House of Pain and Bishop Briggs? I wanted to “jump around” and jam out with Ms. Briggs…

2017’s wine garden at BottleRock Napa Valley (Photo credit: BottleRock Napa Valley / Latitude 38 Entertainment)

You’re reading Day 2 be sure to check out what you missed on Day 1!

When first I arrived at the Expo, my schedule was fairly straightforward. Before anything else, I made my way to the VIP Village to grab lunch and a drink. While I was waiting, I could hear James Hersey from the JaM Cellars Stage. I couldn’t shake the thought that he sounded a lot like Chris Martin of Coldplay, which I intend as a compliment he was awesome. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see him at all or listen to all of his set, but I’ll definitely be giving him another listen soon.

By the way, I have to give a shout-out to one of the two best things I ate all weekend, which came from Sonoma County’s own The Farmer’s Wife. (They don’t have a brick and mortar location yet, but will soon be opening one in Sebastopol. I’ll be waiting with bells on.) Festival food is notoriously expensive, yes, but I couldn’t resist coughing up a whopping $20 for an award-winning grilled cheese that consisted of a fried egg, avocado, chili-maple bacon, and goat cheese on sourdough. I have to tell you, it really was worth every penny. So good!

I made my way to the Samsung Stage for Seattle-based band DREAMERS, who I’m familiar with from all the hours I spend listening to Alt Nation. They paid tribute to Chris Cornell and when they played their hit “Sweet Disaster,” I wished I’d planned ahead to have a “river of champagne” ready to do it justice and represent Napa properly. Next I caught part of Judah & the Lion‘s set back at the JaM Cellars Stage. I managed to hear both of their biggest hits, “Suit and Jacket” and “Take It All Back,” which I enjoyed more live than I do when I hear them on the radio!

There are plenty of refreshment options available at BottleRock ((Photo credit: BottleRock Napa Valley / Latitude 38 Entertainment)

After hiking back over to the Samsung Stage, I stopped by to visit the good people of Humphry Slocombe for a sundae that promptly melted before I could finish it. I got to see most of 888‘s set, including “Seattle Rain,” “Older Now,” and the catchy delight that is “Critical Mistakes.” Back over on the main stage I caught part of Andra Day, who completely blew me away. If you ever have the chance to catch her live, do it! “Rise Up” was particularly fantastic.

At some point I had to make my way across the festival grounds again, this time to the Miner Family Winery Stage, where Mavis Staples would soon be wrapping up her set to make room for the aforementioned Bishop Briggs. I was really looking forward to hearing her live, particularly her singles “Wild Horses” and “River.” (My fave!) Staples’ set ran long, though, and in spite of my anticipation, I couldn’t help but be blown away by her. Mavis Staples is a name I’m familiar with, but until that day I couldn’t have told you a single thing about her. Now, though…wow. What a voice, and what a woman. She was very positive and inspiring, and talked about how she wanted to be President Staples. She closed with 1971’s “I’ll Take You There,” which is one of those songs everyone knows but doesn’t know much about. I thought was a cover until I got home and did my homework to discover it was originally done by the Staples Singers amazing! She had the crowd singing along, and it was far more heartfelt than most of the other crowd interactions I saw over the course of the weekend.

House of Pain jumps around with thousands on Saturday afternoon (Photo credit: BottleRock Napa Valley / Latitude 38 Entertainment)

Sadly, after Staples vacated the stage, word quickly spread through the dissipating crowd that Bishop Briggs had had to cancel her appearance at the very last minute. I admit, I was thoroughly disappointed, but I wasted no time high-tailing it back to the Samsung Stage all the same, in time to catch House of Pain doing “Jump Around,” which eased my pain effortlessly. After that it was time to make my way back to the JaM Cellars Stage, where I’d be for the rest of the evening, and make myself comfy for the last two acts of the night. First came Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals, who I’ve been wanting to see live for years now. I don’t know much of Harper’s music except hits “Diamonds on the Inside” and the phenomenal “Steal My Kisses,” both of which were decidedly fantastic in person.

Finally, there was nothing left to do but wait for Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers to take the stage and close out the day. (Well, unless you’re one of the thousands who opted instead to flock to the Miner Family Winery Stage, where Big Boi and The White Panda were about to host the largest silent disco in U.S. history. I would have liked to have been in two places at once yet again I’m sure that was a crazy, fun time!)

Tom Petty: genius at work (Photo credit: BottleRock Napa Valley / Latitude 38 Entertainment)

The White Panda & Big Boi host the U.S.’s biggest ever silent disco Saturday night (Photo credit: BottleRock Napa Valley / Latitude 38 Entertainment)

I’d seen Petty once before, a few years ago when he headlined Outside Lands, but I was still really looking forward to hearing all those hits again live. He and the Heartbreakers did not disappoint, playing “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” “You Don’t Know How It Feels,” “You Got Lucky” (a personal favorite), “I Won’t Back Down,” “Free Fallin’,” “Don’t Come Around Here No More” (another highlight), “It’s Good to Be King,” “Learning to Fly,” “Refugee,” and “American Girl,” among others. There’s something so fun about seeing a band with such a rich history that they’ve managed to last to the point that they’re still making music even as their older hits are being played on classic rock stations. This is why we have the term “living legend,” right? And after all those talented musicians we lost in 2017 (and two quite recently), we have to seize every opportunity like this that we have while we can, right?

Quite a crowd in attendance for Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (Photo credit: BottleRock Napa Valley / Latitude 38 Entertainment)

Still one more day left to enjoy stay tuned for Day 3!

Stacy Scales

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

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