bottle rock

I think Shakespeare might have been seeing into the future of BottleRock when he said “parting is such sweet sorrow.”  True story: on the last day of the inaugural festival in 2013, I remember thinking that I was like a kid at summer camp; I wanted to just keep coming back, but I knew that if I showed up the next day, all my friends would be gone and it would just be a big, sad mess that would leave me emotionally scarred.  Thankfully, though, after an amazing Day One and a lovely Day Two, I still had a whole final day to see, and this time, my bestie had come to join the fun. [read the whole post]

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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

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Ahhhh, BottleRock. It’s hands-down my favorite time of year. What could be better than waking up to the sounds of fantastic headliners sound-checking from my open bedroom window? (This year, specifically, it happened twice: once with Imagine Dragons, and again with No Doubt. Not bad. Not bad at all.) Anyway, besides the excellent wake-up call, it’s all mild May weather in my gorgeous hometown of Napa, full of the best food, wine, and beer you can find with fantastic bands. I’ve never missed a day of this festival’s three years (and counting), and hope I never have to. Here’s what you missed this year: [read the whole post]

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Noah Gunderson. (Photo by Bob McClenahan)

Noah Gunderson. (Photo by Bob McClenahan)

After full days Friday and Saturday, you might think I’d have been a little worn out by Day three of BottleRock Napa Valley. Not me: I was ready with bells on, and perched directly in front of the Sprint stage early in the day for Noah Gundersen to kick it all off. His set began with Noah on acoustic guitar, a woman playing the violin, and a drummer. The three sang wonderful harmony, and before long were joined by the electrics: initially a bass and a guitar, but there were some keys mixed in for good measure, too. To top it all off, Gundersen played a bit of the harmonica in places as well. “We’re really trying to kick your Sunday off with a bang,” he said, adding that there were “usually a lot more people in the drinking section.” I noted that this was the first band whose entire discography I wanted to download as soon as I got home. (I haven’t yet, but still intend to.) I don’t know how else to describe their sound but “electric folk,” which is to say that it was like nothing I’d ever heard, and I loved it. [read the whole post]

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Local reggae band Pion 2 Zion jams just inside the gate.

Local reggae band Pion 2 Zion jams just inside the gate.

Day 2 of BottleRock Napa Valley 2014 got off on the right foot for me with Napa Point Brewing‘s BottleRock IPA and a special, very acoustic treat: local reggae band Pion 2 Zion were playing with absolutely no electricity (unless you count a battery-powered megaphone that died partway through). I’ve known members of this band for years: I was first introduced to them by their former drummer, a then-coworker of mine. In the years since, there have been a few lineup changes, but the current drummer, Gary Paddock, is another former coworker of mine. Moreover, I’ve known the current lead vocalist and saxophonist, Chad Schuler, since elementary school. It’s a small town, it’s bound to happen, right? Anyway, as I said yesterday, I’m admittedly not big into reggae, but these guys have always been an exception. They’re a really great band, they have local fans who truly love them, and I’ve never seen someone not enjoy hearing the band play live. [read the whole post]

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This massive Sterling wine barrel adorned with speakers serves as an iconic BottleRock logo.  (Photo by Kara E. Murphy)

This massive Sterling wine barrel adorned with speakers serves as an iconic BottleRock logo. (Photo by Kara E. Murphy)

Ahhh, BottleRock. Last year, it was surreal that my tiny hometown had put together such a terrific festival. And then the bottom fell out. While I won’t go into the specifics of why most of the year was a matter of “will they or won’t they?”, I will say that there were more than a few skeptics about the likelihood of a BottleRock 2014. I never lost hope, and was thrilled when it was finally announced that our festival hadn’t died after its first year. This year’s lineup boasted headliners Eric Church, Outkast, and The Cure! Other acts included Heart, Weezer, The Fray, Smashmouth, Third Eye Blind, Matisyahu, Sublime with Rome, and many, many more. On top of that, what (I think) makes this festival cooler than any other is that it’s situated right smack in the middle of Napa’s lovely climate, and offers an overwhelming array of options from our local food and wine lover’s paradise. [read the whole post]

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Spinning Platters Weekly Guide to Bay Area Concerts, 5/29/14-5/28/14

May 29, 2014

Thursday, May 29th

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BottleRock 2013 Review: Napa’s Inaugural Music, Wine, and Food Festival

May 15, 2013

When rumors about the first ever BottleRock Napa festival began to circulate, they were impressive: early flyers listed Dave Matthews Band and Pearl Jam as headliners (neither was ever confirmed). Still, the festival had the attention of the Napa Valley and surrounding music lovers long ago. Once the final lineup had been released and tickets […]

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