Bluesfest Day 1
Well a shitload of rain did not distract people descending on Bluesfest 2017, and the first night had some great acts, and maybe even too much choice. The ground underfoot was firm, getting around was ok with an absence of mud- so far…. I’m sure the ground will get chopped up in coming days… But each year the venue is better set up.
I’m only going on my tour of duty for the night, which I betted quite a bit in as you usually do at Bluesfest. First up and my favourite of the night was LA blues rockers and solemn, Vintage Trouble. The sound was a little muddy at the start, but once they got rocking there was no stopping. Tyler, the dynamo front man had the audience in the palm of his hand, dancing and moving like James Brown, a brilliant voice and made sure the whole time the heart and the minds of the crowd were with him.
Tyler then topped it off, moving into the centre of the crowd then diving into the crowd who helped him crowd surf to the front of the stage, sometime like he was freestyle and backstroke swimming, the crowd nearly dropping him once, but they kept it together. How was that? That was the call from those who witnessed the performance.
The band was snap-tight, the 3 piece enhanced with a bit of keyboards. Pumping bass, searing guitar and Tyler doing paybacks on his mic stand, it was the best performance of the night. First band I saw, so definitely a good start.
Then a wander over to the Crossroads tent via the organic doughnut tent, had us checking out the Miles Electric Band – Very tripping, it was like stoner rock meets jazz, meets blues. Long songs, up and down mood swings, and the combination between the pasta haired, mirrored sunglasses wearing guitarist and the keyboard player was a great, and a unique syncronicity going on…..
Back to Mojo we wandered and lookout it was Courtney Barnett. I love how courtney has a simple raw sound and yet has complex melodies and intriguing lyrics and tones. She really looks like a female androgynous Kurt Cobain, and some of her rhythm and melodies and much in the Nirvana style but with Courtney laconic wit, voice and lyrics thrown in. Great music but it is not a stage show it is the music only which she does well, though I suspect her voice was a bit sub par with a few screams and notes cut short. the crowd did love it and the performance was good.
Off next to the Jambalaya Stage, and an old favourite of mine the ever entertaining, Trombone Shorty. The crowd was grooving and moving, and the band was keeping the whole thing full and flowing. Yep, you can help but to get your body moving to Trombone Shorty. The mix of electric guitar, thumping bass horn section and the man with the wingspan, Trombone Shorty himself, Troy Andrews, was singer and playing up a storm. A short break and it was back to Mojo Stage to check out the grand woman herself, Patti Smith.
It was a big crowd that awaited Patti Smith, the spritely 71 year old playing her debut album Horses, and her performance was great. She apologised for her voice, her big Australian tour taking effect on the original punk poet, but I hope at 71 I could even walk as well as her, let alone give a passioned and powerful performance that she did. She put everything into it and the audience was more than impressed even the seated section at the back of the tent were on their feet giving a standing ovation. I’m looking forward to the acoustic set on Good Friday.
Unfortunately I did not stay for NAS, but it is a marathon not a sprint so I left something in the tank for the next four day… Here we go.