Hi folks! We’re writing to you from our media headquarters for the weekend, here at the Napa BottleRock music festival. This is our second year covering it, and it’s also the second year the festival has been put together at the Napa Valley Expo in California’s wine country.
If you saw our coverage last year, you saw our photos of acts like The Black Keys, Jane’s Addiction, The Flaming Lips, and Bad Religion… with interviews ranging from RNDM (featuring Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament), Grammy-winning harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite (credits include INXS, Muddy Waters, and Eddie Vedder) to cast members of the Daily Show and comedians Natasha Leggero and Jim Breuer.
This year, the lineup is much of a who’s-who from the 1990s: Weezer, Third Eye Blind, Spin Doctors, Sublime with Rome, Outkast, Smash Mouth, Barenaked Ladies, Cracker, LL Cool J, and Gin Blossoms… with 80’s heavy-hitters The Cure and Heart, among others.
Day 1: MAY 30TH, 2014
The show is kicking into gear and crowds are showing up. So far the most impressive performance has come from the Chicago-based band Empires. Although their stage presence was mediocre, they sounded virtually perfect on the Sprint Stage.
There’s a photographer here wearing a full body harness. All I know is that he’s “going up” on some contraption and is afraid of heights. Kinda wanna see this.
Our photos today will mostly focus on Matisyahu, TV on the Radio, Gin Blossoms, and The Cure.
3:10pm – Like good energetic blues? Karl Denison’s Tiny Universe is crazy good live.
4:40pm – Matisyahu was surprisingly awesome. Such a cool vibe and energy.
6:00pm – TV on the Radio – Not bad. Some cool grooves. Not much to watch on stage though.
7:10pm – Gin Blossoms – Cool to hear those songs I knew so well in the 90’s in person.
7:30pm – The Cure – Sounded fantastic. Looked fantastic. Great set list. Robert Smith’s voice sounded absolutely perfect.
Day 2: MAY 31ST, 2014
1:30pm – Cracker hits the Toshiba stage, starting off with some well-known tunes.
1:30pm – Dog Day King brought some unexpected heaviness to the lineup. Seemingly out of place (only because of the band roster), this Las Vegas quartet channels sounds from Tool to old-era Pearl Jam… with some wailing vocals.
4:30pm – Smash Mouth brings an energetic set to the Miner Winery Stage, dissing Third Eye Blind along the way.
6:00pm – Weezer hits the Toshiba Stage with arguably to most interactive crowd of the whole festival. It helps when your songs are timeless sing-a-longs, and when you cover Blur’s “Song 2” when the band changes instruments. Rivers Cuomo moved to drums, and Pat Wilson took over guitar and vocals.
8:45pm – Heart came rumbling onto the Sprint stage with rockin’ guitar riffs, great stage presence, and one hell of a knockout vocal performance by Nancy Wilson.