Friday, June 10, 2011

(Re)Discover Chattanooga - Riverbend

Riverbend starts tonight!

Since I moved back to Chattanooga I've been excited about Riverbend. Add the fact that some of my favorite people from Clemson coming to visit & hear some music - I'm even more excited.

9 days, 5 stages, and over 100 bands, $30. Here's a list of what I'm most excited to hear, and some information about the festival.

  1. The Machine (Sun 6/12, 9:30, Coca-Cola Stage): America’s top Pink Floyd tribute show, The Machine has forged a 20 year reputation of excellence, extending the legacy of Pink Floyd, while creating one all their own. The New York based band focuses on making every show an authentic Floydian experience. Performing “Dark Side of the Moon” with the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra, Luther Dickinson and Jeff Coffin, this will be one of the biggest, boldest visual show ever launched from the Coca Cola Stage. I'm really excited about Pink Floyd & the Chatt. Symphony on the banks of the TN River. This is the show people are coming in town for!
  2. JJ Grey & Mofro (Fri 6/17/11, 7:45, Bug Light Stage): JJ Grey has written and recorded five albums of original songs steeped in the Rhythm & Blues, Rock, and Country soul of his native backwoods home outside Jacksonville, Florida. Grey and Mofro fuse rock with plenty of soul, groove-heavy blues, and dirty, infectious funk. I have tried twice to see these guys, and plans have always fallen through. I'm going to make this happen. Third time's a charm right?
  3. Ickybod Crankin (Fri 6/17, 6:15, TVFCU Stage): An ambient alternative rock band considered by many to be the city’s best. Or, at least, best kept musical secret. I went to school with Dan "Danimal" Pinson, and this will be the first time I've heard him play since I moved back. I'm a bad friend.
  4. North Mississippi Allstars Duo (Sun 6/12, 7:45, Bug Light Stage) : Luther and Cody Dickinson from The North Mississippi Allstars strip it down to the raw essentials of guitars and drums. Sons of the Mississippi Hill Country legendary producer, Jim Dickinson, the boys created their own sound that thousands have tried to mimic. I've heard a lot about these guys from my music loving friends, and I can't wait to hear them live.
  5. Perpetual Groove (Sat 6/18, 8:00, Unum Stage): The dictionary definition of an American jam band. Originating in 1997 in Savannah, Georgia they incorporate a blend of traditional Southern rock, funk, jazzy improvisation, indie rock and synth loops into a hypnotic, powerful, and ultimately danceable barrage of light and sound. I like P. Groove, and the last time I saw them was at a medium size venue in SC. I doubt I'll be backstage this time, but it should still be a fun show.
  6. Dirty Guv’nahs (Fri 6/17, 7:45, TVFCU Stage): Voted Knoxville’s best band 3 years in a row by the Metro Pulse Readers, this 6 member band’s sound has a Little Rock, Blues, Country, and Soul. Watch these guys conquer the marquis’ of America’s biggest Festivals in years to come. I follow these guys on twitter. Not a crazy active account, but enough personality I want to give them a listen.
  7. Acoustic Syndicate (Thur 6/16, 7:45, TVFCU Stage): Formed in 1992, Acoustic Syndicate is a rock/folk/bluegrass band from North Carolina. Wildly popular through the 90’s and early in the new century, they’re back following a long hiatus and sounding better than ever. Another band that I've heard about from my music loving friends, but I've never heard live.
  8. Johnny Folsom 4 (Fri 6/10, 6:30, Unum Stage): From “A Boy Named Sue” to “Ring of Fire,” four of Raleigh’s favorite musical sons pay tribute to the Man in Black with the Johnny Folsom Four. True to the Mr. Cash’s poetic spirit, the JF4 promises an honest and entertaining performance for fans of all ages. I don't think I'm going to make it tonight. The first night is always a little too crazy for me. But if I went, I'd like to see these guys.
  9. Sky Hi Funk (Mon 6/13, 5:15, Stage III): Sky Hi is a diverse group of musicians based in the Murfreesboro, TN area which specializes in quality funk, groove, and soul music. Watch for the happy crowd…they’ll be in the middle of it. I've never been to "The Strut", but these guys sounded like fun, and since I'm going this year, its pretty sweet that I'll be able to cross a band off my want to see list at the same time.
  10. Stratospheerius (Fri 6/17, 7:45, TVFCU Stage): a musical group of the Jam Band and Funk genres, in a style they call “psychojazz trip funk”. The New York-based group won Best Jam Song in The 4th Annual Independent Music Awards. Led by Russian born singer/violinist/songwriter Joe Deninzon, their influences include Frank Zappa, Mahavishnu Orchestra, John Medeski, Bela Fleck and Dave Matthews Band. This is the only band on my list that has a time conflict with someone else. Since this will be my 3rd attempt to see JJ Grey & Mofro, I probably won't be catching much of this show. I will be there for the bands before & after, so hopefully I will hear a little bit.
  11. Carolina Chocolate Drops (Sat 6/18, 6:00, Bud Light Stage): 3 young, black musicians, Dom Flemons, Rhiannon Giddens, and Justin Robinson formed a band in tribute to Joe Thompson, an 80 year old, old-time fiddler. They’re named after the Tennessee Chocolate Drops, who lit up the music scene in the 30’s. Rolling Stone magazine described them as “dirt-floor dance electricity”. Recently took home the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album “Genuine Negro Jig.” Grammy winners named Carolina Chocolate Drops...sign me up.
  12. Chattanooga All Stars (Sat 6/18, 7:15, TN Lottery Stage): The Chattanooga All Stars are the “Riverbang!” standouts and “stars” of various local bands of many genres. Think of it as the “dream team” of local music. This one is going to be interesting for me. I loved my "Clemson All Stars" and I think this will give me a good feel for how good the local music scene really is here. It will be interesting to see how they measure up.

Riverbend Information:

Pins: General Admission Pins could be puchased from May 1 - June 9 at midnight for $30. Gate price starting June 10 is $40. One night wristbands are $24 and can be purchased at the entry gates. Senior citizen and military one night passes are discounted to $12.
Festival tokens are valued at $.50 cents each, and are used for all food and beverage purchases. Token Centers are also located throughout the festival where they are sold at face value. Tokens are good for all days of the festival, except for the Bessie Smith Strut. Tokens are nonrefundable, but may be used at the 2012 Riverbend Festival.Parking: Plenty of paid parking is available throughout downtown Chattanooga. Shuttle buses will be available for $1 per ride from 6PM-12:15AM every night of the festival, except during the Bessie Smith Strut (Monday, June 13th). Parking is available at Finley Stadium and the Chattanooga Choo Choo. The shuttle will drop patrons off at the corner of 3rd and Bro ad Streets.Alcohol: Age verification wristbands are required for all alcoholic beverage consumption. Wristbands are available at all token and beer locations. . All alcohol sales will cease 15 minutes before the final show is scheduled to end. All other concessions will close when the last show is over.
Blanket Seating: Bring a blanket and stretch out on the lawn in front of the Coca-Cola Stage for only $10 a person (per night) with your Riverbend admission pin. Wristbands available at the Main Gate located at Chestnut and 2nd Street, and at the entrance to the Blanket Seating area.
: Boaters can enter the festival through the Walnut Street Pier Gate, but admission pins must be purchased in advance.

More Riverbend Info
Facebook - @RBFestival

* Bonnaroo tickets are going for $300. Way too much for my budget.
**Band descriptions & festival information as shown on the Official Riverbend website.

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