Carl and I returned Sunday, to one of our favorite shows of the summer; The Flatrock RiverFest.
Always fun. Always a great time.
This year was no exception. Or, was it?
We started playing in Flat Rock about four summers ago, when we did a car show, just across the train tracks, and down in the summer grass of Hurok Park.
Picturesque, you might say. The perfect setting for a summer gathering. This year, the weather was truly superb, and it brought out even more people.
There were kids, there were pets, music lovers, friends, activists, fair attendees, families and even wrestlers.
Yep, just part of the fun and unique line-up of entertainment on hand during the rewarding weekend.
For our part, we were hired to man the beer tent. Two half-hour shows before and during breaks on the main stage when bands were changing.
We can do that. We love just being part of the entire experience.
The honorable mayor, Jonathan Dropiewski has taken pride in providing a family friendly atmosphere that will keep the wonderful people of Flat Rock coming back, year after year.
The mayor also does everything that he can, to promote local artists, performers and musical acts during this event.
The silver van arrived early and allowed us ample time to set up in anticipation of another amazing day of music and fun. Soon, the big stage came alive when the Mayor introduced the first talented group of the day: The Roosters.
The Roosters played straight-up rock and roll music, to the delight of the slowly awakening fair-goers. Van Morrison, Badfinger and Bob Seger echoed throughout the park. They made a great connection with an very appreciative audience.
Song selection is a huge part of a bands’ identity with an audience. The music is the thing; and the Roosters knew it.
Great job guys!
So, it was time for Carl and I to crank things up and take charge of the beer tent!
Ok, just kidding.
We were doing an acoustic set, so we eased into it, and tried to not be too loud, so as not to drown out the dancing girls who were putting on a show on the main stage.
They did a lot of jumping around, and wiggling to the beat. Ahhhh…. always worth watching.
Strolling around the park gave us time to take in all the wonderful sights, sounds and smells of this picturesque setting.
The vendor booths, the local clubs and groups beckoned to take a look, while the food nearly assaulted our noses as we walked down the path.
Fun was waiting right around the corner, as we came across a big ring of wrestlers electrifying the hometown crowd.
It was all in good fun, but just like on TV, some of the fair-goers took it pretty seriously.
Time to get back to the big stage and see what was about to begin.
Next up after we finished was a band called Atomic Radio. They started hot right out of the gate with a song by The Outfield.
Not easy to sing.
Wait, let me amend that . . . . IMPOSSIBLE to sing by most mortal singers. That being said, these guys nailed it!
If you think that they did one amazing song and then took a break: No way! They kept cranking out rock hits for more than two hours.
These guys cranked things up to a whole new level.
Song after song, rock anthem after rock anthem exploded from their fingers as the crowd began to swell on this pleasant valley Sunday.
Soon their encores were resonating throughout the park while Carl and I grabbed our instruments and serenaded everyone within earshot of the Level Pebble Pub – Beer Tent.
We joined once again with the audience by playing nearly every request that we were asked.
However, just as we began to get in the groove, it was time for us to pass the musical torch to the headline act of the day: Rock Show
Most bands like water, seek their own level eventually. Translation: it might take a little while, but you will eventually hear the difference with most groups.
Bands that play in the garage tend to encapsulate that sound. Bands that do weddings, bands that play small venues, like pubs and bistros have more of an “intimate” sound.
Bands that play professionally. Bands that tour. Bands that play on the “big” stages throughout our great land tend to sound professional.
Rock Show is one of those bands.
When they hit the stage, everyone knows it. The sound, the costumes, the poise. The musicianship all running at the highest levels.
All of those tenants were evident when Rock Show exploded onto the stage. They were truly amazing to listen to. They did the best of the music from the golden era of rock: Kiss, Rush, Journey, Foreigner; just to name a few.
They were spot on with each and every song. The best thing that set them apart from any other group that I have listened to was the lead singer, Tommy K.
Others have tried, but to my ear, only Tommy has come close to covering anything that the great Steve Perry has done.
If you ever get the chance to hear this band, I urge you to not hesitate.
Yes, they are THAT good!
With the big stage now empty, it was time for Carl and I to climb back into the silver van for our exciting trip back home.
We look forward to Flatrock every year now, and hope that we will be back in 2018 to make more memories.