Pretty light shows, friends and booze used to be the things I loved about festivals, until this year when I got to experience things as an insider and follow rock stars around like a little school girl.
They call me Brannon Very Important Person Roberts.
Back in June, I danced my face off at our annual two-night Mountain Music Festival. I had been to MMFest the previous year and enjoyed myself a little too much then, but this year was even better. Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band brought ALL the funk, and if you’ve ever seen them you know their contagious energy is incomparable. Always a crowd favorite.
But if I’m being honest, I was most anticipating the Del McCoury Band, as I have been known to geek out over some bluegrass. They warmed my soul with their heavenly harmonies and Del’s perfect, angel white hair and fluorescent smile flawlessly complemented their twangy melodies.
The second night, psychedelic Papadosio hypnotized myself and the crowd with their jammy, out-of-this-universe sound. They altered the whole vibe of the crowd as a sense of electric awe permeated through the night air. Big Something crushed it and left us all buzzed and satisfied when they closed the show, especially with their epic encore team-up with Booty Band. Secretly hoping Big Something will come back for every music festival we ever have from now on.
Several other talented bands took the stage over the course of the festival keeping the energy level sky high while providing a soundtrack to the kind of summer nights we live for. You don’t have to take my word for it, though. Check out this video recap to get a taste for yourself:
Now, Party in the Holler (Sept. 12) was a different, but equally euphoric experience. With a minor obsession for The Wood Brothers, I kind of followed them around (stalker-status) that day, but I feel like Oliver Wood and I sort of became besties because of it, so all is well. See…
From Asheville, the Josh Daniels/Mark Schimick Project opened up for the brothers riverside at Sweet’s Falls (class V rapid on the Gauley River). This was the very first time live music has ever been performed there. This band was awesome and had me smiling and foot-stomping their whole 30-minute set. (Shout out to Drew, their guitarist, who got stuck in the car with Kristen and I. Lovely character! #HotChickSafari)
So here I am, high on life already and it’s not even noon. After The Wood Bros wrapped up their awesome set at Sweet’s for all of our rafters stopping to eat lunch, we headed back to ACE. That evening, muddy, wet field and all, tons of people came out and got to experience the bliss with me. The SteelDrivers gave us a phenomenal bluegrass concert and had me swooning over lead singer Gary Nichols’ crazy-skilled vocals. So, obviously, I made him take a picture with me backstage.
The Wood Brothers performed like something straight out of a dream. These boys delivered and catered to our expectations and then some. I stood there singing along, swaying back and forth like a normal fan should, but after a drink or six I found myself on stage, dancing right alongside Oliver. Sorry, not sorry. Although there was no evidential footage of that occurrence, it will forever be replayed in my mind.
Here’s a video recap for us all to commemorate that beautiful night:
So, this was my Mountain Music Festival/Party in the Holler 2015 experience in a tiny nutshell (thank you for caring) and I can only imagine what next year will hold, although they probably won’t let me go backstage again. Too excited to breathe!
2016 MMFest will be on June 3 and 4, Party in the Holler TBA. Stay tuned for lineup announcements and more.