"To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield"
- Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1833

"live deep and suck out all the marrow of life"
- Henry David Thoreau, 1845

"Some guys, they just give up living
And start dying little by little, piece by piece
Some guys come home from work and wash up,
And go racin' in the streets."
- Bruce Springsteen, 1977

"...to the heart, there's no time for you to waste.
You won't find your precious answers now
by staying in one place."
- Frank Turner, 2009

"The best things in life aren't things.
They're living and breathing."
- Michael Franti , 2011

"I owned every second that this world could give,
I saw so many places, the things that I did"
- Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, 2014

All written content and photos by Rob Fulfer unless otherwise indicated.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Making "The Pilgrimage" to good music

Saturday, Sept. 26 and Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015  

This weekend we attended the first-ever Pilgrimage Music and Arts Festival over in nearby Franklin, TN.  We opted for VIP Access at the festival along with several friends (Wayne, Mike, Danny and Brenda) who went with us including some of our new out-of-town Galapagos-trip companions: Joe, L.A., and Rachel.  It was a great time and hopefully the start of a great new fall tradition here in middle Tennessee.

We started the day seeing Neko Case who we have missed a couple different times at Bonnaroo.  She was great and her soulful voice is just as good live.  The set-up  of the four main stages was great and the layout of this new festival was very good.  Sound engineering was solid and you could tell musicians like Better Than Ezra's Kevin Griffin (a local resident and festival founder) put a lot of thought into this event.
"Even on a cloudy day"  as lead singer Matthew Shultz (crowd "walking" here) says in the Cage the Elephant's song, "Shake Me Down."  These guys from Bowling Green put on the best show of the day in our opinion.  Amazing energy!
Sheryl Crow was spot-on in her afternoon performance.  Our VIP access gave us a great viewing area near the stage for the show.  One of the cool aspects of this festival is that so many great artists (like Crow) live in this area, so it's something they are happy to perform at and proud to be a part of in their own backyard.
This quick shot of Weezer performing in the pouring rain in the early evening does no justice to the cool vibe flowing here despite the inclement weather.  The rain stopped after their set and we saw Wilco close out the great first day.
  The VIP treatment gave us great food by Nick and Jim's BBQ; top-shelf liquor, quality beer and wine throughout the festival;  some cool swag including nice T-shirts and  a festival poster; flush-able toilets (always worth extra!); a nice lounge area and very close access to a couple of the main stages.  Despite some iffy weather it was a great first day! - Pic by Ashlee
Day 2 started with better weather and a late morning set by the one and only Big Sam's Funky Nation (video clip below).  There's not a coffee in the world that will give you this much of a jump-start in the morning!

The outfit-coordinated and excellent young band, John and Jacob, who now make their home in Nashville, put on a solid set next.  This kids are going somewhere I tell ya!
I swear the band, Dawes, gets better every time I see them.  What a great group.
When there was a late addition to the already-amazing line-up of Steven Tyler, we didn't give it  much hurrah.  He recently cut a solo country album in Nashville (and has moved here), so his 30-minute set seemed like something worth missing if it was just going to be him trying to screech out some of his new country tunes.  Good thing we stopped by!  It was easily the set of the day and it was only 30 freaking minutes! He did TONS of old Aerosmith tunes and a great cover of "Take Another Little Piece of My Heart" by Janis Joplin.  What can I say...the dude sings like a lady! [rim-shot] Here's a quick clip from his great set...

The amazing St. Paul and the Broken Bones drew a big crowd at the Harpeth River stage as the sun was setting.
I call this one "Twilight and Willie."  Our year of see living legends (The Rolling Stones, Jimmy Carter, Dolly Parton) continued with the Red-Headed Stranger taking the stage to close out the festival.  Seeing Willie Nelson this close was amazing.
Man, what an outstanding festival!  There is already talk of a Year Two and we hope to be there and hope it retains the great line-up, easy access and cool vibe of Year One.  Well done, Pilgrimage Festival, well done!

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