This past weekend, from July 19 to 22, I attended and worked at the Mountain Rock Music Festival in Farwell, Michigan. For the past four days I have experience rock fan heaven. My Dad and I ran sound in one of the beer tents. The beer tents had entertainment during changeovers of the Main stage, the biggest stage in Michigan, I’ll mention.
The Main Stage schedule for Thursday was:
5:00 Da Yoopers
7:00 Da Yoopers
9:00 Larry McCray
Now if you read my last review, you’d know Da Yoopers played at the Mountain Country Fest last month, June 21 to 24. And again I was highly unimpressed. I was almost expecting them to get booed off stage. They did the same exact jokes and songs as they did during the Country Festival. So like before, we walked back up the hill to the beer tent and tried to ignore as much of the show as we could. Then 2 hours later, at 7:00, as I expected they played the exact same set… AGAIN!
After Da Yoopers finished torturing the crowd, our good friend Larry McCray played. We’ve worked with him quite a few times and my dad has known him since he was about 15. Larry is a great blues guitarist and he deserves way more recognition than he gets. Last winter my Dad and I drove out to New York with Larry and did a Private Party with Dan Aykroyd singing lead. But anyways, as usual Larry was great. There were a lot of new songs I hadn’t heard before, which was a nice surprise.
After Larry McCray was Chicago. Chicago was great in all aspects. Sound, lights, and they were entertaining. So the first night went well. The place filled up a lot right before Chicago played.
Our Beer tent went fine on Friday night also. Dave Kellan played and did a great job. Then Midland local favorite Lucky Livingstons took the stage. They filled up the tents pretty well between acts on the main stage. (www.luckylivingstons.com)
The Main Stage schedule for Friday was:
1:00 After The Dust
3:00 49th Star
5:00 The Flask
7:00 Lucky Livingstons
9:00 Collective Soul
11:00 REO Speedwagon
To be quite honest I paid no attention to the battle of the bands winner, After the Dust. None of the Battle of the Bands winners were any good, it was basically a popularity contest. 49th Star was good though. The probably would have been more comfortable last month at the Country Fest. The Flask was okay, nothing special, the Guitarist used to be Kid Rock’s guitarist, but that’s all that really stood out.
Then Lucky Livingston’s played on the main stage. Great as usual, but there weren’t enough people there to enjoy them yet. After that Collective Soul came out and they played great. The ended a little early though. Then REO Speedwagon played. They did very well for me not liking the type of music they played. Over all it was a good day, and the crowd was big, but it could have been much bigger.
In our beer tent, The Edge played first. They won the Battle of the Bands, but they were again nothing special. Then Cherry Red Band played. They were good for just doing cover tunes. Then 49th Star played on our stage, they were much better on a smaller scale. More rock sounding, which was good.
The Main Stage schedule for Saturday was:
3:00 Pop Evil
7:00 Grand Funk Railroad
9:00 Third Eye Blind
11:00 Deep Purple
The Edge played first, which again failed to get my attention. Then Pop Evil which also failed to get my attention. I had high expectations for Saliva and the 40 minutes of the 75 minute set they played was great, but it was a huge disappointment that they ended over 35 minutes before they should have. Grand Funk Railroad did a great set. Then Third Eye Blind had to be the surprise of the weekend. The were the first to play the whole 75 minute set, and sound good doing it. They played hit after hit, and really gave the crowd the money’s worth. Deep Purple did a great job as well, very entertaining, and they had the best sound all weekend.
Lucky Livingstons started the day off in the beer tent and they were great. Then Earthstew followed. They claimed to be a jam band, but if you’re repeating songs within 40 minutes of a set, your not a jam band, your a band that hasn’t taken the time to learn anything on your First Act guitar. They were as close to awful as you could come. Then Herd played, they had the Beer tent full. The biggest crowd the tent saw all weekend. Bringing everyone the band knew to the show with them helped a lot though.
The Main Stage schedule for Sunday was:
2:00 Hide From Cleo
4:00 Dave Kellan
5:45 Uncle Kracker
10:00 Def Leppard
Again, no attention was paid to the battle of the bands winner. And even though he’s great, Dave Kellan was repetitive of what we saw in the Beer tent Thursday. Uncle Kracker did well and got the crowd to show up, but he could have been better.
Styx, in my personal opinion was the best this weekend. They played all the hits, and got the crowd going. The also gave the crowd there money’s worth. Def Leppard show was good, but the singing was awful. The 10 semi trucks of lighting and stage set, took everyone’s attention away from that though. The last minute formed, Brent Daniels Band did great job for never playing together before. Then Cherry Red finished out the night.
All in all I’d say it was much more organized then the Country Fest. Keep your eye’s peeled for Herd and Lucky Livingstons. They are two great bands that deserve much more recognition then they get now. I’d give this festival a solid 8 out of 10.
The 2nd Annual Mountain Country Music Fest is scheduled for the third weekend in June, and the 2nd Annual Mountain Rock Music Fest is schedule for the third weekend in July. We hope you all can make it, and we hope to be there next year as well.