Sunday, April 23, 2006

Gotta go the booty show

I knew from the name, that Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band was going to be fun, but I didn't realize how fun until I saw them at the 3 Rivers today. They're a bunch of young guys who are having a great time being in a band, and you can tell in their stage persona that they're having fun and want the audience to do the same thing. They easily dip into New Orleans style brass and funk instrumental jam. Their lyrics are catch and easy to sing along too. When the Asheville-based band comes to the Neighborhood Theater on June 23, they're a must-see.

Alright party peeps, I can't stick around for Styx tonight. There's a hip-hop show at Fire & Ice and a Greek party at the Forum in Charlotte, so I'm headed back.

Party's almost over

It's Sunday The sun is blazing, the streets are dry and today is the last day of the 3 Rivers Music Festival. Despite the rain, it's been a great weekend. I missed Friday night but I hear the Hinder, Shinedown and Theory of a Deadman performances were crazy with people moshing and rocking out on the main stage. Earl Klugh was just as good on the jazz stage.

Last night was phenomenal. Franklin took fans back to soul music's heyday and George Clinton and Parliament gave us the funk and nothing but the funk. Pat Green kept fans yeehawing with his rendition of "Glory Days" as well as his own country tunes.

Music doesn't start until 3 p.m. today and it's an Americana and classic rock finale. Sam Bush and Nickel Creek headline one stage and Styxx and Edwin McCain headline another. And just because it's a music festival doesn't mean organizing lost their religion. It's Sunday, so know there's some gospel music with Christ N U Youth Mass Choir, Blest by Four and the Gospel Four.

The festival is on the Congaree River, for more info: I'm heading to brunch and then back to the festival to catch Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty. Holla' if you see me.

Aretha loved it, and they loved her

The hour dipped well past midnight and Aretha Franklin should have been off stage more than a 45 minutes ago. About 12:30 a.m. she was finishing her last song and graciously thanking Columbia and festival organizers for their hospitality. Then she did something that surprised me.

Aretha asked fans to come out and support her when she comes back again. That tells you a lot about how much she enjoyed the show and Columbia.

City officials were equally appreciative. They gave her a key to the city, key to the banks, plaques and flowers. Usually those ceremonies are cheesy, but last night it felt right. It had been a long day of rain delays and gloomy weather. Aretha's performance and the crowd's love for her wiped all of that away.

If you've been to concerts and especially ones at festivals, you know, typically the acts finish and get the heck out of there. Organizers want you off stage, so they can clean up and go home. There was none of that impatience early Sunday morning when it came to Aretha. There was only respect.

Respect Yo Self

If you love Aretha Franklin's music, then seeing her live is a whole other experience. She is well past her prime, but Aretha is truly the Queen of Soul. She filled the stage with her presence and her music.

And to stand among thousands of people of all ages and ethnicities straining and standing on chairs to see her, I understood why her music has carried individuals through so many hard times. She gave fans what they wanted on Saturday night -- "Respect," "Natural Woman," "Chain of Fools" and "Jump to It."

Aretha talked to the audience and sang what she knew people wanted to hear. Before the night was over, she took us back to her church roots.

Man, oh man. Aretha Franklin live. What a night.