Classic Rock Fest Kicks Off in Vallarta-Nayarit

The day didn’t dawn quite like everyone expected. At 7am I was jolted awake with a rumbling and then ka boom followed by heavy rain. Really?? When was that predicted? Because it certainly didn’t show up on any of my 4 weather apps. But living in PV full time, which then means you’ve lived through the rainy season, I just rolled over and fell back to sleep with the confidence that all would be good in the PV world. Which really meant, no worries. By the time the concert was due to start at noon, the rain would be over and gone replaced by beautiful blue skies and a warm glowing sun.  Ha! I was right!!

Even though I arrived at the beautiful venue on the side lawn of the Hard Rock Resort a bit after starting time, I wasn’t hearing any music. Turns out the rain caused a few electrical problems that needed to be addressed. Again, no worries. This is Mexico and you’re in paradise. So what’s so important that a little delay would cause distress. The answer is NOTHING!! As the day progressed, the sun shined brighter and the morning’s rain was all but forgotten.

During the delay, I took the time to peruse the food vendors to see what fare they were offering. Coffee, muffins, gourmet burgers, tapas, Mediterranean & Lebanese, Mexican, and German food is available. And, of course, your choice of water, juice, mixed drinks, beer, and even wine. Nice!

To make up for the time, the All Star House Band didn’t open but rather Micki Free (5 time Native American Music Award Winner) and Gary Moon, formerly of Night Ranger, began the event with a rousing set of fabulous rock. Even though the audience was a bit thin, you would never have known it by the enthusiasm with which they played. Great performance guys!! And, those of us that were there truly enjoyed every moment.

The lineup continued with the Spencer Davis Group, originally from Birmingham, England.  They arrived on the rock scene in the mid 60s with songs “Gimme Some Lovin”, “Somebody Help Me”, and the US #1 “Keep on Running”. Mr Davis is 75 years old and still knows how to put on a show! It was pure pleasure meeting him up close and personal.

555555Mark Farner (formerly of the Grand Funk Railroad), was born in Flint, MI and began his rock career in 1965 playing with the Terry Knight and The Pack before forming Grand Funk Railroad. Mark has Native American roots, as well, and was honored by the Lakota Sioux Elders in 1999.

Rock-a-billy legends Lee Rocker & Slim Jim Phantom of the Stray Cats with Billy Burnette (Fleetwood Mac) playing right along with them, didn’t disappoint this small audience.  Lee Rocker’s double bass playing is like non other and you can feel his relationship with his beloved bass.  His fingers caress those strings as any lover does who has a deep and long relationship with their mate. Love, respect, and hitting all the right hot spots.

Slim Jim Phantom, born in 1961 from Brooklyn, NY, made a name for himself while playing with the Stray Cats. He became known for his stand up playing with only a bass drum, snare drum, and a crash cymbal rather than a full drum kit.

Wisconsin’s own the BoDeans, are a mid 80s alternative rock band. Their performance was electric, foot stomping, jump up and down good. A few in attendance were true followers of this band. They jumped, danced, and sang every word of every song. That in and of itself was entertainment.

12121The day was rounded out with legendary bluesman Sam Moore accompanied by the All Star House Band. This 79 year old is a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Grammy Hall of Fame (for Soul Man), the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, and a Grammy and multi-Gold record award winning recording artist. He not only performed like he was 40, he respected the talent of all the other musicians and allowed them to entertain individually, as well. A true gentleman! Sam will be honored at a private party Saturday night at Santa.

The All Star House Band is incredible all by itself with the likes of Elliot Easton (The Cars – guitar), Kenny Lee Lewis (Steve Miller Band – bass), Billy Burnette (Fleetwood Mac – guitar), Jeffrey “Skunk” Baxter (Doobie Brothers & Steely Dan – guitar) Kenny Aronoff (John Mellencamp, John Fogerty – drums), Curly Smith (Boston, Rick Springfield & John Waite – drums), Kenny Gradney (Little Feat – bass), and Teddy “ZigZag” Andreadis (Guns’n Roses & Alice Cooper – keyboards. An amazing collection of hugely talented artists!!

DSCF3221The VIP area is where we from the press get to mingle with the artists before and after their performances. A delightful cabana served as its venue. A terrific intimate location where you can meet and greet and have many close up photo opportunities. Each and every one of the performers graciously allowed their photos to be taken with fans and, actually, seemed to enjoy it. If they didn’t, you would never have known.

It was also especially heartwarming to watch the different artists interact with one another. Most don’t get to see each other except when they perform at the same venue, which truly isn’t that often. The comradery was quite touching especially with the older performers, of which there are now many.

And so, the momentum built with each performance. The vibration from the music resonated through the ground and into your body and soul. No way could you be there and not feel the need to move. Even though the crowd didn’t grow by much over the course of the day, those of us that were there were thrilled we could experience the incredible talent that had been brought together for this day. Dancing was definitely freely going on by midafternoon through the end of the day.

Fans from afarIt was also my privilege to meet 2 couples that came from afar to see the concert.  Vicky and John hale from Seattle area but have recently settled in San Blas and Elizabeth and Fabian flew all the way from Tampa specifically to be here for this concert. They found out about it through a posting on Facebook long before their friend who lives in PV knew about it.

So spread the word and come on out to enjoy this incredible venue. You will not be disappointed with the terrific value you will get!


Later taters….

Don’t forget to check out Tricia’s behind the scenes experience at the festival’s meet and greet cocktail party.

Tricia Lyman is an independent blogger and writer of Lyman’s Journey

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1 Response
  1. susie815

    I sure wished I would have know this was going to be going on before we took our trip in October and would be there now instead, sounds awesome way to spend a day in vallarta

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