Although cloudy most of the day, the weather was perfect to be out in the crowd for the First Vallarta-Nayarit Classic Rock Festival. And, the crowd size did pick up. In fact, by the end of the day, it truly looked like the fabulous concert that this has been!! So if you’re out there in Vallarta land and having been wondering whether it’s worth coming out for the last day, let me tell you, it’s worth it!!
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Dave Mason was the first artist to grace the stage yesterday. Born in 1946, this English singer-songwriter and guitarist is originally from Worcester, England. His claim to fame is the incredible group Traffic. And, he certainly got the crowd up on its feet with the likes of “Feelin Alright”, “We Just Disagree”, and “The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys”. Wow, what a way to start the day off right!
After quite a bit of sound adjusting, Poco took off with a vengeance. The band was formed after Buffalo Springfield met its demise in 1968. Years of off and on success and downtime saw them come back stronger than ever when Michael Webb joined the band on vocals, guitars, mandolin, keys and accordion in 2010. What a talent and a nice guy!! Rusty Young is the only original member throughout the bands 45 years.
Firefall, was the next in the lineup. But, again, after difficulties with the sound system, they finally got off the ground and didn’t waste any time getting into the groove. With 7 members, they put out quite the sound. “Just Remember I Love You” brought everyone to their feet. And, by now, all the space between chair seating and the bandstand was completely packed with dancers and those wanting to feel the vibration of the music through their bodies. Fabulous!
As throughout the event, the All Star House Band with members from 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), took the stage and just nailed everything they played. Dancing in the isles and in your seat was certainly going on!
In between all the playing and dancing, I got to mingle once again with the artists on a more personal level in the VIP area. Great opportunities for photo ops and to actually have normal friendly conversations with them. After all, they’re just “normal” human beings just like the rest of us with life’s up and downs and all arounds.
But the absolute highlight of the day was KANSAS. From the very first moment a note was played, there was an energy level that just had not been reached in this concert yet. They found the sweet spot of the crowd and truly brought everyone to their feet with no time in between songs to take a break or even want to. One right after the other, “Dust In the Wind”, Carry On Wayward Son”, “People of the South Wind”, “Hold On”, and several more. All this played to the beautiful backdrop of a Vallarta sunset. I didn’t want this to end!
But, alas, the day did come to end for the concert. However rumors were flying around that there would, in fact, be a next year for this event – a SECOND Vallarta-Nayarit Rock Festival !! The crowds had picked up significantly by late afternoon with hopes that Sunday’s line up will bring out the biggest crowd yet. We’ll see.
For me the day didn’t end, as my husband and I quickly did a change of clothes and made our way into the Hotel District to the beautiful, new nightclub, La Santa. This party was like non other I’ve attended in its presentation, service, and elegance. From the moment we arrived, we were treated as if we were one of the artists, given priority seating and never did a moment go by that our drinks weren’t fresh.
However, the reason for being there was to enjoy mingling with the artists again on a more intimate level. You could see that they were certainly enjoying each other and the relaxing atmosphere .
The night’s entertainment was hysterical, with Mark Eddie, the rock n roll comedian. Funny, hysterical, hilarious, and certainly musically talented also describe this wonderful human being. Taking jabs at all musical styles, but with a gentle fondness.
I had had the pleasure of having Carlo Volhl, guitarist and the “other half” of the rock & roll music and comedy entertainment, sitting literally right next to me sharing a small bench with me and my husband, Mike, and making light conversation. He then popped out of his seat to join Mark on stage for some resounding Santana. Fun, fun! Especially since I just bought my tickets for the Santa concert in March in Guadalajara.
Once Carlo had rejoined me on the bench, the real reason for the party began. Several awards were to be handed out including one to Lou Gramm (Foreigner) but because of the unfortunate death of Gramm’s father last Wednesday, he wasn’t present. The awards were handmade Huichol beaded mini guitars, which are stunning. Jim Krenn, standup comedian and Pittsburgh radio personality, was the first recipient of this beautiful award. He truly seemed honored and touched. I know he was certainly enjoying PV on his first visit here.
The highlight, however, was the award presented to the fabulous Mr. Sam Moore, a true R&B legend !! He had performed at Friday’s concert and it was a performance that shouldn’t have been missed. At 79, he knows how to command a stage and his acceptance was no exception. He is a gentle soul with a kind and humble heart. Kudos to you, Mr. Moore!!
After the awards had been presented, we had a chance of more mingling and photo ops. But, I do have to share an instances that occurred. Last night, after the awards, a nice woman approached me and my husband, Mike, to see if we would mind having our picture taken. We laughed heartily and told her how wonderful that would be but that, in fact, we were only the press. She started to laugh also but shared with us that she was told Mike was the lead singer for Boston. That made us laugh really hard! This was the second time someone had approached Mike for his photo thinking he was one of the artists. Quite a compliment, I would say!
Today will be the last day of the concert with many incredible artists performing. If you are in the area and looking for a great way to spend the day, please come out. You won’t regret it. The weather is absolutely perfect!
So, until my report tomorrow about this final day…… Later taters!
Tricia Lyman is an independent blogger and writer of Lyman’s Journey