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Moondance Review

Moondance Jam 29
July 16-18, 2020

Moondance Review

Postby kansas666 » Thu Jul 22, 2010 8:33 am

Notes from a 14 year Rockfest veteran and Moondance virgin:

Moondance Jam started out on Wednesday with a pre-jam party. Where as Rockfest
has a couple of beer tents open, the party at Moondance was a lot bigger. It
started with 3 regional bands playing the saloon stage and ended with Hair Ball
on the main stage. I heard that Hair Ball played the saloon stage last year and
you couldn't get anywhere near the place since it was so full. There must have
been 5000 people watching them Wednesday on the main stage and boy did they put
on a show. They have 2 singers that trade off every couple of songs and they
come out dressed as classic rock superstars like Dee Snyder, Gene Simmons, David
Lee Roth, Steve Perry etc. Highly recommended.


THURSDAY:

Tonic was the first band up. I knew a few of their songs and they were a good
band to kick things off. Their encore "Irish" was excellent.

Hoobastank was next. I saw them at RF last year and was looking forward to the
show. They are a relatively young band with a lot of energy. I knew quite a
few of their songs and their big hit "The Reason" was the highlight.

The main reason I switched to Moondance was to see 2 of my favorite bands;
Collective Soul and Buckcherry back to back. They did not disappoint.
Collective Soul has a ton of hits and Moondance was full to the top of the hill.
Ed Roland was very dynamic and really showed the audience a good time. We
fought our way to the front of the stage for Buckcherry and had a ball. They
are a little more main stream than they used to be. I actually liked them
better when they were new and played the bars. But they were still a blast. My
friend said Josh Todd is a cross between Steven Tyler and Axle Rose, but thought
he screamed too much. We will be seeing Buckcherry again next month at Band
Camp.

Sammy finished off the night and boy is he an entertainer. Whether you like his
music or not, you can't deny that he really knows how to get the audience going.
DirectTV was shooting the festival and at one point Sammy fired a huge jet of
streamers out over the audience that hit the camera jib arm point blank. It was
pretty funny watching that jib arm swinging out over the audience the rest of
the night with giant streamers hanging off of it. Sammy made a dig on Rockfest
when he mentioned there was another festival near by that he is not welcome at
anymore. So he will just half to play twice as long at Moondance. That got the
crowd going. The show was oversold and I have never seen so many people in one
place. Fortunately we spent most of the show on the poser deck and got a
spectacular view of the festivities.

Over all I give Thursday an A. This was the main day that drew me away from
Rockfest and up to Moondance Jam.


FRIDAY:

Friday started off with Pat Travers giving the audience a lesson in guitar
pyrotechnics. Man can he play. He also threw in a couple of searing blues numbers
and had a pretty good crowd. Of course he ended with his 2 hits; Boom
Boom and Out Go The Lights and Snortin Whiskey and Drinking Cocaine.

The Smithereens were a band that had their 15 minutes of fame in the late 80's.
They had a unique sound and sort of a retro-Beatles look. Now they are old and
fat and are trying to recapture something. But I am not quite sure what. I
really wasn't interested and we only made it in for their 2 hits near the end.
Our friends told us we didn't miss anything.

I was really looking forward to Don Felder. The Eagles Greatest Hits is one of
the best selling albums of all time. I wanted to sit back, drink a beer and
take in some great songs. Boy was I disappointed. First off the music was so
quiet you could barely hear it. When the PA is so low that you can hear the
drums accoustically from the stage, you know things aren't right. I kinda
understand why they did it. A lot of people were sitting up on the hill in
lawnchairs and having conversations. But I wanted to hear these great songs.
About half way through the show we went up to the stage just so we could hear
better. It still didn't sound right. Without any volume there were no dynamics
and it just sounded like sh#t. Also, Henley and Fry have very distinctive
voices. Understandably, Felder sang all the songs but he doesn't have a strong
voice and he was buried in the mix (what there was of it) most of the time.
This show was nothing more than an Eagles tribute band and a not very good one
at that. This was the biggest disappointment of the weekend.

When Pat Benatar was in her prime she had 3 things going for her: the songs, the
voice and the looks......well she still has the songs. Those hits were custom
made for a huge outdoor venue like this. Her voice was raspy but she could still
belt them out. Unfortunately the looks are gone. She's fat...not Ann Wilson
fat...more like Sammy Hagar fat. But she still put on a fun show that brought
back a lot of memories. The accoustic set with Neil Geraldo was only a couple
of songs, just long enough to visit the porta-potty and get a beer.

REO Speedwagon is like the Energizer Bunny...they just keep going and going
and.... They've done it long enough that they know how to put on a show. Plus
you know every song they play. The highlight for me was Golden Country which
they don't always play. Kevin Cronan is a real entertainer provided he doesn't
run off at the mouth too much. He kept his soliloquies relatively short and let
the music do most of the talking. They look a little old to be running across
the stage to do their unison guitar waving schtick. But hey, it's all fun.
Their sound and production were top notch and their harmonies were very good,
almost too good. I'm not convinced that some of the background vocals weren't
Memorex. It's kinda weird hearing Bruce Hall bleat out the the vocals to "Back
on the Road Again" and then hit the mic with a beautiful falsetto harmony on
their monster ballads...hmmm

Friday gets a B. It started out strong, dipped in the middle but came back with
a bang.


SATURDAY:

First up was Blackberry Smoke. They were the first band to play at Rockfest
last year and at the time I gave them the benefit of the doubt just because they
were first. When I get to Rockfest I am so excited to be there, the first band
could be Alvin and the Chipmunks and I would think they were great. Well
reality, and maybe a bit of a hangover set in at Moondance and I realized that
these guys have no business playing at a rock festival. They were twangy
country and too mellow...NEXT

Blackstone Cherry is billed as a modern southern rock band. I picked up one of
their albums a couple of months ago and I heard a lot more modern than southern
rock. Their drummer's father was in The Kentucky Headhunters but I really wasn't
expecting much. THESE GUYS KICKED *! They took the place by storm playing
Skynyrd speed metal. They waved the freak flag high and really put on a show.
As far as I am concerned, this band is the new voice of the south. This was
definately the surprise of the festial for me. What a great band.

Cinderella...They're BaaAAaack! They were awsome...or maybe it was the caffeine
beer.

I was looking forward to Jonny Lang. He's kind of a hometown boy in these parts
having been born in Fargo and growing up in the twin cities. He has a lot of
fans. I thought it would be a great way to ease out of the fest by listening to
some excellent blues guitar. Well he did that, but then he got mellow and then
he got real mellow. We left early.

I can't think af a better band to finish off Moondance than Lynyrd Skynyrd.
These guys have more classics than they know what to do with. I play in a
classic rock cover band and we perform about a half dozen Skynyrd tunes. It was
great to sit there and listen to these songs performed by the masters. Even
though there is only one surviving original member of the band left they have
the talent to put on a lesson in musicianship. It's interesting that they
referred to Lynyrd Skynyrd a number of times in the third person. It's as if
they are aware that they have become a tribute band...just the best tribute band
in the world. We ended the night and the festival walking back to our camp as
the closing notes of Freebird drifted off into the night.

I have to give Saturday a B. It had it's moments but there were some clunkers
as well.

One thing that I thought was interesting was that DirectTV was shooting the
entire festival. I guess they will be playing it back later this summer as part
of a concert series. A lot of the extra production and backdrrops were brought
in by them to spice things up. There were 3 bands that they didn't shoot; The
Smithereens, Don Felder and Blackberry Smoke. Interesting that these were the
same 3 bands that I found to be the weakest.


Would I go back to Moondance? We skipped Rockfest this year because of the
lineup and I don't regret it for a moment. But if Rockfest moves back towards
classic rock I think I would rather be there. The VIP is much better, We have
more friends and the drive is 5 hours less from Madison.

I woke up Saturday morning and had a great idea. This was even before I drank
any coffee. Okay, maybe I was still a little drunk from the night before. But
it occured to me that on Sunday afternoon we would be driving home from
Moondance and would pass within a few miles of Rockfest. Wouldn't it be fun to
see the last night of shows and catch up with a bunch of friends? As it turned
out we decided that it would be too expensive and lets face it...we were
exhausted.

Thunder Mountain Rockfest in North Dakota and Moondance Jam in Minnesota were an
adventure. But I need my sleep.

Good night.
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Re: Moondance Review

Postby DrJim » Fri Jul 23, 2010 7:05 pm

I appreciate your opinion but couldn't disagree more about Don Felder. I've seen the Eagles 4 times and I thought Felder did an impressive, different set with an extraordinary band of musicians behind him. The Eagles? Nope. But a show I completely enjoyed.
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Re: Moondance Review

Postby Chris » Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:31 pm

jdog wrote:I appreciate your opinion but couldn't disagree more about Don Felder. I've seen the Eagles 4 times and I thought Felder did an impressive, different set with an extraordinary band of musicians behind him. The Eagles? Nope. But a show I completely enjoyed.


You beat me to it jdog. I thought Felder was the surprise of the jam. I was lucky enough to catch a few songs of his sound check in the morning so I knew he was going to bring some great tunes. He proved that people at the jam will come watch to hear tunes they know. He was 1000 times better than I thought he was going to be.
The music brought me to Moondance Jam. The people bring me back.
View my profiles of this years' bands at: viewforum.php?f=38
View profiles of past bands at: viewforum.php?f=7
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Re: Moondance Review

Postby Deacon_Blooze » Sat Jul 24, 2010 7:43 am

I fell asleep during Felder. Sorry.
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