I am officially blown away.
This is our first year at Moondance. We had been going to Rockfest in Cadott, WI since their first show in 1994. Loved that for most of the years we went but towards the end was beginning to get a bit thrashy and harsh (for us). I have wanted to check out MD for many years but couldn’t really afford the time or money to do both. This year, I finally talked my girlfriend into doing Moondance instead of RF.
Best move we’ve ever made.
From the time we arrived on Wednesday, I knew I was gonna like this. As we pulled the camper towards our site, the people in the campsite next to us jumped up and offered to help us pull into our site. They had been coming to MD for many years and answered all our questions and generally made us feel like “We Belong”-ed. (sorry, couldn’t help using the Benatar reference ). Our camping neighbors on both sides were fantastic. Thanks to Jerry, John, Jim, Eric, Jen, Renee, Mary and sons, etc…They are a big part of the reason we have already purchased our tickets and campsite for 2011.
We have a group of friends that come all the way from Tennessee to enjoy the music festivals in the Northland (even though they live a few miles from the huge Bonaroo festival in TN). We met them at Rockfest and this year they also made the transition to MD (Hey Phil, Jeri, Hoppy and daughters, and Kyle – We love you!).
These are the shows I saw, in order of appearance: Free Fallin’, Hairball, Sammy Hagar and the Wabos, 3 Seagulls, Don Felder, Chase and Ovation, Pat Benatar, REO Speedwagon, Bad Animals, Jonny Lang, Arch Allies, Lynyrd Skynyrd.
I missed several of the shows I would have normally seen just because of frequent visits back to our site to party with the neighbors and refresh our cocktails. In retrospect, I kick myself for having missed some of those bands and for missing the Backstage Bar and Lazy Moon acoustic stage entirely – would have loved to check out the Key West Rejects.
Next year for sure!
Free Fallin’ is one of our favorites. Brian and company do a great job of recreating the Tom Petty experience. We have seen them many times in the past couple years and always enjoy the show. We had the good fortune of seeing Mr. Petty recently at the Xcel center in Saint Paul and Free Fallin’ is a close second to the real thing IMHO.
Hairball on the main stage kicked my *. They do a sensational, unbelievable simulation of some of the best rock bands of all time. We had made it down to the Mosh pit for this show and were glad to be there. What a great main stage opening act!
You know I had a good time on Wednesday because I only made it to one show on Thursday. Sammy and the Wabos always put on a good show and I especially like the Van Halen stuff. Glad I at least made that show on Thursday.
Friday, we walked into the concert grounds around 6 pm and heard some great sounds coming from the Saloon stage. It was a group I had never heard of but man, were they good! The 3 Seagulls did a wide variety of great music from the past 4 decades. Really good stuff and I’m pissed because I can’t find a website for them that will tell me where they will be appearing next.
Don Felder and his group do a great job of making me feel like I am at an Eagles concert. Love that old Eagles stuff and always will!
Chase and Ovation were very good. I wish we had gone into the Saloon stage to watch that show. As it was we turned our lawn chairs towards the Saloon and listened to the show from the same spot we were sitting for the main stage shows. Hope they are back next year so I can boogie down and check out the show.
We’ve always enjoyed Pat Benatar’s show and this was no exception. The voice was a bit rough, due to excessive use, but I still enjoyed this show as much as I always do.
REO rocks and I was happy to see Kevin and co. again and in great form! The Hi Infidelity stuff still blows me away and Ridin’ the Storm Out is still one of the best rock songs around.
Saturday found me aching to hear the Bad Animals. I’ve always been a big Heart fan and this group of rockers was great the first and last time we saw them (at Tribute Fest last year). The show was fantastic. I think I found my mouth wide open a couple times during their show. They DO rock! And I got to meet Bobby Sue from the band!
My girlfriend is a huge Jonny Lang fan so I wanted to be sure to see that show from beginning to end. We enjoyed it thoroughly. That boy knows how to play some blues.
We’ve seen the Arch Allies probably a dozen times now. The first time we saw them, they were called Wheel In The Sky and were a Journey tribute group. They now do Journey, Styx, and REO. I’ve always liked ‘em and always will.
Unfortunately, I only got to see a little bit of the Skynyrd show. I’m sure this would have been one of the highlights for me. It’s a long story but my girlfriend wanted to go back to the camper and well, it was hard to resist what she had in mind. You get the picture.
Hat’s off to all the fantastic music fans, some of whom we got to meet. Accolades to the performers that put out so much for the sake of the fans.
And a huge thank you to Bill and Kathy Bieloh. What a great story about how this whole huge party got started. You two rock and should be super proud. I hope to meet you some day to say thanks.