May 09, 2007

The 2007 Beale Street Music Festival

The 2007 Beale Street Music Festival came and went over the weekend. Here are a few notes about the festival and Memphis in general.

  • Attendance: 300,000+ (estimate)
  • Weather: Mostly hot & humid.
  • Racks of ribs I consumed: 3
  • Best ribs: Blues City Café
  • Number of kids I met on their first acid trip: 1
  • Number of times the kid asked if the acid would kill him: 14
  • The Mall of Memphis: Demolished
  • Graceland: Still standing
  • The Pyramid: Ever since the NBA decided the Pyramid wasn't worthy of hosting professional basketball games and the FedEx Forum was built, the less than 20 year old Pyramid has sat empty. Now, there is a Bass Pro Shop in the bottom level. What a joke. The FedEx Forum is nice, but it does not have the character and the appeal of the Pyramid, and I think it's a total waste of a great arena.
  • Number of people too drunk to walk: Hundreds
  • Jesus Freaks: Several
  • Pan Handlers: The only people asking for money were firemen collecting for the "Fill the Boot" campaign for the March of Dimes. A lot different from five years ago when homeless people were everywhere.
  • Wolfmother & Godsmack: Sounded great, but I bailed. Temperatures and humidity were around 90. The Budweiser Stage where the bands played was fenced off for some reason, but nobody controlled how many people entered the fenced area. Far too crowded and hot to see anything or enjoy the show.
  • Papa Roach: Excellent. The small amount of rain and cool breeze blowing in from the Mississippi was welcome. No fence around the Autozone Stage so the crowd wasn’t packed like sardines.
  • Daughtry: This American Idol loser rocks. Great band.
  • Hinder: If Steven Tyler of Aerosmith and Joshua Todd of Buckcherry somehow had a kid, it would be Austin Winkler, lead singer of Hinder. Austin isn’t quite as ugly as Tyler or Todd, but his lanky frame and stage mannerisms make it obvious that his style was influenced by both. Hinder is probably the best band I’ve ever seen live that only has one album out. The headlining band on the closing night of the festival is usually an established act, but Hinder showed they were worthy of being the main act.
  • Drive between Memphis and Little Rock: Still sucks.


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