HUGE Turnout for Final Day of JazzFest in Sioux Falls
Despite the afternoon threat of severe weather that shut the festival down for an hour or so, AND two other sold out shows in town (REO Speedwagon at Grand Falls Casino and country music superstar Tim McGraw at the WH Lyon Fairgrounds) the lure of a beautiful evening and free concert headlined by Sheryl Crow was enough to draw a rumored record crowd to Yankton Trail Park for the final day of JazzFest 2013.
We weren't sure that Saturday night was going to be pulled off at all as a strong storm front popped up early Saturday afternoon near Mitchell, SD with a lot of lightning and heading straight towards Sioux Falls. Festival organizers in cooperation with the National Weather Service and the city, made the call to keep people safe and shut down the festival. The initial call was to shut down from 3-6pm to allow the storm to pass. Within an hour, the storm broke up and the festival resumed at 4:30 pm with a fantastic band: Mingo Fishtrap!
Mingo Fishtrap is a fantastic soul/funk, eight piece band from Austin, Texas that had people out of their chairs and dancing in Yankton Trail Park from the word go, combining originals with James Brown covers and more. What a GREAT way to get the festival jump started!
Unfortunately the shutdown and the threat of severe weather forced the cancellation of Lincoln, Nebraska's Kris Lager Band at 3pm, but they've already been booked for the festival for next summer!
Following Mingo Fishtrap was a Grammy Award winning Cajun band from the bayou country in Louisiana: Beau Soleil avec Michael Doucet.
At 8pm, one of the baddest guitar players on the planet, Doyle Bramhall II took the main stage.
Bramhall is a Texas blues/rock guitarist who has been a sought-after player since he was a teenager and has been asked to share the stage and be a part of the Fabulous Thunderbirds with Jimmie Vaughan when he was just 18. He played with his father and Stevie Ray Vaugha. After Vaughan's passing, Bramhall formed the Arc Angels with Double Trouble and Charlie Sexton when he was 20! Then went from there to tour with Eric Clapton and Roger Waters of Pink Floyd. He's also a producer (he produced headliner Sheryl Crow's 2011 release '100 Miles to Memphis' and Eric Clapton's latest 'Old Sock') He got the swelling crowd bobbing their heads and getting their groove on during a beautiful South Dakota evening in the park.
The headliner for the festival, courtesy of Midcontinent Communications, was Sheryl Crow. The name and the weather definitely played a part in drawing a LOT more young people to JazzFest as there was a buzz rippling backstage that Saturday night's crowd may have even surpassed the record crowd we had in 2012 for Joe Walsh which would put us again in the neighborhood of 100,000 fans!
Crow mixed her set with hits like 'Steve McQueen', 'All I Wanna Do (Is Have Some Fun)' and 'Favorite Mistake' with cuts off her new country music album 'Feels Like Home' before inviting old friend Bramhall up on stage for her encore cover of Led Zeppelin's 'Rock & Roll'.
From start to finish, this may have been the strongest JazzFest lineup in the 22 year history. Fantastic, diverse acts, proving once again that JazzFest is really a Music Fest, embracing all types of art. If you don't come to the annual signature event 'because you don't like Jazz', you're missing out on three days of fun that has thousands of us marking our calendars already for next summer.
Thanks to my friend Spirit Sparks for this video of Crow