Day one of the Innings Festival in Tempe, Arizona, was a home run, but will day two knock it out of the park? That’s as far as my puns can go for this baseball-themed music festival.
Saturday was definitely the day for rock fans. Annie DiRusso got the festival started from the Home Plate stage, and fans could hear her even before they pushed through the gates. The Nashville-based artist brought her country flare to an unmistakably rock set. She was sporting ruby red hair with a red guitar to match.
Then, fans dispersed. Some booked it to the Right Field stage to watch the Heartless Bastards set. Others found themselves by the Left Field stage, listening to covers or practicing their pitching and batting skills. But for some, it was time for a beer or something to eat from one of the 15+ food vendors.
Back at Home Plate, Canadian band The Glorious Sons were welcomed to the stage by fans pressed against metal railings and holding up a Canadian flag. Lead singer Brett Emmons was barefoot and dancing, absolutely stoked to be there. About halfway through the set, he pulled out a harmonica, and fans went crazy.
This was the point in the festival where anyone not wearing tennis shoes realized they should have, because it was time to walk back to Right Field to watch Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness. Although he started out in the punk-rock band Something Corporate, McMahon’s career has taken a more indie, singer-songwriter turn. This performance was a little out of place compared to the all-rock lineup of the day, but McMahon kept the audience excited. From an over 20 year career, he had plenty of material to choose from, and he played a pretty even mix of his older and newer songs. The set included the live debut of “Lying on the Hood of Your Car,” a song from his new album, Tilt At The Wind No More, which will be released on March 31.
The Offspring and The Pretty Reckless did a great job of re-winding-up the rock fans for what everybody came to see. They both brought punk-rock, hard-rock, feel-it-in-your-chest energy to the stage and could be heard from across the festival grounds.
Then came, what many fans would consider, the main event. Three of the most recognizable rock bands, which all pre-date me, and thus have been ingrained in my mind as the foundations of modern rock.
Weezer performed first on the Home Plate stage. This Grammy award-winning band has sometimes been meme-ified, but they performed an excellent concert. They started their set with “Beverly Hills” and finished the song by replacing the final “Beverly Hills” with “Tempe, Arizona,” prompting the crowd to absolutely lose their minds.
The Black Crowes brought us back to the Right Field stage for the final time of the day, and they made it worth the walk. The band is preparing for a tour of North and South America, and I’d say they’re definitely worth the watch.
Back at the Home Plate stage, Green Day, of course, was iconic as ever. The audience was a sea of head banging and people shouting “this is my jam” to their neighbor. Tempe Beach Park had reached its peak in numbers of fans, and anywhere within earshot of the music was standing room only.
Day two has a more indie, alternative lineup and will hopefully meet the bar that day one has set.
All images are courtesy of @InningsFest on Twitter.