HarleyFest 2007 Review
WoW!.... HarleyFest 2007. It's Monday morning and I'm still not sure if I've fully recovered. The sun shone bright all day Saturday, and as the temp's rose during the afternoon for the occasion, so did our beloved Detroit Rock-n-Roll bands playing the 9th Annual Wrif HarleyFest. What a day to see your favorite bands all at 1 location, and to maybe find yourself another band that you dig. Too bad it wasn't even bigger and included more of these hard working Detroit Bands! After arriving during the PHX set, yes I missed Headrush & The Displays, although I've seen them before (quite capable young dudes they are), we settled in for a day of music, food, and of course cold drinks! What a sight to see all these Harleys in one place. Kind of reminded me of the front door at HD headquarters in Milwaukee, where if you work there, ride there, you get to park at the front entrance. Imagine that one. PHX ran through their set, even though they had to be frying up there with the sun in their faces. One of my biggest surprises came during the Radiocraft set. Now I have seen this band a few times before in area clubs, and they have always pleased. But, with Suzie feeding off one of the larger "early crowds", they delivered one hot set. With Suzie and gang also torching in the sun, they had the crowd jumping, dancing, and sweating through the heat. The packed front of the stage was on the verge of erupting during the set ending cover of Walk All Over You. One more song (one our favorite chants) and we would have had the first "pit" develop! This band greatly benefited from the Huge Sound at this event compared to most clubs. Soul Circus was up next, sun still blazing, nailing their set also. Like the name implies, this is one "Fun" band. Never the type of guys to hold back and playing off the heavy beat of John Massey & Ken Thomas, Soul Circus flat out rocked Dirty Little Habbit, leaving all in a dazed, sweaty state of delirium. Great set from the boys of Soul Circus. I believe this is when the beer tickets started flowing, along with the beers themselves, and one of them deliciously awful corn dog things. By the way…….5 bucks for a 24 oz'er….not a bad deal……except for the next morning……. Anyways, The Unheard hit the stage next at 4:30 to continue the onslaught of loud music, beer, and heat. I love it when an outdoor show gets as hot and sweaty as one of those Lager House nights! Fresh off their show at the Dawghouse, the Tour Bus pulled into the Freedom Hill parking lot right along with god knows how many "fans". Hey maybe we could do a DR2 cribs type of thing guys……As usual, The Unheard played the crowd right into their hands, I think I even seen Brittney ~local rocker ~up front for these guys. By the time they unleashed their hit song Helpless, the sun had finally started to move behind the stage, and they had everyone swaying to their jam. No let down here, The Unheard definitely kept the pace if not increased it. Now at 5:15 and with some of the "Harleys" roaring down
Metro Parkway, the time seemed right for a bit of a "slow down". NOT!!! With a show as energizing as that pink little bunny, and a lead singer who can pull you in and keep you there, Planet Of Fun puts on one hell of a show. Now if we can only get these guys to write a couple of their own tunes…..We'll keep on them and who knows. Anybody catch their sets afterward at Augies? Greg told me he was just getting primed, even though it looked as if the crowd offered up, and he graciously accepted what seemed like more than a case!! This guy is truly amazing and well worth a trip to see Planet of Fun next time they're in your town. Six Pm brought us Paper Street Saints. So much for ANY kind of slow down. These guys pushed the pedal to the metal and never looked back! This night was shaping up to be one hell of a Detroit Party, and I believe that's why that while the Harleys were leaving, the true Detoit Rock Fans were just arriving. PSS gave us another of their patented rock shows. Laying it down in the middle of their set, backed by the hard but melodic sounds of one of Detroit's best rhythm sections, was one of my fav's , A Fool To Lie. Lead singer Cheyenne displayed his talent of fronting such a group, while delivering one hell of a smooth vocal on the new song Hopeless. Another awesome set. Ray Street Park, 6:45. More Beer. More Corn Dogs! Now if we could only get them to throw out bottles of JAGERMEISTER !! Seems fitting doesn't it? These guys have been rocking the downriver area for some time now, and have been rewarded with quite a few DMA nominations. With a thumping bass player like Terry Martin, coupled with the hard driving vocals of Rick Stafford, it's no wonder. By the time they kicked out thier hit King Of Everything, the place was in a frenzy, and a bit of a pit did finally show its face. I think this band kinda just ripped the faces off of everyone there, including me! Great set. Mindcandy was up at 7:30, and as usual, Rudy was up there just wailing away through their hits I Am, and Recognize. I know this band has been having some issues of late and I hope that they can pull it together and find the fit their looking for. Now with the sun getting lower, and the temp's finally starting to subside, The Brian Schram Band took the stage at 8:15. WoW! Pretty much sums up this set. I see why our own beloved Uncle Kracker had him on his side. Very promising words from all over Detroit are being said about this guy. From what I understand they have this new drummer who hails from my hometown of Fraser, MI. He is in his early teens, and boy, he can certainly keep pace with a vengance! If you've never seen Brian Schram play, imagine morphing a Stevie Ray with a (do I dare say it) Jack White, you would end up with a Brian Schram. I was kinda just in awe this whole set, and it just left me with a "what the hell did I just see?" type of feeling. Definitely will be at his show Thursday at Club 54. This kid is truly amazing, can't wait to get my hands on one of his new CD's at da Club. So, how do you top off an all day festival with 12 of Detroit's Best bands? You have the Dirty Americans come in and take over to close the show. If you are any kind of Detroit music fan, I really shouldn't have to say much more than, they out did themselves again! No matter where, when, and why they're playing, they will most assuredly hit you smack between the eyes with their balls out rock and roll. When a band can get up there and start their show with what may be their best song, you know you are in trouble (the good way). Jet Black Holy Water, The Only One, Fall All Night. Just one kick ass rock n roll band. When you have Kenny Olson on your side, Kid Rock pulling up to the stage in a big ass black Limo, just to see you, you must be doing something right. What a day, what a night. Local Detroit music at it's best!
See ya at da Club 54 Thursday, then the Hayloft for the Muggs & Brave Rifles on Friday.....till next time. over.