Over 500,00 people attended the 2009 Festival
Wrapping up yet another successful weekend in downtown Mt Clemens, the Stars & Stripes Festival, now in it's third year, brought with it plenty of sunshine to go along with record crowds, estimated to be over 500,000, and from what Dr2 saw it was every bit of that and more! Kicking off Friday Afternoon with a celebration of our military, including a spectacular flyover courtesy of Selfridge Air National Guard, the Stars & Stripes fest offered up plenty of activities, food, fun and music for every one. Over the 3 day weekend hordes of families spent the day sampling a variety of food that seemed to please everyone seated at the many seating area's, including our own Dr2 Crew. Especially pleasing was the constant smell of cooking food that seemed to hover around nose height through out the festival, making it nearly impossible not to grab some hot food off the grille. Besides all the food, another big attraction was the huge carnival that encompassed the area behind the Emerald Theater, a favorite of the younger ones in the crowd. But the real draw for Dr2 was (and always is!) the MUSIC!
This years economy may have shrunk the number of stages offering up music, but certainly did not affect the quality by any means as local hard rockers Lithium opened up the National Stage Friday evening, giving us that rare opportunity to see how they would fit on that stage dreams are made from. Not only did Lithium fit that stage like a glove but filled that massive PA full of sound as they just nailed Melting Away
like you never heard in the club's!
Critical Bill Should Have There Own Headlining Slot for 2010
Detroit's favorite rocking blues band The Muggs brought down the house with a set that was made for Woodstock, unleashing a bevy of songs from their latest release "On With The Show". Another local Detroit band, Class Three Overbite, was a first for Dr2, putting on a high energy set that set the tone for hometown favorites Critical Bill, who have played the fest every year since it inception, having worked their way up from the 5:30 pm slot to this years primetime appearance at 9pm.
Awesome Display of Fireworks
What ensued may just of been thee highlight of the night as Critical Bill took over the night with an hour long set in front of a few thousand fans, who even got a close up look when Powerdise (vox) jumped off the stage during The Ride
, heading straight to the mob of fans just outside the VIP area and led an impromptu love fest that turned into a sea of arms waving back in forth in tandem before finishing the night with 50 or so jumping fans on stage with them for Jump Around
! Definitely the best set of the night, Fest producers Fun Fest Productions should seriously look at these guys to headline next year. After a brief intermission for some extremely loud pyrotechnics that are known as the Mt Clemens Fireworks, the action returned to the stage for the nights final act, Morris Day & The Time, who appeared not to have lost a step, banging out such timeless classics as The Walk, Jungle Love & apparently everybody's favorite The Bird, which sent 5,000 people into a gignormous dance line complete with 10,000 arms flapping along, what a sight!
Michigan's Own Dirty Americans Rock The Big Stage
Saturday brought more delicious weather to go along with those turkey legs and chicken on a stick while the crowds swelled to monumental proportions never before seen in Downtown Mt Clemens. Obviously the most attended day/night of the entire weekend, it was clear that many of attendees where here to see the headlining performance from Hometown Hero Uncle Kracker perform later that night. Lost of action going on around town to as Dr2 moved through the crowd, sampling a little bit of everything, including those cool vendors selling everything from t-shirts, sunglasses, even roofs! One of the neatest areas was the Bath City area that celebrated the city's rich history as a mineral bath resort that drew people from all over the nation to soak in on of the city's many hotels. Another popular exhibit was the Bath City World War display that showcased numerous past servicemen from the area and the contributions they made to our freedom. But it was definitely the Carnival Rides and petting zoo that garnered the most attention from the younger members of the Dr2 Crew, and of course us older kids of the group!
The Beautiful Taylor Robinson of WRIF
Saturday also brought us more great local music as well as some pretty darn good national music, and in at least one case it brought both. The much earlier start afforded us a chance to catch some music on the Regional Stage today as local band boys Mindcandy blew open Main St with a stellar set that included their classic remake of You Dropped A Bomb,
followed by War Machine, a Kiss Tribute Band that looked, well just like Kiss! But it was back at the Main Stage that had everybody's attention glued as those "Michigan Made" Dirty Americans took to the stage to perform some of their hot classics like Jet Black, Detroit Son Of A Bitch, even threw in some new ones from their upcoming album including Feeling Like Hell On Sunday
as former Redwing and huge DA fan, Darren McCarty, watched from stage left.
Uncle Kracker is a Huge Attraction To The Stars & Stripes Fest
Old time favorite Edgar Winter brought his jam rock to the stage before clearing the way for hard rock power house Saliva, who played a 45 minute set that had all the Ladies & Gentlemen
screaming for Click, Click, Boom
and even touting the show as a Family Reunion
off their latest release. But as the lights came up for the end of Saliva while the sun was setting, the huge city parking lot turned concert hall with thousands upon thousands of Michigan Made Music fans shoved and squeezed their way into the area to secure a spot for Mt Clemens' own Uncle Kracker who hit the stage promptly at 10:30 pm to an outrageous roar of support. Dropping an hour long set, Kracker let loose all his crowd favorites, backed by an all Michigan Made Band, including No Stranger To Shame
, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
and even treated all to his newest single, Smile,
from his upcoming Atlantic Records Release "Happy Hour". In what may have been the biggest hit of the night, and maybe the biggest surprise to most in attendance was his rendition of Kid Rock's All Summer Long
, a song the he indeed co-write with his long time buddy Rock. What a great way to spend a warm summer night, rumor has it that Uncle Kracker will be the Stars & Stripes headliner for now, and from what we saw, looks like that is a very good idea!
The great weather continued on Sunday, as the Stars & Stripes Festival wrapped up with a classic rock night that saw Kings X, Dokken, Night Ranger up on the Main Stage, before Ratt closed out this beautiful weekend of fun, food, & music (oh yea beer)! This festival is quickly becoming maybe one of the best in the area, Can't wait for next year, but in the meantime, check out all the awesome photos from this event over in the Dr2 Photo Gallery! DetroitRockReview.com - The Only Place for Local Music News & Reviews!