I couldn't have asked for a better first night at Riverbend 2010.
The festival started, for me at least, late Sunday afternoon when I met with Times Free Press writer Casey Phillips. I didn't know much of the line-up on any of the stages but I had been promised some great performances.
Having moved away from Chattanooga and Riverbend 10 years ago, walking through the festival grounds was brand new to me. It seemed as if everything had gotten busier, bigger, and definitely hotter.
We walked up and down Riverfront Parkway stopping to hear bands such as The Choo Choo Chicks and The New Binkley Brothers. I got reacquainted with the area. As The New Binkley Brothers tore into their banjos and mandolins, Casey leaned to me and said, “Now you're about to hear some music from your roots”.
The early half of the evening was spent hanging out with the guys from the local bluegrass band, Slim Pickins. We spent two hours with the band mates watching them get down to business. When the band finally took the stage, their performance was flawless. It was obvious why they received the title of Best Live Band last year at the FYI Weekend Awards. You could tell the band, as well as the large crowd gathered to see them, was having a blast.
The absolute highlight of the evening however had to be seeing The Waybacks, Joan Osborne and John Cowan along with the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera perform the legendary Beatles album “Abbey Road.” It was quite possibly the best hour of live music I have ever witnessed. And definitely the best tribute to the Beatles or any other band I've ever heard. I melted in my seat when the band started up playing “Something” and almost blew out my vocal cords when Osborne belted “I Want You (She's So Heavy)”. I, and it seemed like the lone dancer up front, had never had that much fun listening to music. I still can't get over that performance…
Sunday night at Riverbend really pumped me up for the rest of the week. Lets hope the rest of my week rediscovering Riverbend is just as amazing. And if its anything like last night, it sure will be.
Kayla Sloan is a college student in Alabama. Check in throughout the week for her Riverbend blogs.