Spring training is still on hiatus, but Innings Festival returns to Tempe Beach Park this weekend.
The two-day festival, February 26-27, features an exciting lineup of bands (including headliners Foo Fighters and Tame Impala) as well as appearances from Major League Baseball’s big names.
We’ll be updating this blog throughout the weekend with photos and highlights from the music festival on the shores of Lake Tempe Town.
9 p.m. Saturday: Caamp singer didn’t let getting hit by a car stop the show
At one point, a smiling Taylor Meier felt compelled to ask the crowd, “You want to know what happened, don’t you?
After all, he was several songs away from his second performance leading Caamp and hadn’t played guitar all night, his right arm being in a sling.
“Well,” Maier said, “I got hit by a car last night. I spent a few hours in the ER, but it’s okay and we’re here. Let’s go.”
And with that, he led his bandmates in a heartfelt “By and By.”
Maier being in a sling meant that Evan Westfall had to play guitar all night and couldn’t do his banjo parts.
So everything was a bit sparse and weird and different. But it just felt like seeing something no one would have seen if someone hadn’t run it over with a car.
It made him special.
Maier clearly saw the humor in the situation. “I feel like Ricky Bobby here,” he joked. “I don’t know what to do with my hands.
As clumsy as Maier felt, that didn’t stop him from delivering the lyrics with characteristic conviction. He has what you might call a lived voice, dropping in a Dylanesque wheeze as he does on occasion.
Before filming wrapped, he took a moment to clarify that he hadn’t been wandering the streets drunk when he was hit.
“Dude smoked me on the sidewalk,” he said with a smile.
As they neared the end of a set whose many highlights ranged from “No Sleep” to “Send the Fisherman” and “Peach Fuzz,” Maier said, “I feel like I’m singing karaoke in front of 8,000 people. It’s pretty cool because I know all the words, but I wish I had a guitar in my hand.
8:20 p.m. Saturday: Recycle a cup and win a prize?
Someone walked past apparently holding a huge slinky.
Upon closer inspection, it was found to be carrying a stack of orange plastic cups. It had become so long that gravity caused it to descend towards the ground. He took another mug from a recycling bin and added it to his mug-slinky.
Why? Well, he’s trying to win a prize. What price ? Anyone can guess, because the website the QR code points to doesn’t say so.
See, there are bins around the grounds – powered by TURN’s capture and reuse system – that collect the cups vendors use for drinks. Festival-goers can register their wristband, scan it on the lid of the bin and place their cup there for a chance to win. Unfortunately, the QR code on these cup return signs does not specify what a recycled cup can earn you.
The odds of winning are supposed to be 20 to 1, so it looks like this guy and his 30 cups could hit a home run today.
— KiMi Robinson
7 p.m. Saturday: Pro trip: Arrive early, and don’t forget your phone
As the Innings Festival entrance appeared, I walked past someone using choice swear words to describe the line.
We did not know which line it was describing. There was a line up the block for calls across the street as well as several winding lines heading towards Tempe Beach Park. The latter turned out to be an avoidable, disorganized mess of humans crammed into an area.
The relief of finally making it into the festival was short-lived for one family. As I walked towards the Home Plate stage, a horrified child turned to his parents.
” Where is my phone ? ” He asked.
After confirming that it was not in his or his brother’s pockets, the resigned family parted ways, a relative having brought him back on his way.
I am not optimistic that they will return in time for Saint-Vincent to take the stage.
— KiMi Robinson
5:30 p.m. Saturday: Black Pistol Fire takes to the main stage
Black Pistol Fire emerged as an opening day highlight, as anyone who saw them work their lopsided brand of blues-punk magic on an unsuspecting crowd during an electrifying performance on the second stage in 2019 must have known that they would. They transitioned to the main stage in the years that followed without losing the spark that made them shine so bright in the first place.
They exploded on impact with “Pick Your Poison” and before the song was over, singer-guitarist Kevin McKeown had left the stage and was communing with the audience in front. He dropped to his knees and flipped solo on stage during “Speak of the Devil”, eliciting roars of approval from the audience.
And he brought the set to a raucous conclusion with the reckless dropout and furious shredding of “Bully” while crowd-surfing.
5:30 p.m. Saturday: 2022 Innings Festival makes a new fan
A first-time Innings Festival attendee, Utah’s Stephen Navin doesn’t usually go to festivals, but he would definitely return to this one, he says.
“There’s a nice separation between the stages and you’re not confined to one place,” Navin said. “You can move depending on who you want to see play. There is even room to move around,” he said, kicking his friend. Navin and his friends have come from Utah and they are especially excited to see Caamp. Their group of friends secured a spot near the front of the Right Field stage.
Passing the time with fun activities while waiting for acts to perform is not uncommon at the Innings Festival. There are people tossing Frisbees, playing the full-scale Connect Four and taking snapshots with the Innings Festival photo booth that offers views of the Home Plate stage.
— Shanti Lerner
4:30 p.m. Saturday: Solid set with a nod to Diamondbacks great Randy Johnson
As awesome as Girlhouse was to witness, the first opening day act that seemed determined to work their way up to one of these headlining sets at a future Innings Fest engagement was Del Water. Gap, the solo project of songwriter S. Holden Jaffe, who made the most of his afternoon second leg set.
A lively frontman in high-waisted pants and heart-shaped sunglasses, Jaffe is blessed with a stunning voice – a soulful instrument with real power and range that he used to brilliant effect in an ensemble that a crowd-pleaser whose highlights ranged from “Hurting Kind” to “High Tops” and “Hope You Understand.”
It doesn’t hurt that Jaffe has a brilliant on-stage flick with guitarist Nick Cianci, the tracks of which were just flashy enough to grab attention but rambling enough to give the songs more edge than they should. had otherwise. He also dressed for the occasion in a bright red Arizona T-shirt.
Jaffe also showed the fans of the home team a little more love.
“This festival is special to me because I grew up loving baseball and the first game I saw was the Diamondbacks,” he revealed.
Then he launched the first of two references to Randy Johnson and his mustache.
The second time, as they finished their set, he said, “Is Randy Johnson there? Oh my God, it’s him! You shaved off your mustache.
4:30 p.m. Saturday: Nothing like the loyalty of good friends
Brothers Michael and Matt Musso and Alex Street were certainly attracting attention among the sea of people as they held up signs promoting their friends’ Austin-based band, Briscoe. Their sign in large letters invited spectators to come and see the Briscoe play tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. on the Home Plate stage of the festival. The Musso and Street brothers traveled from Austin to Phoenix to support their longtime friends, Truett Heintzelman and Philip Lupton, the duo that make up the band.
When asked why they were holding signs and calling on other festival-goers to see Briscoe, “It’s pure loyalty,” Street said.
“We go door to door here,” said Michael Musso. “It’s exciting to see our friends in this kind of place.”
— Shanti Lerner
4 p.m. Saturday: Mainstage audiences discover Girlhouse
Girlhouse’s Lauren Luiz did a great job of making the first main set of Inning Fest’s opening day feel like a slow night at Modified Arts (or any little art space for all ages).
After setting the tone for a powerful set of minimal, understated chamber pop with an honestly bare-bones rendition of “Happy Now,” she greeted the crowd.
“Our band name is Girlhouse,” Luiz said. “We don’t expect you to know that at all. So no pressure. But let’s get to know each other.
It would have been hard not to feel like you were getting to know her as the set progressed, from the vulnerable feelings she expressed so well in richly detailed lyrics to her frequent attempts to reinforce that bond with her banter. clearly nervous.
She prefaced the Innings-compatible “Ballcap Szn” with “Hope you’re having a nice little break from all the chaos in the world that’s always happening all the time.” Or words to that effect.
And when it came time to release their haunting reimagining of Counting Crows’ “A Long December,” it came with a warning.
“It’s a cover that I always have (expletive),” she said, “And I’ll try not to cry when I do.”
If there were any tears, it was for how they tapped into the raw emotion of those lyrics.
3:30 p.m. Saturday: Festival fashion is fun and functional
Nothing says self-expression better than festival fashion. At Innings Fest on Saturday afternoon, festival-goers are dressed in boho and hippie chic outfits colored by bandanas, flowers and funky sunglasses. There’s also no shortage of baseball jerseys from people’s favorite teams, from the Giants to the Red Sox and the Cardinals.
To warm up a little from the blazing sun, large sun hats and cowboy hats pop out of the crowd. Transparent backpacks, handbags and fanny packs are also in fashion. There’s also a guy walking around in a banana suit, so keep your eyes peeled in case you want to take a picture with him.
— Shanti Lerner
3:30 p.m. Saturday: Music fans make room to catch their favorites
Stages and drink vendors are conveniently located next to each other. On one side of the park, festival-goers have easy access to drinks and once again spotted the band Black Pistol Fire as they played a cover of Childish Gambino’s “Redbone.” While some fans come and go to quench their thirst, others bask on blankets in the scorching sun as crowds continue to pour in to catch late afternoon numbers like Caamp and Billy Strings. A fan shouted at her friend “I only came for Billy Strings, he’s a guitar god.”
— Shanti Lerner