One of my top New Year’s Resolutions for 2016 was to see more live music. I’ve always loved concerts, especially outdoor performances. It brings back really great memories of carefree summers in the northeast spent on the lawns of venues in Pittsburgh and Cleveland.
So far this year I’ve seen The Spazmatics, Alan Jackson, Rod Stewart, Blue Healer and many other artists at Austin’s SXSW. In May I’ll see my favorite, Dave Matthews Band, in Dallas. But this past weekend I had the privilege of attending the fourth annual MAVERICK MUSIC FESTIVAL held right here in San Antonio. It was a jam-packed two days full of music by 40 artists and DJ’s of varying genres on three stages.
I was a little nervous how to cover it because Entertainment isn’t really my niche. I’m more of an experience girl rather than any kind of music critic. So I decided to list my top 8 moments of the weekend from a newbie’s perspective!
#1-THE FLAMING LIPS
If you ever have the chance to see a Flaming Lips concert, just do it, even if you aren’t super familiar with their music! As my friend Krystal told me, it’s a bucket list experience. I wasn’t so sure, but let me just say, from the first 5 minutes on my mind was blown. Enough that I pretty much thought about it and looked at pictures the whole day afterward. You usually expect confetti and balloons at the end of a show, but not this one! In the first five minutes we were delighted with a crazy cool stage, mushrooms, toads, butterflies, rainbows, a gigantic F Yeah San Antonio balloon and massive amounts of colorful confetti. The crowd went wild! Speaking of the crowd, it was packed full, and by far the biggest draw of the entire weekend. Just when you thought Wayne Coyne couldn’t top what he was already doing, he performed “Space Oddity” inside a plastic bubble that was passed through the crowd. The whole set was trippy and out of this world. Even though I didn’t know it was on my bucket list, I’m happy I can check the box!
#2-ARNESON RIVER THEATER
Sometimes when you live in a city for a long time, you forget to appreciate what thousands travel miles just to see. In this case, I’ve never really sat and watched a show at the Arneson River Theater on the River Walk. Where else can you catch band after band perform while river barges full of tourists pass by? In between the major acts I came over to the theater, had a seat on the grass-covered steps, and ate or edited pictures. While doing that I enjoyed the sounds of Yoshimoto, The Signature, Bright Like The Sun and The Octopus Project to name a few. I captured some pretty cool pictures during the day and night that I think reflect San Antonio so well.
Back in December I had the pleasure of seeing Wild Child, an indie pop band from Austin, for the first time at Paper Tiger. My best friend Laura had discovered their music on Pandora and she told me I HAD to see them. Of course I fell in love, not only with their sound, but with their personalities. They just seem like people I would want to hang around with. When I saw them on the lineup for Maverick I was really excited! Imagine my surprise when I was walking around the festival grounds snapping pictures and saw lead singer Kelsey Wilson in the crowd. I asked if she would take a picture with me and she was just so sweet and kind! I made my way to the stage a half an hour early to make sure I was right up front. Kelsey came by and applied her famous face paint to her biggest fans, myself included! The show was fabulous and I really enjoyed their newest song that they tried out on the crowd. Some of their top hits include “Silly Things” “Pillow Talk” and “Fools.” I know this won’t be the last time I see Wild Child, and I suggest you check them out as well!
#4-LA VILLITA~SHINER MUSIC STAGE
The rumor is that this might be the last year for the Maverick Music Festival. One of the founders, Blayne Tucker, was quoted in The San Antonio Current as saying that the festival either needs to expand in location or cease altogether. I personally loved that the main acts were on the Shiner Music Stage at La Villita. Aside from The Flaming Lips, there was plenty of room, and I never felt crowded. I could come and go as I pleased and absolutely loved that I could get so close to the stage! The crowd was polite and a diverse mix. Plus, the view of the Tower of the Americas and Tower Life Building all lit up never got old, and looks great in photographs! Tucker has said in the Rivard Report “The spirit behind Maverick was to show that San Antonio can have a concert-going public that supports acts that thrive in every other city in this country, yet have historically bypassed San Antonio-instead playing Houston, Dallas, Austin and even Marfa and El Paso.” I would be really disappointed if this is the last year, however I do see his point. As a large city trying to compete with huge festivals like ACL, maybe the footprint DOES need to expand. I’ll be watching this closely and hope to report on Maverick again next year!
I’m not going to lie. The most I knew about 80’s hip hop group Public Enemy before seeing them perform this weekend was about Flavor Flav from his time on reality t.v.. If he didn’t make an appearance in San Antonio, with his huge clock in tow, I was going to be upset. Sure enough, the hype man came out, and had the crowd chanting Flavor Flavvvvvvv in no time! He warned the audience that the stage was too slippery to do any crazy stunts and that he wasn’t quite himself due to recent deaths amongst his family and friends. I still thought he was a great performer, as well as Chuck D. Known for their politically charged music and criticism of the media, there was lots of talk about the upcoming election and their dislike of Donald Trump. They closed the show with their famous “Fight The Power.” It left me wanting more and excited to return for day 2 of the festival.
#6-ARTISTS TO WATCH
In the weeks leading up to Maverick I was YouTubing bands like crazy. I wanted to be familiar with the sound of each group. I knew I wanted to see The Drums and Mother Falcon live and planned accordingly.
The Drums were on the stage when I arrived Friday night. The indie pop band from Brooklyn, New York has a lot of history, with Jonny Pierce on vocals and Jacob Graham on keyboard. The two have known each other since they were children. Their concert vibe was laid back and enjoyable.
Mother Falcon, on the other hand, was a lively performance. The symphonic rock band from Austin is quite a sight with up to twenty musicians playing strings, horns, guitars and percussion. For this performance they had 12 on stage. The group was formed in 2008 by bandleader Nick Gregg. If I see them on a lineup again I’ll be happy to watch! I just love the sound of so many instruments playing together.
Since I was pretty much at La Villita all day Saturday I was able to enjoy a few meals there. The first was an absolutely delicious gordita fried to perfection! There were about 10 food stands set up to choose from. In the Shiner Biergarten, where the DJ’s were playing, South Town’s newest restaurant FRANK was represented. Their hot dog and waffle fries did not disappoint! Of course, the beer and wine was also flowing!
One of my favorite things about Festival season (which is just kicking off) is the fashion. I love looking at pictures from Coachella and Lollapalooza to see what the celebrities and trendsetters are wearing. H&M even has a collection out right now called H&M LOVES COACHELLA. After googling festival fashion I found out that SO many brands are carrying lines just for the season. Coming up next I’m going to do a separate post on the must haves! Here in San Antonio I saw fashion that ranged from:
to just plain strange!
These are the accessories that I decided to go with. The hat, sunglasses and bag were absolute must haves!
Any way you decide to dress is a way to express your individuality and I say HAVE FUN with fashion!
Thank you San Antonio for giving me another reason to love you so much. Hopefully this festival will continue for many years to come!
Living with Soul,