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.
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 home team fans 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.
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
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.
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 bit 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
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