Bottle Rock Napa 2013 – Final Day & Parting Thoughts

A Review Of Bottle Rock

zach brown front row

Put another one in the record books – Bottle Rock Napa 2013 is finally over. I hate to say it was a grueling 3 days, but it definitely required a certain level of tenacity and stamina to make it through this one. The final day, however, more than made up for the stench of disappointment that the other days left behind.

Maybe it was the Mother’s Day vibe or just the fact the bands were so great, but the final day of Bottle Rock Napa 2013 was stench free – no overflowing porta-pottys, not as long of lines, no parking issues or taxis to deal with – at least not for us. I think that, as concert goers, we finally figured out where to be at the right time and that the event managers also continued to make adjustments to improve the experience.

That, and the lineup we saw on Sunday was by far the best hands down – starting with Michael Franti & Spearhead, then Train, stopped by Cake for 2 songs and said no thanks, ended up within a stone’s throw of the stage at Rodrigo and Gabriela, and finished with front row at Zach Brown Band (video “Toes in the sand”).

I have to say that the VIP passes really paid off for us on the last day. While we never took advantage of the “VIP” parking (20 minutes offsite and a long, long wait to get out of the lot), the passes made all the difference in getting such good vantage points at each show. I don’t know if there was less overall attendance or maybe there was just better management of holding people to their sections, but we had no problem getting right up close to the stage for every show.

Highlight of The Show: For me, Train was who I was coming to see and their show was all that and a bag o’ potatoes. They played a fantastic set that was evenly sprinkled with new and old, with an added bonus of a nice rendition of Led Zeppelins “Rambling” that led into a short Fun “We Are Young” verse finished with a good old fashioned crowd sing along.

Couple other snipets from Train:
http://youtu.be/n-f_oNAI_4M
http://youtu.be/K-W_maAqxEI

Biggest Surprise: Michael Franti & Spearhead. I have heard their popular songs on the radio, but I had no idea just how awesome these guys are. Their performance was electrifying and really got the crowd amped up (video of “I Love You”), even though they were playing at the hottest time of day. I wouldn’t be surprised to see these guys be a center piece for their own little concert, integrating some guest musicians.

In fact, I think a combination of Rodrigo & Gabriela (a very close second to my biggest surprise vote) with Michael Franti & Spearhead would make for a crazy exciting show. Rodrigo & Gabriela are amazing guitarists, I could only imagine what would happen if they were paired with a front man like Michael Franti and his supporting band.

2 Rodrigo y Gabriela videos:
http://youtu.be/yv0H8DpKw4A
http://youtu.be/Yc57JjzcO_g (really like the rock feel to this one)

So now I suppose the big question is, “Will I go again next year?” I am not so sure. Three consecutive days of all-day music is hard on the body all by itself. When you add all the extras – fighting the crowds, waiting 45 minutes in lines, not knowing if or when a taxi will get you, and the amount of money spent…it would have to be a pretty amazing list of bands to get me to do it all over again.

May I suggest – Mumford & Sons, Elton John, and Garth Brooks?

Question for anyone who knows – what are the final official attendance numbers?

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