Shindig Music Festival
Baltimore, MD | 9/14/13
Seventy degrees and clear skys was just the beginning of an amazing experience. This show was booked solid with some of the best bands in the world and the fact that I wasn't sweating into my shoes made it that much better. Featuring local bands like Bad Seed Rising, Jimmie's Chicken Shack, and Clutch up to international acts like Joan Jett And The Blackhearts and The Dropkick Murphys. The festival was set up very well, you could wonder around looking at vendors or get food with constant music playing. No bands had overlapping sets so you didn't have to worry about missing any music if you liked two bands that were playing back-to-back. The best sets of the day were easily the headliners but that doesn't mean the other bands didn't deliver. Strong sets by Reverend Horton Heat, Jimmie's Chicken Shack, and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones just paved the way for Clutch, Joan Jett and Dropkick to close the show with a bang.
Clutch out of Germantown, Maryland have owned the Maryland rock scene and their songs have gotten major exposure through use in video games, played at hockey games and even used as entrance music for UFC fighters. Vocalist Neil Fallonhas lead the southern stoner rockers to a nine record catalog. Clutch absolutely crushed it with a pounding set featuring songs from their 2013 release Earth Rocker. Clutch, however, is now going on a short hiatus so Neil can rest his throat.
The Queen of Rock Joan Jett has been a staple for almost 40 years. With eleven records to her credit with her twelfth,Unvarnished, being released in three weeks Joan's legacy just continues to grow. Performing new tracks from the upcoming record and all her hits like "Bad Reputation," "I Hate Myself For Loving You," "Cherry Bomb," and "I Love Rock And Roll." Joan sounded as good as she ever has and hasn't aged a day. Telling stories from her time with The Runaways and when she lived locally in Rockville. I have wanted to see her perform for years and the only negative I have is her set wasn't longer.
Anyone from Boston will tell you, The Dropkick Murphys are practically a religion which is incredible for a band that has only been around a little over 15 years. Eight records in and touring in support of their latest release Signed and Sealed In Blood, the Murphys were the highlight of the festival. From start to finish they crushed out hit after hit with every person singing every word loud and proud. They covered their whole catalog with new songs like "The Boys Are Back" and "Rose Tattoo" back to early songs like "Bastards On Parade" and "Fields Of Athenry." The set was heavy and so packed with energy that you couldn't help but leave sweating. The show closed off with Dropkick bring tons of fans onstage for "Kiss Me, I'm Shitfaced" and AC/DC's "TNT" which brought a real closeness to the band. The whole day was a great experience and hopefully it becomes a Baltimore tradition.