This past weekend I found myself in Franklin, TN at the Pilgrimage Music Festival. Pilgrimage was what I consider a primarily rock and soul music festival.
Overall the atmosphere was very family friendly and was surprisingly well organized for a first year festival. It was laid out on what looked to be an old horse farm. It was a beautiful yet unconventional spot to host a music festival.
Weezer was Probably one of my favorites from the festival and delivered a stunning performance that was clearly a crowd favorite.
The sky opened up, no one moved and the band continued to play. I was standing three rows back, and the crowd was intense. People were packed in so tight their actions were becoming primal.
The band’s garage-rock sound was electrifying. Their energy was unmatched.
One of the biggest surprises of the festival was the performance by St. Paul and the Broken Bones. At first glance you notice the horn section appears to be made of kids just out of high school, and the middle-aged lead singer was small in stature with what appeared to be a receding hairline. But looks are deceiving.
To my surprise the unlikely performer delivered the most soulful performance of the festival. St. Paul performed with a power that could be felt beyond the far reaches of the crowd and was so riveting that it was impossible to remove your eyes.
I cannot continue to describe the rest of the festival without mentioning Cage the Elephant. On the other hand, you will probably find my opinion to be bias based on the fact that Cage the Elephant is one of my favorite bands.
The performance single- handedly stole the show, not only because of the stunning delivery by Matt Shultz, but his entire band. What made the performance such a stand out was his connection to the crowd, going so far as throwing himself to the masses and crowd surfing through multiple songs. He was received with open arms with a hunger to touch the man who had touched so many.
Another popular favorite would have to be Steven Tyler. While many of you may only know him as a popular reality TV star, the rock star took the audience back to the golden age of rock and roll, opening up with “Sweet Emotion” and others such as “Walk this Way”, “Dream On”, and a stunning cover of Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart”.
Given the job of closing the show, Willie Nelson preformed some of his major hits while the sky was lit on fire from an unforgettable sunset. The feel of the crowd was tranquil and nostalgic as the sun set and the festival came to a close.
The festival was an overall incredible experience even though I would consider it to be a little pricy for most festival goers. However, the opportunity to see my favorite band and some incredible rock legends was well worth it.
Most of the people who attended were from the local area, which presented a very hometown feel even for some of the regular festival goers such as myself. I felt very at home for the short weekend I spent on the farm at Pilgrimage.