Photos by Vito Ingerto
The weather cooperated beautify Saturday for the return of Rock The Garden to the Walker Art Center. Brought to the Twin Cities by The Current and the Walker Arts Center, this years event was sponsored by Planned Parenthood, Summit Brewing Company, Atomic Data and Tattersall Distilling. There were a ton of food and beverage vendors featuring a variety of cuisines including Mexican, Indian, Nepalese, Greek and Vietnamese. The best by far was the Cheese Curd Taco’s and the Vietnamese Iced Coffee.
Main Stage Highlights:
As good as the food and beverages were, everyone was really at the Walker for the music. The first performer of the day was North African guitarist Bombino. With danceable beats as a background, Bombino’s fret gymnastics were hypnotic. Desert inspired grooves were the perfect upbeat start to the day. Philippines born beabadoobee took the stage next. With a pop-punk indie sound, beabedoobee had a strong contingent of fans singing every word. Next up were Seattle riot grrls Sleater-Kinney. The band was rocking hard, and the hour long set was high energy, and featured deep cuts as well as material off of their latest release Path of Wellness. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats closed out the evening on the Main Stage. High energy Americana is their trademark, and the band was on fire Saturday night. The horn section added a funky R&B flavor to the set. The bands setlist hit all the high notes of their catalog, with a nice dose of their latest The Future.
Garden Stage Highlights: Duo Divide and Dissolve were the first band up on the Garden Stage. The sounds from the stage were heavy, distorted doom metal that was sprinkled with some horns and electronic backtracks. Dam-Funk followed and the artist from California had the crowd moving and grooving. Sonically hitting way above his weight, this solo performance funky, groovy and soulful, sounding like a whole band. Minnesota’s own Low rounded out the evening on the Garden Stage Saturday night. Power chords and distortion ruled the set. The grooves created a spellbinding aural atmosphere that wrapped the crowd in a grungy comforter.
Outdoor live music is the best, and Rock The Garden is one of the finest festivals around. The large, satisfied crowd was a sure sign that Rock The Garden is back!