THE BLUES STAGE
The sun pokes through the clouds as
Sweet Crisis open the Blues Stage with a delightful set that’s redolent of the Allman Brothers. Elles Bailey, who follows them, has a strong voice but a narrow range, rendering her a little one-dimensional.
Chantel McGregor now has a heavier sound, reminiscent of 70s era Robin Trower, and her skills as guitarist and vocalist are admirable. Richie Kotzen has long been renowned for his guitar shredding talents, but there’s more to this performance. His voice can soar and swoop, while the songs are affable.
Everlast is clearly not happy, constantly arguing with his guitar tech, but this adds an appropriate edge to his persona and fine songs. His appreciation for the blues is charismatically confessional.
A big stage such as this is perfect for Beth Hart. It allows her to be wide-screen on such as Bang Bang Boom Boom, yet when necessary she turns the huge field into an intimate club, as for This One’s For You. Hart’s stage presence and vocals are dazzling. She has the ability to invite you into her life without making the experience feel emotionally intrusive, and only the best artist can hold a crowd as big as this effortlessly in their thrall.