Classic Rock


- Malcolm Dome

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.

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