Bluesfest Day 3
By Wanda Hill
The rain came down as spirits soared lifted by music unfazed by the weather or mud underfoot. Day three was a bit wet but who really cares when your safe and dry listening to The Gypsy Kings surrounded by warm bodies all captivated by sounds that make you feel like you’re thousands of miles away in the warm Spanish countryside having a religious experience. Being transported by Spanish Romini elder Nicholas Reyes’s vocals in combination with the magical flamenco guitar of Tonino Baliardo, supported by younger cousins on vocals and guitars is a cultural experience everyone should have in this lifetime.
Really it was a more of a Latino Fiesta than a Bluesfest yesterday with Mariachi El Bronx bringing traditional up vibe Mexican mariachi music complete with mariachi black and gold decorative suits bearing eagle sigils and traditional instruments such as the six string bass guitaron mexicano that delivers a powerful deep thumping sound. Not quite the mariachi music seen in the movies as Mariachi El Bronx are the alter ego of hardcore punk band The Bronx from Los Angeles.
In keeping with the Latino theme of the day the fabulous Rodrigo y Gabriela showed how magic is created with just a guitar or even better two guitars. Melding flamenco and Latino styles with heavy metal, funk, and rock, this duo are the coolest people to come to Bluesfest. Their Metallica tribute medley gets me every time as they turn what looks like a collaboration that started out as fun between two friends mixing up some styles in the bedroom as teenagers into a mature world class act that inspires devotion from fans worldwide. Never heard of them? See for yourself today at 8.30pm in the Mojo tent.
Even the food options were in keeping with the theme… paella, burritos, Brazilian BBQ. I couldn’t go past my favourite food vendor the Gourmet Goons without trying some Drunken Nachos… kangaroo hot pot over crispy sweet potato chips… awesome Australian interpretation of a Mexican standard.
If you’re tired of just watching and want to be part of the action, Rockwiz Live gives you a chance to participate. Brian Nankervis auditions festival patrons via a series of quick question rounds just after 1pm at the back of the Jambalaya tent, giving away 16 wild cards for people to take part in the live show. About 60 people competed for the opportunity yesterday and the contestants that made their way through to the final round really knew their music facts. Today is Rockwiz Live’s final show so get in early if you want to be one of today’s lucky contestants.
It has to be said that the traffic situation is vastly improved on previous years and it is a joy to be able to leave the festival without only moving just centimetres at a time. Thanks for sorting this out Bluesfest! The new approach to traffic management is working.
Can’t wait to get back out to the festival site and see what’s in store for today. One thing I know for sure not to miss is Jurassic 5 at the Crossroads stage at 10.30 tonight!