Posts Tagged ‘Mike Doughty’

McNally Smith River Rocks Music Festival 2008

This year’s McNally Smith River Rocks Festival was a success on all levels. It had it all; great music, awesome weather, beautiful atmosphere, two stages of entertainment, and an outdoor festival sound quality that I’ve only heard in a few outdoor venues around the country. The Gorge Amphitheatre comes to mind.

Although, on the surface this was a musical festival just like any other, upon closer examination it was an exploration of diversity and culture wrapped up in Minnesotan influences: from the “Nordic stock” that Mike Doughty claimed as his heritage as he flirted with the crowd, to the Puerto Rican infuesed grooves on history and life by Maria Isza, and the intelligent composition of the Heiruspecs.

Sure, this festival also had historical dream concerts put on by The Roots and Semisonic.

When I spoke with college co-founder Jack McNally, who was more  Richard Branson meets Ty Webb than stuffy college founder, I began to realize this show really was a tribute to the students. He spoke of their hard work, dedication, and help putting it all together. He spoke of their diversity, from the metal bands,to the classical ensembles, to the classical ensembles that may play Led Zepplin sets, and he spoke of their promising Hip Hop community and being one of the few colleges in the world that offers a music degree in Hip Hop. And while I did give Jack plenty of opportunity to expound on the college and it’s unique and ever growing influence with music, he continued to speak about the students.

Jack, I like you, hook up some Twitter.

So after several great shows, interviews with fans and musicians, and that little extra something something that comes with all outdoors festivals; I came to the conclusion that River Rocks is probably the best Minnesota outdoors music festival and I got an idea of just how much the students contributed to the whole show; from help with the infrastructure,to band selection, and giving performances. Lock, stock, and two smoking barrels of action packed stage performance.

I get the feeling River Rocks is getting better every year and with the reasonable prices I have a hard time imagining why anyone would miss out. I only hope that next year I can make it to all the shows.

Read the reviews, interviews, and see some pics: The Roots, Mike Dougty, Maria Isa, Semisonic,and Heiruspecs.


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